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Date: First half of the 19th Century

Overall Length with Arrows: 960mm (37 ¾ Inches)

Reference: 346

Status: Sold

Full Description:

The leather core of this quiver is covered over its surface with red velvet and generously embroidered throughout with gilt-silver thread to detail a charming array of floral and foliate designs. The front surface exhibits a central panel that contains a sequence of four-petalled flowerheads surrounded by leaved vines and separated by smaller quatrefoils. This design recurs along the central panel’s border in miniature and with some with minor variations in other parts of the quiver. The belt, for example, exhibits more complex and varied foliage scrolling between its silver-gilt flowerheads, and is further pierced with loops for suspension that hold knotted red tassels.

A group of twelve matching wooden arrows of north Indian type are placed within the quiver, each fitted with an arrowhead cut to represent the form of a katar, a type of push-dagger that was a popular side-arm in India. The foreshafts, reinforced with rings of iron and copper, exhibit an attractive dark-brown patina, and are decorated with pieces of inlaid horn and bone. The tail-ends have been painted in red and green, and though the feathers are lost, we can see that the arrows were originally fletched. The arrows’ bulbous nocks are made from ivory and painted vermillion over their interiors.

A quiver similar to the present example and almost certainly made for Maharaja Ranjit Singh (reg. 1801-1839) on the occasion of the wedding of Khurak Singh in 1838 was sold by Bonhams in 2018.[1] Another is preserved in the Royal Armouries (Object Number XXVIB.32 A).[2] Though its style is somewhat different from the present example, its form and the materials used (red-velvet embroidered with silver-gilt thread) are the same.[3]


Private European collection

[1] Bonhams, Lot 205 (“A gold-thread-embroidered velvet-clad leather quiver and bow holder, almost certainly made for Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Reg. 1801-1839), the lion of the Punjab”), Islamic and Indian Art including Sikh Treasures and Arts of the Punjab, London, 23rd October 2018.

[3] This quiver is discussed in Thom Richardson, An Introduction to Indian Arms and Armour, Leeds, Royal Armouries Publishing, 2007, p. 9.


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