A finely made ‘Fakirs Crutch’ from India, 18th Century. This is an unusually fine example, and unusual in the use of arabic calligraphy to create a decorative panel near the arm rest. These supports were used to rest against when seated as a prop; although termed ‘Fakirs Crutch’ they were used by princes and ‘gentlemen of leisure’. Often concealing a blade or knife within. The arm rest part of this example is made from coiled steel to give a ‘sprung’ support, they end fittingly with snakes heads with inlaid copper eyes. The shaft of the support is pleasingly shaped with extremely finely engraved floral decorative borders to each section. The upper area is thickly overlaid with engraved silver, with two additional side panels of pierced and engraved silver in the form of arabic characters. A related example of similar style from the reserve collection of the De Young | Legion of Honour Museum San Francisco can be seen online art.famsf.org/crutch-fakir-pm80101 .