Carved Leather Shield
Place of Origin: BIDAR, DECCAN
Date: 17th–18th Century
Diameter: 22" Inches
The thick, stiffened leather of this shield, or dhal, has been carved with a close arrangement of concentric stars, radiating out from a hub and punctuated by six gilded iron bosses (an unusual number: four being the norm). The spaces between the zigzags are filled with flowers and leaves. A circular border orbits the rim, similarly decorated, and a central medallion has two rings of blossoms linked by leafy stalks.
This type of aesthetic theme is associated with art of the Bidar region and close comparisons can be found in two Bidriware objects, the first being a salver in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the second a dish from the Salar Jung Museum (illustrated in George Michell’s book on Islamic Indian art and architecture).
 G. Michell, Mughal Style: The Art and Architecture of Islamic India, Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2007, p.99, cat no.84.