Arms & Armour
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C. 1730 A.D
Place of Origin: Udaipur
Material: Rhino hide
Dimensions: 62.5 Height : 9.7 cm.
Acc. No. 62.2879
An artefact with rare historical significance, this shield made of rhino hide - light to carry and toughest to hold blows, had once belonged to Maharana Sangram Singh II of Mewar who ruled from AD 1710 to 1734. The inscription in Devanagari reads! 'Marano Sangram Singhji'. It also mentions, under the name of the Maharana, the names of three fief holders, known in Rajasthan as 'thikanedars', namely, Salumbara, Kanodha and Badanora, subordinate to the state of Mewar. The shield also depicts one of the actual expeditions of the Maharana.
Though consisting of rhinoceros hide, it has been lacquered black and painted in brilliant gold. A mere shield it has been painted like a contemporary Mewar miniature and reveals the beauty of a paper painting. The entire space has been divided into eight sections illustrating the Maharana marching with retinue and deer, etc. The last scene shows him returning to his palaces on the back of an elephant. Only three colours - lac red, carbon black and gold have been used in painting the shield. The central medallion portrays Sun God represented with a man's face with sun-like rays emitting from it. Conceived with well trimmed moustaches and 'tri-punda' mark on the forehead this sun emblem is the Mewar's insignia. A set of four etched and gilded knobs with perforated and serrated borders surmounted by green glass pieces impart to the royal insignia appropriate splendour. The knobs are riveted to four ring-bolts fitted on the reverse. A padded cushion and leather straps covered with red velvet are also affixed to the ring-bolts.