forged steel, silver damascening

12 x 10.5cm

Horseshoes of this type, which would have quickly worn out and must therefore have been made as ceremonial trappings, have a long past. They seem to have been of Chinese origin and were evidently introduced into Central and Western Asia with the Mongol invasions.

In addition to foliate scrolls, this horseshoe bears an Arabic proverb, ‘Ignorance reveals all faults’.

D. Alexander, The Arts of War. Arms and Armour of the 7th to 19th Centuries, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XXI, London 1992, cat.141, p.208.

J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.417, p.350.