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27 cm diameter , 50 cm from spike to handle
steel, iron, brass
late 19th century
Bengal region, India
Bengal region, 19th century
A rather rare shield from Bengal, India used by the Sentali people residing in the area. Santals are the largest tribe in the Jharkhand state of India in terms of population and are also found in the states of Assam, Tripura, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal. They are the largest ethnic minority in northern Bangladesh's Rajshahi Division and Rangpur Division. In contrary to many hand shields, this shield has its concave side facing out. The steel disk is mounted with brass dome in the center and decorated with 10 smaller brass domes and engraved brass circles. The two handles, one in a blade and one in a ring shape, are attached to the steel disk with steel rivets. This is a very uncommon authentic piece dating to the late 19 C. A solid, nicely executed piece of craftmanship with lovely age patina. Very good condition with a small dent in the spike handle.
Horniman Museum & Gardens, London
Lord Egerton of Tatton, Indian and Oriental Armour, London, 1896, p. 91, Cat. No. 216
V&A Museum, Accession number 2903(IS)
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