Saddle with design of mythical lions and peonies

Unknown16th century, Momoyama period

Tachibana Museum

Tachibana Museum

The saddle is a supportive structure for a rider, fastened to a horse’s back. The traditional Japanese saddle is made of hard bur oak consisting of a front and rear panel. The other two panels that connect those front and rear panels are made of soft silk tree. It helps prevent damage caused by the shock of violent rocking received while horse riding.
The note written on the box containing the saddle says that it was owned by Bekki Dosetsu, the first head of the Tachibana family.
Although it is hard to recognize the design on the saddle because of being used for a long time, it depicts lions and peonies on the surface. The invincible lion has one fatal enemy. It is a parasite. The only one remedy for the lion to survive from the parasite is the dew dripping from peony, so it is said that the lion sleeps under the peonies. Therefore, the design of a lion with peonies was a popular motif for everything, no exception for arms and armors.

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  • Title: Saddle with design of mythical lions and peonies
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 16th century, Momoyama period
  • Physical Dimensions: H 31.2 cm
  • Type: Arms & Armour