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Persian Shield

This round convex shield, which is also referred to as sipar, is etched with figures in Persian style costumes, and various foliage patterns.  This shield also features a damascened band of Kufic script, and scrolling tendril motifs.  Damascening involves inlaying soft or precious metals such as gold or silver, onto a carved ground of hard metal such as iron, bronze or steel.  The term ‘damascening’ refers to the city of Damascus, from where this technique apparently originated. 
This shield has a reinforced rolled back rim, and four flower-shaped deep-domed bosses towards the centre.  These bosses correspond to ring bolts at the back of the shield to which twin hand grips are attached.  A fabric pad would be placed between these hand grips against which the knuckles could rest, thus allowing a firm hold. 
Apart from iron, bronze, silver or other metals, this type of shield could also be moulded out of thick hide such as that of an elephant or rhinoceros.  These leather shields were often flat or only slightly convex, and would feature painted and gilt decoration. 

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