Object Title

Shield (klau)

Shield (klau)



Object Number



Transferred from the Wellcome Museum 1953-5. On loan 221.27 to the Horniman Museum (no.1971.43), Dreadnought Building, August 1988.

Physical Description

Made of wood. The top is broken, but was flat with a cusp at either side. The sides are concave, and the rounded base has a cusp at either sied. At the centre is a large stepped boss, painted with a flower, edged with a foliate scroll, and bordered by two concentric carved wreaths separated by a moulding. Above and below the outer wreath is a carved spray of leaves. The edges are bordered by narrow, plain , carved mouldings, and there is a carved rib running down the centre. At the top are painted two confronted animals. The shield was reinforced by a broad, plaited band across the widest points top and bottom, and retains three narrow plaited bands above and six below the boss.

Inside the shield is a long, vertical wooden hand-grip, and a recess is carved behind the boss.


Dimensions: height 99.6cm (39.3in), max width 51.9cm (20.5in) Weight: The shield could not be removed for weighing.

Inscriptions and Marks

a label attached inside inscribed 'shield. Made of ?sawed wood stained & ? with a circular boss at he centre. Captured from Dyak pirates in a punitive expedition 1848. R21259/1936'.



Compare G.C. Stone, 'Glossary of the construction, decoration and use of arms and armor', Portland, 1934, fig. 456; W. Egerton, 'An illustrated handbook of Indian arms', London, 1880, nos 293-6, p.99.