Shield (Dhál)

Signed by Khooshal Dhunjee & Sons

Not on view

This shield is remarkably fine in quality, technique, and condition in comparison with other examples of Indian painted leather round shields in the Museum's collection (acc. nos. 36.25.586, .588, .593, and .608). It is also important for documentary purposes because the name and address of the shield painters are included on the reverse, placing this within the small group of Indian arms that can be connected with specific craftsmen or a place of production. On the bright red interior painted in gold letters it states: Khooshal Dhunjee & Sons / Painter and Shield makers / Dhalgarwada Street / City Ahmedabad / Bombay Presidency / India.

This round convex leather shield is painted overall on the exterior with repeating floral patterns. In the center there is a stylized symmetrical leaf and blossom pattern painted in black on a red ground in a circular compartment surrounded by an off-white band painted with a similar pattern in black. This is surrounded by a pebbled ground and four symmetrically placed domed brass bosses. Surrounding this, the main body of the shield is covered with a repeating pattern of undulating leafy stalks painted in red on a black ground. This is encircled by a pebbled band then an off-white band with a repeating leaf and blossom pattern. The outer edge of the shield has an undecorated rounded lip.

Shield (Dhál), Signed by Khooshal Dhunjee & Sons (Indian, Ahmedabad, 19th century), Leather, brass, textile, pigment, Indian, Gujarat

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