• Shield
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Kutch or Sindh
  • Date: 18th century
  • Medium: Steel, buffalo hide, gold, textiles, brass, leather and paint, painted, lacquered and gilded
  • Diameter: 48.2 cm
  • Weight: 2.4 kg
  • Inv: OA2077
  • Location: Oriental Armoury
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Further Reading
  • Made of buffalo hide and lacquered for durability and hardness, this late eighteenth-century Indian shield, provides an unexpected canvas for the artist. In its design, it parallels contemporary Indian textiles. Its white ground evokes the white wool popular throughout the subcontinent as a base for expensive embroidered textiles. Meanwhile the overall composition is reminiscent of the classic rug design with a central medallion, a field, and a border.⁠

    These parallels remind us that an ornate shield like this is a fashion item, made to show off the wealth and good taste of the ultimate owner. The shield is unlined to show off its translucence: further evidence for the quality of the leather and the skill of the artist.⁠