Rare South Indian Girdle or Peti Fabric Armour with velvet and silk embroidery

A most interesting South Indian Fabric and Hide body girdle. The use of fabric armour was popular throughout India, particularly in the South of the continent, the fabric helmets and cuirasses 'peti' often spendidly decorated, with a central filling of padded cotton and leather which records show were very effective in combatting sword cuts and even bullets! Most famously Tipu Sultan the tiger of Mysore fought in this kind of armour, a set of which survived the battle of Seringapatam and was sold at auction in 2005. This example lacks the padding and thickness of these very few surviving examples, as it is relatively thin it is curious exactly the function it served although it seems likely it is related to these body cuirasses. The backing of patterned silk covers the main body of thick leather, with some slight central padding, the front is covered with bright red velvet embroidered in patterns with coloured silks. two double rows of silver rings allow the girdle to be worn around the waist, and a cord with metallic thread detail and a green semi precious stone form the means for tying it on. There is some minor wear to the front velvet mainly on the lugs holding the silver rings, and the silk backing survives in extremely fragile condition. 18th century, Mysore/South India. **The additional picture shown here shows a set of Tipu Sultans personal fabric armour in the Royal Armouries Collection of exactly the same form and with the same fastenings as the example offered here. indo persian