Description & Technical information

Probably worn by high-ranking military personnel, this remarkably well-preserved suit of armour is made of iron and brass. The helmet has a low hemispherical skull surmounted by a central plume holder and two feather holders on either side of the frontal area decorated with a pattern of foliage in gold koftgari. In addition, there is a broad band of floral ornament in koftgari encircling the edges of the helmet. On the front side of the helmet, there is also a sliding nasal guard with a boteh designed hook to hold it in its raised position. In addition, there is an aventail of fine butted iron worked with a pattern of horizontal zig-zag lines in brass rings to protect the wearer’s ears and neck. Similarly, the long-sleeved coat and trousers are formed of butted iron rings linked together with zig-zag decorations in brass.
There are two comparable eighteenth-century full pieces of armour in the Royal Armouries collection in London (see Accession Number: XXVIA.6 and XXVIA.8) as well as a comparable helmet in the same collection (XXVIA.152). In addition, there is a chainmail coat in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London which also has butted links in a zig-zag pattern (Accession Number: 3183 (IS)).

Period:  Late 18th century
Origin:  India
Medium: Iron and brass
Dimensions: 178 x 65 cm (70¹/₈ x 25⁵/₈ inches)
Literature: Further Literature: 
Ravinder Reddy. 2018. Arms & Armour of India, Nepal & Sri Lanka: Types, Decoration and Symbolism. London: Hali Publications Ltd.
Howard Ricketts and ‎Philippe Missillier. 1988. Splendeur des Armes Orientales / Splendour of Oriental Arms. Paris: Act-Expo.

Categories: Oriental and Asian Art