Description & Technical information

Made of hide, this convex round shield, known as a dhal, is smoothed completely and given a highly black lacquered surface. The gilt decorations on the exterior include four large vegetal motifs surrounding a central round medallion; there are also four brass bosses which act as washers for the riveting of the hand-loop rings on the inside of the shield. These four rings secure the corners of a square cushion of padded cloth, decorated with a zig-zag border, to provide comfort for one’s hand; the two enarmes attached through these rings are used as gripping straps. There are also two studs on the rim, most likely pierced at a later date, with the exterior side of the rim decorated with floral and foliage details throughout. Relatively light weight, shields of this type were popular across the Indian subcontinent, for it was strong and durable enough to withstand blows from bladed weapons.

Date:  19th century
Period:  19th century, 1750-1850, 1850-1900
Origin:  India
Dimensions: 52 cm (20¹/₂ inches)
Categories: Arms & armour, Oriental and Asian Art