Shield with Hunting and Landscape Vignettes, Steel; with gold overlay

Shield with Hunting and Landscape Vignettes

Object Name:
second half 17th century
Attributed to India
Steel; with gold overlay
Diam. 21 11/16 in. (57.7 cm)
Arms and Armor
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1976
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463
The Mughal aesthetics are reflected in its weaponry. This shield, which belongs to the first quarter of eighteenth century, is ornately decorated with inlaid gold decoration on its rim and knob. The subject depicted on the border of the rim shows the ruler who is accompanied by his attendants’ aims with his rifle, gallops on a horse with a lance in his hand or attacks a furious lion. The hunting scene depicts dynamic movement with dogs and tiger jumping on their prey and an aggressive elephant trampling with a broken chain in its rear foot. The outer border contains stylized floral and leaf motifs characteristic of the period of Mughal Emperor Aurengzeb Alamgir. The central knob of the shield bears an intricately engraved landscape with architecture and rock formation. The profuse ornamentation of this shield suggests that it was likely a royal object.
[ Howard Ricketts, London, until 1976; sold to MMA]
Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Romance of the Taj Mahal," December 17, 1989–March 11, 1990, no. 177.

Toledo, OH. Toledo Museum of Art. "Romance of the Taj Mahal," April 28, 1990–June 24, 1990, no. 177.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. "Romance of the Taj Mahal," August 23, 1990–November 25, 1990, no. 177.

Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 111.

Pal, Pratapaditya. Romance of the Taj Mahal. London; Los Angeles: Thames and Hudson, 1989–1991. no. 177, pp. 162-163, ill. fig. 177 (b/w).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 111, pp. 266-267, ill. p. 267 (b/w).

Alexander, David G., and Stuart W. Pyhrr. "in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." In Islamic Arms and Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. no. 45, pp. 124-125, ill. (color).