Elephant Armour

Elephants played a role in warfare from the first millennium BC until the 19th century. They were used mainly in India and Southeast Asia but also occasionally in western Asia, north Africa, Spain and Italy.

During battles trained war elephants were able to trample men and horses or pick them up and throw them. They also performed an important function as intimidating vantage platforms from which rulers and high-ranking officials could direct their forces.

Elephants were prominent targets on the battlefield and their protections was important. From at least the 11th century AD until well into the Mughal period, sources from across the Indian subcontinent describe or illustrate war elephants equipped with different types of bargustavan-i-pil (elephant armour).

The reputation of war elephants was so fearsome that their true military value is difficult to assess. *

Elephant Armour

Elephant Armour

Elephant Armour

This example of elephant armour  (bargustavan-i-pil) is from India and probably dated late 16th – 17th century.

This is the only known surviving example of a near-complete mail and plate elephant armour in any public collection in the world. It was probably made in an Indian arsenal in the late 16th or 17th century, but it is difficult to be certain exactly where or for whom.

The mail and plate structure for body armour was used mostly in northern and central India during this time, and is often associated more with the equipment of Muslim states. Yet this armour is decorated with peacocks, lotus blooms and fish, perhaps suggesting it was produced in an area which retained elements of Hindu culture.

The armour would originally have been formed of eight panels, three at either side of the body and one each for the head and the throat. Two of the main sections from the right side of the elephant are missing. *

Elephant Armour

The armour also has a pair of tusk swords that attached to the sawn-off tusks of the elephant.

When wielded by a charging elephant, these tusk swords would have been fearsome weapons. They are extremely robust with massive reinforced points and rings which presumably allowed the sockets to be strapped firmly over the shortened tusks.

Accounts from the 15th and 16th centuries mention South Asian war elephants wearing tusk swords whilst ravaging enemies on the battlefield or battering fort defences. However, contemporary references to tusk swords become less frequent from the time of the Mughal era. This implies that they dropped out of frequent practical use. Surviving tusk swords are extremely rare.*

*from information boards next to the exhibit

No Comments CherryPie on Mar 25th 2019

Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but wealth gathered by labour shall increase.

Proverbs 13:11

Remember the Poor

No Comments CherryPie on Mar 24th 2019

… I have a post (on war elephants) ready to share but I am unable to upload the photos to accompany it.


Hopefully normally service will be resumed soon…

4 Comments CherryPie on Mar 23rd 2019

Tiger Hunt

This scene shows a wounded tiger turning and attacking his pursuers. The incident is described in ‘Sport in Many Lands’, a book written by H. A. L (Henry Astbury Leveson) ‘The Old Shekarry’, one of the most famous game hunters of Victorian times.

Levison served in the Indian army from 1845 to 1854 and returned on hunting trips between 1856  and 1860. The events described here probably took place during his army service.*

Tiger Hunt

Tiger Hunt

*information from a sign board next to the display

18 Comments CherryPie on Mar 20th 2019

Cross the meadow and the stream and listen as the peaceful water brings peace upon your soul.

Maximillian Degenerez

Shibden Mill

12 Comments CherryPie on Mar 18th 2019

Baitings Reservoir

Baitings Reservoir is a large water supply reservoir operated by Yorkshire Water close to Ripponden in the West Yorkshire Pennines. It lies in the valley of the River Ryburn and is the higher of two reservoirs built to supply Wakefield with water and was completed in 1956.[1] The lower reservoir is Ryburn Reservoir.

Baitings Reservoir

Baitings Reservoir

Baitings Reservoir

Ryburn Reservoir

12 Comments CherryPie on Mar 12th 2019

The sunrise, of course, doesn’t care if we watch it or not. It will keep on being beautiful, even if no one bothers to look at it.

Gene Amole

Sunrise at Shibden Mill

12 Comments CherryPie on Mar 10th 2019

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