Rare, antique, 18th century Mughal period, huge black lacquered hide, Indo - Persian, Indian shield (Dhal).
The shield of circular convex form is made of black lacquered buffalo hide. The center is marked by an ornate round brass medallion embellished with a fine hand sculpted in low relief Hindu monkey god Hanuman. The monkey god in animated profile facing left, wearing a veshti and sash, adorned with two necklaces, armlets, bangles, earrings, and elaborate crown, carrying in his right-hand Sanjeevani Mountain and in his left hand holds a mace.
The medallion is surrounded by four solid brass pierced domed bosses in the form of rosettes affixed on the reverse by four iron ring bolts for straps (to hold the shield). The dial on the back is fitted with a rectangular embroidered purple velvet cushion.
The other medallion depicts a scene from the Indian royal court; a ruler seated on a throne wearing a crown and dressed in regal attire, attended by servants carrying fly whisks and flanked by two noblemen sitting on chairs, wearing elaborate costumes, turbans, and holding sheathed swords.
The lower part shows two courtiers seated on chairs, dressed in turbans and luxury dresses, and served by male and female servants.
Additionally, the shield is applied with two cast and hand chiseled brass busts; one depicts a woman and the other a man with a mustache.
The shield also has four domed gold overlaid copper bosses riveted to the shield.
MEASUREMENTS: Diameter: 48.5 cm (19.09inches).
CONDITION: Shows age and use. The rim is slightly chipped, as is often the case with hide shields, otherwise very good condition with natural color and patina.