A little assemblage of Indian weapons that could have been used in the war of 1857-8, including an HEIC percussion musket as used by many Indian sepoys, two hide dhal (shields) and a basket hilted firanghi sword (probably circa 1800 in origin, but they were still shown in use in the 1850s).
Separated by 1000 years and thousands of miles, at first sight there isn’t much to compare between the Beja warriors of the Sudan and the warriors of early-medieval Scandinavia known as vikings. But there are some similarities in the weapons they used.
Of russeted steel, with shaped brass barrel mount and five brass rosettes on the outside, the interior lined in leather and with breech-loading matchlock mechanism mounted on the grip, and spirally-grooved barrel with pierced grill above for vision.
45.5 cm diameter.
This appears to be based on the gun-shield from Henry VIII’s military stores and now in the Royal Armouries, Leeds (inv. no. V.99), which is one of a group thought to have been made by Giovanni Battista and his company of Ravenna, presumably for a royal bodyguard.
Comprising helmet (kulah khud), with hemispherical skull decorated over its surface with scrollwork cartouches inhabited by differing figures in traditional costume and the base encircled by calligraphic cartouches, fitted at its apex with a circular boss with associated pyramidal spike, a pair of plume-holders at the front, sliding nasal-bar with shaped terminals (retaining screw missing), mail neck-defence of butted links and with an early padded lining; shield (dhal) of shallow convex form, decorated en suite with the kulah khud, fitted with four domed bosses corresponding on the inside to four rings for enarmes (missing), brass rim, and with an early red lining; arm-defence (bazu band), of gutter-shaped form, decorated en suite with the preceding pieces retaining its two wrist plates attached by mail of butted links and with an early red lining the helmet: 34.0 cm; 13 3/8 in high.
Persian Gold Damascened Qajar Period ‘Devil Mask’ Kulah Khud and Shield, 19th Century
1) Helmet, the heavy skull molded with a demonic visage composed of a large nose with incised brows, gold-highlighted eyes, large incised mustache and open mouth displaying pointed and gold highlighted teeth; top of skull fited with a 5 ½ inch top spike decorated with gold koftgari meander and with like decorated removable horns; balance of skull decorated with shaped panels of etched floral meander, the lower edge with finely etched inscription panels and fitted with sliding nasal and a coif of finely butted links. Interior retaining the red cloth lining. 2) The circular steel shield, diameter 15 inches, the center molded with a circular panel of a face with elaborate incised hair framed by panels of etched floral meander framed by gilt borders en suite to the helmet and fitted with four bosses; below this, two borders framed by gold overlaid bands, the innermost with cartouches depicting personages framed by florals alternating with smaller cartouches of birds, the outer border with inscription panels. Interior retaining parts of the glued red cloth lining and the padded hand protector.
Persian Kulah Khud (helmet), Dhal (shield), and Bazu Band (vambrace), 19th Century
A fine suite of gold and silver-damascened Persian armor, early 19th century. Comprising: 1) Helmet, kulah khud, the domed skull chiseled with florals and panels of birds enclosed by gold-damascened strapwork; the apex fitted with 5 inch spike, the front with two plume sockets and sliding nasal; lower edge of skull with inscribed and silver-damascened panels and fitted with scalloped coif of fine, butted links. Interior retaining thin, quilted lining. 2) Shield, dhal, fitted with brass reinforced rim, the center with four gold-damascened and floral chased bosses, the field chiseled and damascened en suite to the helmet; this enclosed by minor borders composed of small panels chased with florals and a major border having large panels with silver-damascened cursive inscriptions. Reverse with quilted backing. 3) Arm guard, bazu-band, chiseled and gold-damascened en suite to the helmet and shield and fitted below the slightly cusped wrist with buckles and portions of mail wrist band.