Place of Origin: UDAIPUR (MEWAR), RAJASTHAN
Date: 18th Century
Overall Diameter: 500mm
Radiant at the centre of this black shield is a fine golden portrait of the sun god Surya, the insignia of the Mewar royal court. Suitably crowned and with his curling handlebar moustache, he is surrounded by a stylised sunburst and a ring of intricately detailed flowers. Similar flowers border the shield’s edge, with red accents adding variety for the eye to enjoy. In four places atop this border artistic vignettes have been applied, all showing dramatic scenes of big cats and their game: an antelope, a running boar and a nilgai all fall as prey to vividly striped tigers, just as a dying camel submits to a fierce lion.
A similarly painted black shield in the National Museum at Delhi has been attributed to Maharana Sangram Singh II who ruled Mewar from 1690 to 1734, it is also painted with golden scenes along its circumference, like ours.
The four copper-gilt bosses that surround Surya are probably later, 19th century additions, as is the brocade pad and straps.
 G. N. Pant, K. K. Sharma, Indian Armours in the National Museum Collection, New Delhi National Museum, 2001, p.88, no.77.