Shield - South Africa

This stunning South African shield is of an incredibly rare type crafted with quagga hide. The quagga, a distant cousin to the zebra, went extinct in the nineteenth century, making this a highly unusual object. The bold, fluid stripes on the obverse of the shield make an immediate and powerful visual impression, further elaborated by the many small panels ranked vertically down its center. The shield's reverse shows a mottled surface of aged hide.

Quagga hide, tail
18th century to first half of 19th century
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