A selection of Persian, Chinese and Indian horse and camel saddles are being sold at Bonhams this Thursday (10 April).

The saddles are part of the Jacques Desenfans Collection of Arms and Armour from the Middle and Far East.

Among the lots is a rare Ming gilt bronze and wooden saddle from 17th century China or Tibet. With an upright square pommel and a velvet-covered seat the saddle features bronze and gilt bronze openwork depicting dragons and scrolling foliage. It is estimated to sell for £2,000 — £3,000.

Other lots include a cloisonné-mounted wooden saddle and leather bridle from China circa 1800 and an ivory mounted wooden saddle with a pommel in the form of a lions head, thought to be 19th century Bukhara. Both are estimated at £1,500 — £2,000.

The ornately decorated saddles are small by today’s standards and are described by Bonhams as “cultural and historic artefacts”.

Kristina Sanne from Bonham’s Indian and Islamic department said: “These are as much saddles as works of art. One would not dream of using them today but as items of interest and talking points they are unbeatable, especially for anyone with an interest in equestrian sports.”

For more information visit: www.bonhams.com