Pair Of Brass Spanish Colonial Closed Stirrups, Circa 1800.


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A handsome pair of brass Spanish Colonial closed stirrups, circa 1800; South American, probably Peruvian. These cast brass slipper stirrups mimic in shape and decoration the traditional leather boots; with intricate relief and engraving and pairs of flanking quetzalcoatl headdresses, a venerated symbol of status and power reserved for the elite class of Maya priests and rulers. 1

height: 5 in. 13 cm., width: 12 in. 30.5 cm., depth: 6 in. 15 cm.

Further readings and sources:

  1. The Quetzalcoatl, a prominent diety in Mayan mythology, is revered as the god of wisdom and fertility. A quetzalcoatl headdress was an important part of traditional Mayan dress worn on special occasions and ceremonies. It continues to be an important part of Mayan cultural traditions.

    Horses were introduced to South America by the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, shortly after the arrival of the first Spanish colonizers on the continent.

    The closed stirrup is typically called a “estribo cerrado” or “estribo tapado.” The word “estribo” means stirrup in Spanish, and the word “cerrado” or “tapado” means closed. Stirrups like these would be more comfortable, offer a more secure foothold and are still regularly used in South America, as they protect the rider’s feet when riding in the bushes.

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