Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bow Case, Quiver, and Belt (gzhu shubs dang mda' shubs)

15th–17th century
Tibetan or Mongolian
Leather, shellac, wood, iron, gold, pigment
Bow case; L. 25 in. (63.5 cm) W. 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm); quiver; L. 20 in. (50.8 cm) W. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm); belt; L. 50 3/4 in. (128.9 cm) W. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Archery Equipment-Bows
Credit Line:
Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2003
Accession Number:
Not on view
Matching sets of bow case, quiver, and belt of this relatively early type are very rare. The few examples that exist in museum collections were acquired mostly in the early twentieth century. Both the bow case and the quiver are covered densely with decoration executed in black lines and golden brown shellac (now darkened with age), employing a method very similar to the technique found on some Tibetan leather arm defenses and horse armor. They are also fitted with domed bosses of pierced and chiseled iron damascened with gold and decorated with dragons, scrollwork, and blossoms. These bosses relate closely to the ironwork seen on Tibetan swords, saddle plates, and other objects.
[Art dealer, New York, until 2003; sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Warriors of the Himalayas: Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet," April 5–July 4, 2006, no. 95.

La Rocca, Donald J. Warriors of the Himalayas: Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. pp. 6, 116, 187, 192–94, 212, no. 95, ill.

La Rocca, Donald J. "Tibetan Warriors: The Challenges of Presenting the Warlike Side of a Peaceful Culture." In The Universal Heritage of Arms and Military History: Challenges and Choices in a Changing World, ICOMAM Conference, Vienna 2007. Vienna: Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, 2008. p. 48, fig. 13 left.

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