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Steel Bow

Place of Origin: PUNJAB

Date: 19th Century

Overall Length: 870mm

Reference: 242

Status: Sold

Full Description:

From the collection of Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scotland, this magnificent reflex bow is made from steel and entirely decorated with gold in the Punjabi style. Slender fronds grow upon every surface, introducing cartouches filled with foliate spirals, all restrained by helical borders. These spirals continue onto the grip section which is threaded to allow the bow to be conveniently disassembled for storage or transportation. It probably would have had a silk bowstring.

Although already known in India, this type of bow was reintroduced by Muslim invaders, and the Rajputs, quickly deeming it to be a superior weapon, gladly adopted it. With wood and horn being susceptible to the Indian climate, metal bows such as this one were sometimes used as substitutes.[1]

A similar bow can be found in the royal collection of Jaipur.

 

[1] R. Elgood, Arms & Armour at the Jaipur Court: The Royal Collection, Niyogi Books, 2015, pl.158.