Tibetan saddles were strongly influenced by Chinese design, and would often have Chinese characters chiseled in the pommel plates. What was unusual was the use of a technique involving inlaying the entire surface of the saddle plates in silver, and then mercury gilding elements of the designs over the silver. Equally distinctive was the use of three layers of decoration: the outer layer of pierced scrollwork, with long tendrils deeply undercut to give an appearance of depth; a second layer forming a subsidiary ground underlying each saddle plate and consisting of an iron grill inlaid in silver to create a stylized cloud pattern; and, directly on top of the wood, a layer of colored fabric.
The vibrant dragon design on our bracelet is based on a Tibetan motif adapted from a pair of plates of an eighteenth century saddle. The original plates are notable for their delicate pierced work, the inlaying of gold and silver, and the unusual archaic style of the dragons on each plate, which are distinguished by a short feline snout, a single horn, a split tendril emerging from behind the head, a long curving body, catlike limbs, and a curling split tail. 24K gold overlay and silver overlay. Lightly antiqued. Made in the USA. Inner circumference 7”.
24K gold overlay and silver overlay
Made in the USA
Inner circumference 7”