Pair of Abumi, saddle stirrups made by “Nakamura Keiken”. The Nakamura family are well known metal artists who also made Tsuba and other Samurai metal works in the Japanese Edo period. This pair of stirrups are both inlaid with pure gold and have Ryusui, a water theme. Natural wear, minor gold loss in some areas. Dating from the 18th-19th century. Each strirup measures 12 inches long x 10 inches high x 5 inches wide. Stirrups like these were used to support the rider’s feet while seated on horseback. During warfare, they allowed mounted samurai to stabilize position and control the horse while firing a weapon or brandishing a sword. Curving up and back in the front, they bring the loop for the leather connecting-strap over the instep, providing superior balance. Only high-ranking samurai could ride horses in the Edo period. Elegantly decorated stirrups were a sign of the owner’s privileged position.
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