Rare antique Beluchi shield.Our Beluchi shield is identical to the one described and illustrated by Stone in 1934: Thick hide (probably rhino) with a steel rim set with 24 engraved (flower shape) brass bosses. Four large engraved brass bosses for the handles. The remainder of the front is almost covered with brass ornaments.
The flat brass ornaments just inside the iron ring have a shape that strongly resembles the hilt of a Saidi khanjar!!! See detailed photos in the slide-show.
The shield is held by two handles fastened to ring bolts that pass through the shield and are riveted to bosses on the outside. Between the handles there is a square cushion for the knuckles to rest against. The handles are so placed that, when tightly grasped, they force the backs of the fingers against the cushion giving a very firm and comfortable hold. The shield of rhinoceros hide offers the best resistance.
This shield is probably the richly ornamented buckler that Vincenzo Maurizi is referrring to in his book in 1819.
Note: Modern fakes of this type of shield are offered on the Internet, but these tend to lack the detail visible on ours. Omani Sultans always had personal Baluchi guards to protect them. Probably because they were very good sword fighters. Diameter 30 cm.