Antique, 18th early 19th century, Mughal period, Indo-Persian, Indian, Islamic or Sikh small parrying shield, buckler, Dhal from India, Lucknow, Awadh.
The shield is made of hand-hammered solid brass in a circular convex form with an upturned rim. The entire surface of the shield is finely hand chiseled and embellished throughout with red, black, and blue enamel with various patterns, including a flower head in the center formed by four petals, four elephants among foliate patterns enclosed by circular border adorned with creeper designs.
The center is set with four domed bosses, affixed on the reverse with a stuffed velvet cushion, with four faceted bolts to attach the strap rings.
This type of small shield buckler has been used by Indian warriors in hand-to-hand combat throughout the Indian subcontinent for centuries. Its small size made it useful in deflecting the blow of an opponent's sword. Lightness and curved center help maneuverability when dealing with the sword blades. Excellent for deflecting attacking blades and could be used to directly attack an opponent by punching with either its flat face or rim and was used to bind an opponent's sword hand and weapon as well as their buckler against their body.
1. A similar small shield is on display at the Indian Museum with an armored Indian Mughal warrior from the 17th-18th centuries (last picture in the listing).
2. A related enameled brass shield from the collection of the National Museum of New Delhi, dated by museum experts to the 18th – 19th century, is published in the book "Indian Armours in the National Museum Collection Catalogue" by G.N. Pant and K.K. Sharma on page 66-67, figure 44.
3. Another shield similar in form but without the cross is in the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada.
Please see the link below:
The buyer will be provided with a copy of the pages from the mentioned references together with a certificate of authenticity.
MEASUREMENTS: Diameter: 21 cm (8.27 inches).
CONDITION: It is in good condition with an old patina, showing age and use, brown velvet cushion worn and faded, and absence of strap rings.