Place of Origin: Kashmir (Northern India)
Date: 18th - 19th Century
Overall Length: 1470mm (58 Inches)
This rare and lavishly painted bow likely comes from Kashmir. The central grip is bound with a bluish threading over a thin sleeve of red cotton and further reinforced with a faceted wooden support-strut. The bow’s long slender arms are then lacquered over their entire surface with a mix of motifs both floral and geometric: diagonal bands of rippling yellow lines criss-cross on a bright-red ground; panels painted in darker hues are illuminated by thickly painted four-petalled flowerheads. No space – however small – is left unfilled by decorative patterning.
In this case there are two main pieces to which we can compare the present example. The first is preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Accession Number 36.25.2515a–h), while the second is preserved in the collection of the University of Missouri.