18th – 19th c. Indo Persian Dahl Buckler Shield
Authentic Indo-Persian small parrying shield Buckler, Gatka Dhal, of circular convex form with upturned rim, made of hand-hammered solid brass elaborately chiseled / engraved with foliate and geometric patterns.
Description: Original 18th – 19th c. Indo Persian Dahl Buckler Shield | Authentic Indo-Persian, Northern India – Kashmir, Islamic or Sikh, small parrying shield Buckler, Gatka Dhal, of circular convex form with upturned rim, made of hand-hammered solid brass elaborately chiseled / engraved with foliate and geometric patterns. The center is set with four domed bosses, affixed on the reverse by four ring-bolts and attached leather straps to hold the shield | Approx. Dimensions: 12.5″ H x 12.5″ W x 2.5″ D (31.75 x 31.75 x 6.35cm) | Good condition for its age and use with front dent, evidently from combat and parts of the leather straps missing.
About: This type of small shield was used by northern Indian warriors in hand to hand combat during the 17-19th century, holding the shield in the left hand and the sword in the right hand. A Gatka buckler was used as a companion weapon of traditional form for hand-to-hand combat throughout North India and Pakistan for centuries. Its small size made it useful in deflecting the blow of an opponent’s sword, lightness and curved center helps maneuverability when dealing with the sword blades, excellent for deflecting attacking blades, and could be used to directly attack an opponent by punching with, either its flat face, or, its rim, and was used to bind an opponent’s sword hand and weapon as well as their buckler against their body. The buckler was also very useful in grappling, where it allowed an opponent’s arms to be easily wrapped up and controlled. The Gatka system was used to train soldiers in close-combat techniques and allowed soldiers to acquire sufficiently effective skill in hand-to-hand combat fighting. Historically it was used by the shock troops of the Sikh armies.
References: A related shield from the collection of the collection of the National Museum of New Delhidated by museum experts to 18th – 19th century, is published in the book, “Indian Armours in the National Museum Collection Catalogue”, by G.N.Pant and K.K.Sharma .Page 66-67, figure 44.