The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Shield
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • India
  • late 18th century
  • Steel, buffalo hide, gold, textiles, brass, leather and paint, painted, lacquered and gilded
  • Diameter: 48.2 cm
    Weight: 2.4 kg
  • OA2077
  • Oriental Armoury
Further Reading
  • An exceptionally decorative example of its type, this fine painted and gilt buffalo-hide shield was made both as a work of art and to be of practical use in the field. The gilt-metal bosses on the outer surface retain a padded textile hand-rest and straps on the inside. It is possible that such ornately-decorated Indian shields were made for presentation or as rich gifts. The buffalo hide would have been resistant to arrows and sword-cuts, but not bullets; nonetheless, as with swords, such items were owned and carried by tradition long after they had ceased to have any practical martial use.