IMPORTANT VIETNAMESE ROUND PAINTED WICKER SHIELD
Item Code: AI704-9291
Description: This is a rare and beautiful specimen with original paint made of tightly woven rattan, dating to the late 19th or early 20th century. Unlike the lacquered wood shields produced in this area, few of these spiral wicker shields have survived or ever appear on the market. The large size of this shield would have provided excellent body protection from spears and crossbow arrows and when needed, the warrior could crouch behind it disappearing from view! It features a menacing face with exposed teeth worked in natural red, green, white and charcoal paints. The central raised boss resembles a Pig's nose. The exact origin or mythology of the aggressive face is unknown but it was intended to imbue the warrior with power, offer him protection in battle and to frighten enemies. The application of paint on this example as well as its fine state of preservation makes it special if not unique. In good condition overall with only about 7 percent loss due to traditional ware and use. These shields are sparsely documented but are not undocumented. A drawing of a similar shield can be seen in figure 66 page 132 of "Shield" From the collections of the Barbier-Mueller Museum by Prestel. It is identified as coming from the Quang Ngai region in Central Vietnam.
Dimensions: Diameter 32" (81.5 cm), Depth 8" (20 cm)