1 November 2015

Ding Pai (釘牌)

Ming Dynasty Spiked Pavise
Front (right) and back (left) view of a Ding Pai, from 'Bing Jing (《兵鏡》)'.
Ding Pai (釘牌, spiked shield) is a modified Ai Pai (挨牌) that is reinforced with bamboo and covered in iron spikes. Although dangerous looking, Ding Pai is not intended as offensive weapon, as its size and the way it is gripped (i.e. with straps) prevent it to be used effectively for bashing. Instead, Ding Pai is designed to be discarded should the need to retreat arise — the spiked shield serves as makeshift caltrop to slow the advance of pursuers.

The shield was already in use since the early days of Ming Dynasty as an anti-cavalry device.

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