Arms and armour feature as a central part of Indian culture from earliest times. The heroes of early epic stories such as the Mahabharata ride on chariots and shoot bows. Archery plays a central role in all Indian military until the widespread introduction of firearms in the 18th century.
A helmet from the arsenal of Tipu Sultan.
Dates from 1790 | Object number: XXVIA.139
Our elephant armour is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest animal armour in the world.
An Indian dagger from the late 17th century with the hilt carved in the shape of a horse’s head.
Dates from 1690 | Object number: XXVID.145
Sikh flintlock pistols from the early 19th century.
Dates from 1900 | Object number: XXVIF.217
This one of very few helmets, all made in Lahore, with skull shaped in the form of the Sikh turban (patka).
Dates from 1825 | Object number: XXVIA.138