Pair of stirrups

From Japan
Edo period, 17th century AD

Iron with silver inlay

This type pf stirrup was fully developed by the Heian period (794-1185). They provided a firm platform for an archer as he stood to shoot his arrows. The traditional design remained unchanged in the centuries that followed.

Like all other elements of a Japanese warrior's equipment, the stirrups were designed to impress. This pair is made of iron with a floral silver inlay. The inner surface is lined with lacquered wood intricately inlaid with a network of triangle-shaped pieces of shell. They are signed 'Osaragi jū Shigetsugu' ('Shigetsugu living in Osaragi').

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More information


L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

L. Smith and V. Harris, Japanese decorative arts from (London, The British Museum Press, 1982)


Length: 28.800 cm
Height: 25.500 cm

Museum number

Asia JA 1940.12-12.1,2


Given by F. Fairer Smith through the Art Fund



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