Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014
Four of a set of five saddle-steels of Henry VIII
Four of a set of five saddle steels consisting of two plates for the rear arson and two side plates for a symmetrical fore arson (the central plate is missing). The outer edges of each plate are formed with boldly roped partial turns. The turn is accompanied to the inside by a broad recessed border. Each of the fore plates is pierced with two holes for the bolts that originally secured them to the frame of the saddle. The inner edge of the left plate is partly broken away. The left rear plate originally had a flange, no doubt decorated, which overlapped the plain flange at the left edge of the right plate, but this has been cut away. Both rear plates were at one time pierced with two holes to accommodate the three bolts that retained them, the central one of which would have passed through the inner hole of each plate.
All of the plates are etched in relief and were originally fire-gilt overall. The crests of the roping are etched in line with overlapping leaves, rounded and pointed on alternate crests. The recessed border is etched in relief against a densely dotted ground with hounds chasing game (deer, hares and wild boar) through a lightly wooded countryside. The main areas are similarly etched all over with battle-scenes involving cavalry and infantry either in classical armour or in quasi-Oriental dress, all in a lightly wooded landscape. The same figures keep repeating, sometimes reversed and with minor alterations of equipment.
The source of many of the figures is an engraving possibly by Marco da Ravenna, possibly after Guilio Romano, or from the repetition of it by Agostino Veneziano. Others come from an engraving by Marco da Ravenna, possibly after either Raphael or Guilio Romano. The same figures are repeated several times with slight differences of dress and arming.
After Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520) (designer)
Agostino Veneziano (active 1500-30) (engraver)
Marco Dente da Ravenna (d.1527) (engraver)