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

Date: 15th–17th century

Culture: Tibetan or Mongolian

Medium: Leather, shellac, wood, iron, gold, pigment

Dimensions: 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)

Classification: Archery Equipment-Bows

Credit Line: Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2003

Accession Number: 2003.344a–c


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.