Shaffron (Horse's Head Defense)

Indian, Deccan, Golconda

Not on view

Horse armor was used widely in India. It was usually made from a combination of iron, textile, and leather, the centerpiece of which was an iron shaffron such as this one, which protected the front of a horse's head from the muzzle to the ears. In addition to the date, the Arabic inscription seen near the top edge of this shaffron includes the name of Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah, ruler of the kingdom of Golconda in southern India from 1612 to 1626. Very few pieces of Indian horse armor can be dated so closely, or associated with a specific ruler, making this example extremely rare and important.

Shaffron (Horse's Head Defense), Steel, copper alloy (brass), Indian, Deccan, Golconda

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