An extremely rare pair of Indian Laquered black hide Dastana arm guards. Making up the traditional set of North Indian armour with Char Aina cuirass, Top helmet, mail shirt and Dastana, these pieces of equipment are most often found in steel. Even though they must once have been fairly common, as with rawhide armour from Europe and other parts of the world, very few examples have survived and certainly not in as good condition as these, retaining their inned wool and silk lining, and gilt catches and hinges. The hand guard also retain their rivetted mail protection, and padded wool and silk mitts beneath, one retaining the original thumb loop to keep the handguard close. Similarly simple but extremely practical Dhal shields can be found, and the contrast of black lacquer and gold details provides a very dramatic impression. Probably 18th century, but possibly earlier.