Rare South Indian Bronze Theyyam shield

 A rare and old bronze Theyyam shield from Kerala on the Malabar coast of India. Theyyam was a ritual form of dance worship which has been practised in this area for hundreds of years. The various weapons used if curved and hooked shape, and indeed this shield must hark back to much earlier archaic forms of arms and armour actually used in warfare some of which still survive, and have been sold on these pages. The shield is of small size, cast in bronze, with an applied bronze handle. Decorative borders and motifs of moons and flowers can be seen on the front, and this example unsually had a pierced border most of which is lost unfortunatly. One small jingle remains. The piece clearly has great age, hard to date accurately, it is certainly 19th century and probably much older.