Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery
A chance visit to an old town. A chance visit to an old neglected antique shop. A chance look at the walls in the back room. And an acquisition that resulted in many many moments of joy .
I am no expert on the subject of shields and my guess is that this shield made of hide is either Persian or Mughal.
The maker has poured out his soul into the drawing! The fine artistry in this shield suggests that this piece was not ever intended for the battlefield – unless one planned to kill the enemy by striking him down with a vision of beauty!
But the most interesting part of the shield is the back. The back has the shield holders. Made of wads of cloth. These pieces of cloth are worn out with usage. And it is obvious through the cloth that this shield has been well used. The sweat of the holder that have colored the cloth over the years hold the secrets of all that the events that this shield has witnessed…..
The soul of this shield lies in these holders …. and it is that soul which has a grip on mine, making this one of the prime objects in my collection.
Detailed photos of this shield, the motifs, and the holder cloth are available in the gallery WOVENSOULS.COM
If any reader is an expert in this category, please share your analysis of this shield with me.
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Quality of the painting suggests it might be made fro Rhino hide rather than the cheaper Buffalo hide. Evidently from Rajasthan and therefore likely a Rajput nobleman’s prized possession! Lovely piece and wear and tear of use suggests use in a court rather than in battle. Could belong to a bodyguard – sometimes cadets of noble families were appointed as ADC’s and ceremonial bodyguards to Kings and Emperors
Thank you Amrish for your inputs. Very useful. The history of acquisition points to a Lucknow origin. A comparison with a Lucknow shield sold on Christie’s showed a remarkable similarity so with these inputs do you still think it might be Rajput?