Sunday, April 26, 2009

Protective Shield from Ethiopia

I LOVE NATURAL OBJECTS. RUSTED METAL. OBJECTS FROM NATURE, enjoyed exactly as they are found (rocks, shells, bones, twigs, leaves) are pretty incredible. But sometimes you may find a natural object that has been transformed— like this C. 1920 (or older) hippo shield from the Sidamo people in Ethiopia. This is a fascinating piece, and very rare. It’s made from the rough hide of a hippo, and was used for hunting and protection. It was definitely used, as evidenced by the four stitched and actual old repairs where it was pierced by spears or animals. It is very thick and tough, and has a well worn handle in the middle of the inside. It is just over 2 feet wide and tall and over 6 inches thick.

I found this on 1stdibs. It is priced at $1,800 through the Mary Ann Jones Antiques in Los Angeles. Phone: 310-391-0072.

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