The Dragon Chasing the Horse – Or Was it the Other Way Around?

Koos de Jong

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Coffee House Club
20 West 44th St
6th Floor
NY NY 10036

Doors open 6:00pm
Lecture 6:45pm

The Dragon Chasing the Horse – Or Was it the Other Way Around? Like the recently published book Dragon & Horse: Saddle Rugs and Other Horse Tack from China and Beyond, the lecture is about the origin and development of the tack for horses and other riding and pack animals from the 5th century BC up to the 20th century AD. The focus is on ‘saddle rugs’, i.e., under- and top-saddle rugs, saddle flaps and horse-blankets, made of felt, woven textile, leather, pile-knotted wool, silk or cotton. The story is based on the outcome of the author’s research into representations of saddle rugs in Chinese painting and sculpture as well as in the applied arts. By comparison of these images with the published preserved saddle rugs, a useful typology could be developed, which is backed up by the results of a structural analysis of preserved specimens. By this new typology preserved saddle rugs, which are many, can be properly dated and ascribed to their place of origin. However the lecture will move a few more steps. It will answer some urgent questions, like: how ‘Chinese’ are these rugs?, and it will deal with the results of ongoing research since the publication.

Koos de Jong graduated in art history, medieval archaeology and archival science at the University of Amsterdam in 1976. Active since 1976 successively as scientific staff-member at the Historical Museum in Amsterdam, director of the Provincial Overijssels Museum in Zwolle, vice-director and chief-curator at the Netherlands Office for Fine Arts in The Hague, director of the Zaanse Schans and Zaans Museum in Zaanstad, director of the European Ceramic Work Centre in Den Bosch. After retirement in 2009 active as researcher and publicist in the field of Oriental art. Author of hundreds of articles and several books about: the pewterer’s guild in medieval Amsterdam, the Dutch medieval interior, medieval sculpture, modern architecture, the Dutch painters Jan Sierhuis and Anton Martineau, modern ceramics, design and architecture, Chinese carpets. Private collector of Chinese art and Oriental carpets.