Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Shirt of Mail and Plate

15th–16th century
Iranian or Turkish
Steel, iron, copper alloy, gold, silver, leather
H. 39 1/4 in. (99.7 cm); W. at shoulders 19 in. (48.26 cm); L. of metal plate at waist 8 1/2 in. (21.59 cm); W. of metal plate at waist 10 1/2 in. (26.67 cm); Wt. 25 lb. 10 oz. (11.61 kg)
Armor for Man
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1904
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 379
Acording to a Venetian ambassador writing in about 1478, the Ak-Koyunlu (White Sheep Turkoman) wore armor of "iron in little squares and wrought with gold and silver tacked together with small mail." Armor of this type seems to have been used throughout eastern Anatolia, Persia, and the Caucasus. This example is inscribed with generalized phrases extolling the power and glory of the ruler ("Glory to our lord . . . the sultan . . . the king") similar to those found on the Ak-Koyunlu turban helmets also in the Museum's collection (04.3.209, .214, .432). Designed for use in battle, the armor is more elaborately decorated than most and was probably also used for ceremonial purposes.
Inscription: Inscriptions on the top plate, left front side: "Glory to our Lord... the sultan;"

On the bottom plate, left front side: "the Sultan Ibrahim;"

On the bottom plate, right front side: "the king, the khan."
Ex. coll.: Duc de Dino, Paris.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Bright Side of the Battle: Symbol and Ceremony in Islamic Arms and Armor," January 17–September 1, 1985.

Cosson, Charles Alexander. Le Cabinet d'Armes de Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Dino. Paris: E. Rouveyre, 1901. p. 111, no. N. 1, pl. 8.

Grancsay, Stephen V. "The New Galleries of Oriental Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16, no. 9 (May 1958). pp. 241–242, ill.

Grancsay, Stephen V., and Stuart W. Pyhrr. Arms & Armor: Essays by Stephen V. Grancsay from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1920–1964. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986. pp. 443–45, fig. 109.1.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Stuart Cary Welch. The Islamic World. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. pp. 85, 87, no. 65, ill.

Alexander, David, Stuart W. Pyhrr, and Will Kwiatkowski. Islamic Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. Cat. no. 5, pp. 28-29, front book jacket illustration, ill.

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