211032 - Antique Extremely Rare silver ornaments Ethiopian Ras shield - Ethiopia


Antique Extremely Rare silver ornaments Ethiopian Ras shield - Ethiopia
A very nice tribal used antique Ras shield. The photos are part of the description.

Diameter are 40 cm.

Normally these shields are made of metal. For a highly placed person of nobility, with the title 'Ras' (duke). This shields were made of leather till end 19th century and are therefore very rare.
A convex round leather Ras shield, of the type of the Ethiopian highlands.
With covered with violet velvet on the front and richly decorated with silver ornamented elements and colored "glass" stones and well as 4 hemispheres, rectangles, bands and individual elements of brass, cut, hallmarked and engraved.
A magnificent fine quality Ethiopian shield of royal quality, reserved for the Imperial family or Ras, elaborately decorated with silver ornaments set with multiple stones.

Attached with decorative nails of silver. A central handle made of leather. For condition see the photo's, with only minor age damage and missing some parts of the silver ornaments.
End 19th century.

Beautiful and old Ethiopian Ras shield with silver decorations. The Amhara peoples used these shields for battle and as prestige items to show rank and importance.
The base material of this shield is leather with metal. This style was known to be used towards the end of the 19th century. The front is covered with a fabric that is remnants of felt. The back of the shield has the original fabric design with the typical embroidered back that only occurs with shields of high-ranking persons. Overall fair condition, with a good patina from age and use.

See a similar example in the Musee Dapper's CHASSEURS ET GUERRIERS; AFRICA: The Art of a Continent, edited by Tom Phillips, (See p. 126 in the above-referenced volume and also, p. 69 in African Shields by Dieter Plaschke and Manfred A. Zirngibl,) see also Marc Ginzberg. AFRICAN FORMS, pp. 168, 171