Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Turban Helmet

Date:
late 15th century
Culture:
Western Iranian, in the style of Turkman armor
Medium:
Steel, iron, silver, copper alloy
Dimensions:
H. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm); Wt. 3 lb. 5 oz. (1496 g)
Classification:
Helmets
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1904
Accession Number:
04.3.461
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
Helmets of this type are usually called turban helmets because of their large bulbous shape and the flutings that imitate the folds of a turban. Because certain dervish groups wore turbans wound with a prescribed number of folds to represent an important mystical number, it is likely that turban helmets were regarded not merely as armor but also a kind of religious insignia, their very shape marking the wearer as a fighter in the Holy War. Turban helmets, together with mail-and-plate armor of matching decoration, were intended for the heavy cavalry and are recorded as early as the fourteenth century. This example appears to have belonged to the dynasty of the Ak-Koyunlu (White Sheep Turkoman) that ruled northwestern Iran and Anatolia in the fifteenth century. The inscriptions, damascened with gold and silver, glorify temporal rulers, wish the owner well, or give advice on how to attain virtue.
Inscription: Nine medallions inscribed individually: "Power" (or "Sovereignty"); "the Sultan"; "the knowing"; "Sovereignty"; "complete" ("complete sovereignty"); [?]; "the mass" ("the crowd"?); "the blesses"; "the world" (?); on the top of the helmet bowl: "Everlasting glory and prosperity and power; the sultan and ..."; on the nasal: possibly a name, but not easily decipherable (Partial reading by Manuel Keene, Islamic Department, 1973).

Marking: Stamped with the Constantinople armory mark.
Ex coll.: Duc de Dino, Paris.
Cosson, Charles Alexander. Le Cabinet d'Armes de Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Dino. Paris: E. Rouveyre, 1901. p. 113, no. N. 11.

Stone, George Cameron. A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times, Together with Some Closely Related Subjects. Portland, Maine, 1934. p. 41, fig. 54.

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. pp. 83-84, cat. no. 28, ill.

Related Objects

Shirt of Mail and Plate

Artist: Date: 15th–16th century
Accession Number: 04.3.456b
Date: 15th–16th century Medium: Steel, iron, copper alloy, gold, silver, leather Accession: 04.3.456b On view in:Gallery 379

Helmet

Artist: Date: early 16th century
Accession Number: 04.3.208
Date: early 16th century Medium: Steel, iron, copper alloy, leather Accession: 04.3.208 On view in:Gallery 379

Helmet

Artist: Date: dated A.H. 1223/A.D. 1808–9
Accession Number: 36.25.119
Date: dated A.H. 1223/A.D. 1808–9 Medium: Steel, iron silver, copper alloy (niello), gold, leather Accession: 36.25.119 On view in:Gallery 379

Turban Helmet

Artist: Date: 1478–ca. 1490
Accession Number: 04.3.211
Date: 1478–ca. 1490 Medium: Steel, iron, silver Accession: 04.3.211 On view in:Gallery 455

Pair of Thigh and Knee Defenses

Artist: Date: 15th century
Accession Number: 36.25.55a, b
Date: 15th century Medium: Steel, iron, copper alloy, silver, leather Accession: 36.25.55a, b On view in:Gallery 455