A wonderful and rare 19th century North Indian all-steel bow decorated allover with gold and silver koftgari damascening with intricate scrolling designs. This is a fully functioning original bow for use, the limbs are thickened in the centre and the the recurved shape works nicely to flex when a string would be attached and pulled.. The ends of the bow are flattened and notched to take the string. The bow unscrews at the handle section with both limbs attaching to the ends of the steel grip.
Steel bows were used throughout islamic warfare and hunting, although slightly less efficient in terms of power, their ease of care and ability to be easily transported were an advantage over the more traditional composite bows of horn wood and sinew that were very susceptible to damp and breakage. Apart from a light region of wear to one part of a limb, and the nock regions the gold and silver remain in amazing condition. A stunning survival of a genuine antique steel bow.