Length: 38.000 cm
Width: 21.000 cm
Gift of Sir A.W. Franks
Room 46: Europe 1400-1800
From Granada, Spain, late 15th - early 16th century AD
A headstall is the part of the bridle or halter that encompasses the horse's head.
Leather straps pass
through the flat sections of the headstall; the two medallions
forming the junctions for the bands pass behind the ears. Each
section is divided into two compartments. One is decorated with
The headstall forms part of a group of objects, mostly sword-hilts and scabbard-mounts, that are associated with Abu cabd Allah Muhammad Xi (Spanish name: Boabdil), the last sultan of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada (reigned 1482-92). These items were not necessarily made for Moorish patrons; a number of Christian Spanish inventories record weapons of a 'Moorish' type decorated with enamel.
The headstall is similar to one that can be seen in use in a painting by the Venetian artist Vincenzo Catena (about 1470-1531), Holy Family with a Warrior Adoring the Infant Christ (National Gallery, London).
J.A. Levenson (ed.), Circa 1492: art in the age of (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art)