Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, by exchange, 2007
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 380
Found in Tibet and rare for both its form and its inscription, this helmet was probably made in central or western Asia and represents an important link between the Islamic cultures of central Asia and the Middle East. The brow of the helmet is encircled by an Arabic inscription damascened in silver that reads in part: "Made at the order of his Excellency, the noble, the exalted, the holy warrior, Sultan Mahmud Jani Beg Khan." Based on comparisons with the inscriptions on fourteenth century Mongol coinage, this appears to refer to Jambek ibn Ozbek, also known as Jalal al-Din Jani Beg ibn Ozbeg, ruler of the Blue Horde and Golden Horde of the Mongols from 1342 to 1357. If this attribution is correct, this helmet would be the only one in existence that bears the name of a contemporary Mongol ruler.