Helmet

Date: ca. 1560

Geography: probably Istanbul

Culture: Turkish, probably Istanbul

Medium: Steel, iron, gold, silver, copper alloy

Dimensions: H. 10 3/4 in. (27.8 cm); Wt. 5 lb. 11 oz. (2580 g)

Classification: Helmets

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1904

Accession Number: 04.3.456a

Description

This helmet was forged from watered steel and decorated in gold with arabesques and Koranic inscriptions. It is very similar to one now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, made about 1560 for a grand vizier of the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (reigned 1520–66). Both helmets presumably were made in one of the imperial workshops, possibly in Istanbul. Although this helmet is a practical military object, judging from its fine materials and ornamentation, it must have been created primarily as part of a parade armor and as a symbol of rank.

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