Exhibitions: Small Wonders from the American Collections

Lady's Stirrup

When the Spanish came to the Western Hemisphere, they reintroduced the horse to regions where it had long been extinct. This animal had a far-reaching impact on life and culture in the Americas, including the production of equestrian adornments and images. This elaborately decorated, slipper-style stirrup is a luxury example of riding equipment for women. The ladies of Lima, Peru, were renowned for their grace on horseback, and since they rode side-saddle, their stirrups were made singly rather than as part of a pair.