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Sigismond Bardac, Paris, before 1913, as "dinanderie," twelfth century;[1] (Arnold Seligmann), 1913[?]-1916; purchased 22 April 1916 by Joseph Widener, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, as Flemish, thirteenth century; inheritance from the Estate of Peter A. B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, after purchase by funds of the estate, 1942.

Exhibition History

Master Bronzes Selected from Museums and Collections in America, The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright Art Gallery, 1937, no. 113, repro., as Flemish, thirteenth century.
Exhibition of Arts of the Middle Ages, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1940, 82, no. 290, pl. XXXIII, as English or Scandinavian, thirteenth century.

Technical Summary

The whole surface, including the handle, is battered and nicked. The rider's left arm is missing, with a socket remaining where it was apparently once attached, possibly with a dowel. His head is partly detached from the neck. Longer reins, whose ends are broken off along the sides of the horse's neck, were apparently once connected to a bridle. The tail and part of the hobblelike band on the right hind leg are also broken off. The left front and hind legs are replacements.[1] A roughly square patch is on the horse's upper belly, with solder visible along two edges.

X-ray fluorescence analysis indicates virtually identical composition for the body of the horse and the handle: a leaded tin bronze of about 80 percent copper, 10 to 11 percent tin, and about 10 percent lead, with small amounts of silver, antimony, and iron.[2] This alloy is consistent with medieval production. The gray patch visible around a small puncture on the horse's left haunch and repairs at the man's neck appear to be made of lead-tin solders of differing compositions; the discrepancies may indicate repairs at different periods.

The bronze that plugs the circular hole on the horse's chest has a composition consistent with production at the same time as the rest of the object. Such plugs, typical of hollow-cast aquamanilia, were part of the casting process, and do not necessarily indicate later closing up of a former pour-spout. The present form indicates liquid was poured in through the top of the rider's head and out through the horse's mouth.

[1] The left front leg, more silvery in color than the body, is joined to it with a pin and solder; its alloy, different from that of the body, is brass, composed of 89 percent copper, 9 percent zinc, and small amounts of iron, silver, antimony, and tin (report cited in note 2). The right front foot, grayish in color, thin, and curved inward, also appears to be a replacement.

[2] Report of 2 March 1987, in NGA conservation laboratory files.


Leman, Henri. Collection Sigismond Bardac. Faiences italiennes du XV siècle, objets de haute curiosité, Moyen Age et Renaissance. Paris, 1913: no. 31, as "dinanderie, XIIe siécle".
Falke, Otto von. "Reiteraquamanilien I." Pantheon 1 (1928): 248.
Falke, Otto von. "Reiteraquamanilien III Teil. Die Jägergruppe." Pantheon 4 (1929): 426-430, especially 427, 430, fig. 9.
Falke, Otto von, and Erich Meyer. Bronzegeräte des Mittelalters I. Romanische Leuchter und Gefässe; Giessgefässe der Gotik. Berlin, 1935: 44, 107, no. 288, fig. 255.
Inventory of the Objects d'Art at Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, The Estate of the Late P.A.B. Widener. Philadelphia, 1935: 30, as Flemish (Dinant), thirteenth century.
Davis, Robert Tyler. "An Odyssey of Bronze Statuettes." Art News 35 (February 1937): 9-13, 25, repro. 12, as Flemish, thirteenth century.
Master Bronzes Selected from Museums and Collections in America. Exh. cat. The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, 1937: no. 113, as Flemish thirteenth century.
Swarzenski, Georg. "Arts of the Middle Ages." Art News 38 (February 1940): 8-12, 23, repro. 11.
Works of Art from the Widener Collection. Foreword by David Finley and John Walker. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 9, as Flemish (Dinant), 13th century, Coquemar, in the form of an equestrian figure.
Seymour, Charles. Masterpieces of Sculpture from the National Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1949: 4, 11, 171-172, note 4, repro. 32, 33.
Hartt, Frederick. 'Review: Charles Seymour Jr., Masterpieces of Sculpture from the National Gallery of Art." College Art Journal 10 (Winter 1951): 204.
Christensen, Erwin O. Objects of Medieval Art from the Widener Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1952: 22-24, 30.
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 154.
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 136, repro.
King, Marian. Adventures in Art: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1978: 98-99, pl. 62.
Ex aere solido; Bronzen von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Exh. cat. (Essay by Dietrich Kötzche) Organized by Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, Münster, Saarbrucken, Hanover, Berlin, 1983: 81, no. 45.
Distelberger, Rudolf, Alison Luchs, Philippe Verdier, and Timonthy H. Wilson. Western Decorative Arts, Part I: Medieval, Renaissance, and Historicizing Styles including Metalwork, Enamels, and Ceramics. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1993: 28-32, color repro. 29.
Speculum (July 2003): cover repro.

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