GRAPHIC DAYAK FIGHTING SHIELD, BORNEO
Period/Date: Circa 1900-1915
Materials: Jelutong Wood, Charcoal oil Paint, Red Pigments.
Description: This fine quality warrior's shield (kelabit) has very powerful graphics. The front has a seated figure with large "udog" monster face and stylized "aso" motifs in the background. Its impressive back side is complex and embellished with similar motifs. A small knife "pisau raute" was used to etch the design before they applied the paint which is typically associated with 19th century techniques of manufacture. It has several special features which make it distinctive. For example there is a raised scalloped spine on the back spanning 32.5 inches. Its medial ridge on the front is elegantly formed by steep sloping angles (you and get a sense of in at least one of the photos). It retains 90 percent of its original paint of black oil soot and red. It is reinforced by four horizontal bands of bound rattan which kept the wood from splintering apart when struck by a Spear or Mandau sword. The binding is perfect with no loss or damage. It is in good condition showing obvious wear, use and soiling. Stable age cracks and one chip to a small section of the back spine.
Dimensions: Height: 49.75" (32 cm), Width 13.5" (126 cm)
Air Vice Marshall David Vaughan Carnegie