This piece has a wide, slightly sloping stepped
and a domical centre with a central hole.
Chirvani argues that this type of object was most
probably used as a buckler, although he also
discusses their possible use as lids or cymbals.
Bucklers were used in the medieval period as
shields, held in the fist to protect the sword hand.
They were generally used in hand-to-hand
in conjunction with a short sword. This superb
example is incised with calligraphy on each tier.
Fashioned from brass, it post-dates the medieval
period and was produced for ceremonial rather
than martial purposes.
A.S. Melikian-Chirvani, ‘Bucklers, Covers or
Cymbals?,’ in R. Elgood ed., ‘Islamic Arms and
Armour’, (London, 1979), pp. 97-111. J. W. Allan,
‘Metalwork of the Islamic World: The Aron
Collection,’ (London, 1986), p. 123, no. 30.
.JB.1275/a-b. One of a Pair of bucklers, cast
with engraved and copper inlaid decoration. The
outer slanting rim and the following raised part
richly decorated with epigraphic bands which are
written in thuluth style and are inlaid with copper
over finely drawn scrollwork. The epigraphic
cartouches are interrupted by large roundels,
showing the typical Central Asian geometric
Central Asia, probably Afghanistan, 12th – 13th
Prof. Geza Fehrevari
Prof. Geoffrey King