Mesopotamian or Iranian

Not on view

Surviving examples of Sasanian armor are extremely rare, particularly in such stunning condition as this helmet. It consists of a bronze band forming a rim and supporting two arched bands that cross over the top. Between these arched bands there are triangular plates of iron that are overlaid with sheets of silver worked in scale patterns. While the underlying iron is badly corroded, the bronze and silver are amazingly well preserved. Sasanian silversmiths were renowned for their craftsmanship, which can be seen in large silver plates embossed in low relief with royal hunts (for example, a plate in the Met, accession number 1994.402). The Sasanian heavy cavalry was famous for its prowess in battle. These attributes, of artistic and military achievement, are uniquely combined in this remarkable helmet.

Helmet, Bronze, silver, iron, Mesopotamian or Iranian

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