Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Helmet with Talismanic Inscriptions

Object Name:
18th century
Made in Iran
Steel; damascened with gold
H. 9 3/4 in. .(24.8 cm) Diam. 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm)
Arms and Armor
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
Although this helmet was a serviceable military object, it was probably used as an accessory of a parade armour. Forged from watered steel and damascened in gold with talismanic inscriptions, it contains an invocation to 'Ali, the son-in-law and cousin of the Prophet, and calls upon him for protection against harm and danger. The verses are distinctly Shi'i, and commonly found on objects from the Timurid through the Qajar periods in Iran and Central Asia.
Edward C. Moore (American, New York 1827–1891 New York), New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A King's Book of Kings: Persian Miniatures from Shah Tahmasp's Shahnama of 1528," May 4, 1972–December 31, 1972, no catalog.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gold," April 14, 1973–September 9, 1973, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Balcony Calligraphy Exhibition," June 1, 2009–October 26, 2009, no catalogue.

Indianapolis, IN. Indianapolis Museum of Art. "Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture," November 2, 2012–January 13, 2013, p. 209.

Newark, NJ. Newark Museum. "Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture," February 13, 2013–May 16, 2013, p. 209.

Portland, ME. Portland Museum of Art. "Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture," June 15, 2013–September 8, 2013, p. 209.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Power and Piety: Islamic Talismans on the Battlefield," August 29, 2016–February 13, 2017, no catalogue.

"Gold." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 31, no. 2 (Winter 1972/1973). pp. 69-121.

Al Khemir Sabiha Dr. "Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture." In Beauty and Belief. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, 2012. p. 209, ill.

Alexander, David G., and Stuart W. Pyhrr. "in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." In Islamic Arms and Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. no. 42, pp. 116-118, ill. (color).

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