Rare Vietnamese Cane shield

Rare Vietnamese Cane shield

 A very rare shield from Vietnam. Circular conical form constructed of spiralled cane bound with very fine grass or split-cane in geometric patterns. The centre-boss with a small round mount of silver and gilt-bronze. Three other small pairs of similar silver mounts secure the handles from the rear of the shield. The edge is reinforced with bronze or brass secured by multiple small conical domed rivets. The reverse shows a loop of twisted cords secured by large rings which would support the arm, a larger wooden crossgrip would serve as the handle. The crossgrip is beautifully carved with two opposing dragon heads with traces of red and coloured lacquer. A looped cane support can be seen woven into the shield for strength. There is a small rectangular slot on one side of the crossbar of unknown purpose presumably to take another fabric strap. A large iron 'staple' is attached at the front top of the shield possibly as a hanging fitting. The form of this shield is similar to those found throughout the region of East and South-East Asia, bearing many close similarities with those from China, Korea and Thailand, amongst others. Noteably the geometric-style woven decoration to the front in coloured fibre closely resembles the appearance of early Ottoman Turkish and Moghul shields, which indicates well the central Asian origins of the Turkic peoples.  Approximately 27 inches diameter. The patterns to the front are somewhat faded but originally would probably have been bright red, yellow and blue/green. There is no comparable example to date this but similar shields are depicted in Chinese paintings of the Ming period. This shield has great age and could potentially be of that date.  Southern Asia

 

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