East Asia, Japan, Edo Period ca. early to mid 17th century CE. A beautiful matched pair of abumi, iron stirrups painted with thick lacquer. They are identical. The interior area for placing the feet is painted red, while the ornate exterior is black with golden leaves and vines delicately painted across the exterior front. A heavy buckle with an openwork motif rises from the top of each. Abumi have a distinctive, swan-like shape that sets them apart from European-style stirrups, which the Japanese would not use until the 19th century. During warfare, they allowed a mounted samurai to be stable and control the horse while firing a bow or brandishing a sword. Size: 11" L x 5.75" W x 10.85" H (27.9 cm x 14.6 cm x 27.6 cm)
Several pairs of abumi have sold at Christie's, such as Lot 225 from November 22, 2005 (New York), for USD 12,000.
Provenance: private J.H. collection, Beaverton, Oregon, USA
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