Shirt of Mail and Plate

Turkish, possibly Istanbul

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455

Shirts constructed of small interlocking rings, called mail, were the principal body defense of Muslim warriors since the time of the Prophet Muhammad. By the late fourteenth century, this flexible defense was reinforced with rigid plates to cover the vital areas of the torso. The engraved and silvered damascened inscriptions on this armored shirt, rendered in a flamboyant kufic script, contain well-wishing phrases utilizing the words "glory" and "wealth."

Shirt of Mail and Plate, Steel, iron, copper alloy, silver, Turkish, possibly Istanbul

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