Picture 20 of 31 from Oriental Arms and Armour

KAVACHA, Armour
ca. 1600-1626

Central India Decann, Bijapur Sultanate (1490-1686)

Steel

Height 105 cm ; Weight: 14 kg

The Kavacha, or combined armour of chainmail and plate was worn by noblemen horse riders to protect the torso and arms.

This piece is built in steel and features both a chainmail tunic and lamella plates in the torso and back areas. With long sleeves and coming down to the knee, it is remarkably well preserved, with no tears or mending.

The armour displays two engraved inscriptions one, in the outside part of the top right plate, and another, on the inside, in Hindi and Indo-Aryan script, and in devanagari Persian writing, revealing that it was captured in 1689, in the spoils resulting from the Adoni siege in the Deccan, where the famous battle between the Mughal army and the Deccan Sultans took place.

This Kavacha was part of the group of arms which made up the arsenal of the Bikaner fort, capital of the Adilshahi dynasty, which was captured by one of the generals of the Aurangzeb (r.1659-1707), the Maharajah of Binaker - Anup Singh when he defeated the last descendent of the Adilshahi dynasty of Jaipur.

Anup Singh (1669-1698) was the oldest son of the Karn Singh Rajah (1631-1669), the house chief of the Aurangzeb Emperor.

The very high quality of the manufacture of this armour shows that this was a piece worn by a high dignitary.

The manufacture of this sort of chainmail tunics, which belonged to the arsenal of the Bikaner fort, was traditionally associated to the city of Jaipur, in the Deccan.

Bibl.: Alexander, 1992, p. 160, fig. 100

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06-26-2013, 06:52 AM
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Oriental Arms and Armour
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Jorge Caravana