Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Ceremonial Helmet

Date:
18th century
Culture:
Chinese
Medium:
Steel, copper, gold, silk, metallic thread
Dimensions:
H. including nape defense 21 3/4 in. (55.2 cm); H. excluding nape defense 11 3/4 in. (29.8 cm); W. 8 in. (20.3 cm); D. 10 in. (25.4 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 7.5 oz. (2027 g)
Classification:
Armor for Man
Credit Line:
Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935
Accession Number:
36.25.5a
Not on view
The excellent quality and elaborate ornamentation of this helmet indicate that it was made for a very high-ranking nobleman or military official. It is decorated with applied gold ornament that features the Buddhist mantra Om mani padme hum in Lantsa characters. The Lantsa alphabet was used often for sacred inscriptions and texts in Tibet, China, and other Buddhist countries. The helmet is very similar to one that was donated to a Tibetan monastery in 1757, by the Chinese Emperor Qinglong (1736–1795).
Inscription: Decoration of applied gold ornament features the Buddhist mantra "Om mani padme hum."
Ex. coll.: George Cameron Stone.George Cameron Stone, New York (until d. November 18, 1935; his bequest to MMA).
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