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The saddle has a core of wood. The pommel and cantle have saddle plates of gilded bronze engraved with floral designs that are fastened on the edges with small bronze leaves. The stirrups are fashioned from gilded iron with incised designs of dragons frolicking with pearls among clouds; the stirrup surface has a design of intersecting vajra (a ritual object in Buddhism). The saddle is complemented with a saddle pad and cushion. The saddle pad is made of brocade with assorted floral designs, yellow velvet edging, and yellow silk lining. The satin cushion is embellished with embroidered designs of dragons among clouds; an interior silk layer provides for comfortable riding. An accompanying yellow paper label has an inscription in black ink indicating that the sixth Panchen Lama gave the saddle to the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736–1795) at the imperial summer villa in Chengde (in present-day Hebei Province). A leather label, which is a later supplement, has inscriptions in Manchu and Chinese stating the saddle was used by the Jiaqing Emperor (r. 1796–1820) and added to his treasury in his tenth year (1805).
Chinese entry by Liu Liyong
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Zhuang Ying