Not currently on display at the V&A

Shield

ca. 1840 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Shield dhal steel, convex with a design of stylised flower and tendril ornament, outlined by chiselling and gilded, round the rim and also in two concentric circles which divide the surface of the shield into two bands of unequal width and a central circle; in the outer band are placed groups of three similar flowers at regular intervals; following the inside of the next band is an inscription and also four groups of two cypress trees within one group of which is another inscription running radially; within the central circle are placed, so that their edges touch the band, four dome shaped bosses, with wide fretted borders, of steel with gilt decoration; these bosses are attached at the back of the shield to four iron holding rings set through a cloth pad embroidered with silver-gilt thread; two of the holding straps are covered with (worn) red velvet and are attached to the rings. At the back, round the edge, is a raised band of fretted and gilt fleurettes and this is repeated, in reverse, round the central pad; between them is a raised band connecting four cartouches all carrying inscriptions; on each side of this band are arranged groups of floral motifs gilded on to the surface of the steel.

The inscriptions on the reverse are in Persian praising Maharao Ram Singh (possibly Ram Singh of Kotah (1828-66). The front is inscribed in Urdu couplets with Devanagari transliterations between them (these are partly obliterated). These form a concentric circle from which, in one place, radiates towards the centre two lines of Devanagari containing names of which 'Shri Madhu' (possibly Madhu Sudan, an epithet of Krishna) and 'Shri Baldevji Sahay' remain. Below this is '?...t danda Shaikh ilah'(?), possibly the name of the maker.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Steel, decorated with gold kuftkari
Brief Description
Shield dhal steel, decorated with gold kuftkari, inscribed, Kota, ca. 1840
Physical Description
Shield dhal steel, convex with a design of stylised flower and tendril ornament, outlined by chiselling and gilded, round the rim and also in two concentric circles which divide the surface of the shield into two bands of unequal width and a central circle; in the outer band are placed groups of three similar flowers at regular intervals; following the inside of the next band is an inscription and also four groups of two cypress trees within one group of which is another inscription running radially; within the central circle are placed, so that their edges touch the band, four dome shaped bosses, with wide fretted borders, of steel with gilt decoration; these bosses are attached at the back of the shield to four iron holding rings set through a cloth pad embroidered with silver-gilt thread; two of the holding straps are covered with (worn) red velvet and are attached to the rings. At the back, round the edge, is a raised band of fretted and gilt fleurettes and this is repeated, in reverse, round the central pad; between them is a raised band connecting four cartouches all carrying inscriptions; on each side of this band are arranged groups of floral motifs gilded on to the surface of the steel.



The inscriptions on the reverse are in Persian praising Maharao Ram Singh (possibly Ram Singh of Kotah (1828-66). The front is inscribed in Urdu couplets with Devanagari transliterations between them (these are partly obliterated). These form a concentric circle from which, in one place, radiates towards the centre two lines of Devanagari containing names of which 'Shri Madhu' (possibly Madhu Sudan, an epithet of Krishna) and 'Shri Baldevji Sahay' remain. Below this is '?...t danda Shaikh ilah'(?), possibly the name of the maker.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 19.625in
Marks and Inscriptions
  • on the reverse in Persian
  • The front is inscribed in Urdu couplets with Devanagari transliterations between them (these are partly obliterated).
  • Centre in Devanagari partly obliterated '?...t danda Shaikh ilah'(?)
Credit line
Given by Lord Kitchener
Object history
Given by the Right Hon. the Earl Kitchener of Khartoum

This shield probably belonged to a Rao Ram Singh of Bundi or Kotah - perhaps Ram Singh of Kotah, ca. 1840.
Subject depicted
Collection
Accession Number
IS.204-1964

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record createdJune 25, 2009
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