Object Title

Cuirass and helmet (peti)

Cuirass and helmet (peti)



Object Number



Acquired from the collection of the Duke of York before 1859.

Physical Description

The cuirass is formed of a quilted fabric belt, covered in red velvet and embroidered with a repeating pattern of flowers in gold thread. It is lined with blue and white cotton, and fastened through five pairs of brass loops at the front, by the original gold covered cord; two of the loops at the left are missing. The helmet has a low skull divided into six segments, a peak, side defences of double U-shape, and a deep, trapezoid neck defence. It is covered in red velvet embroidered with panels of gold flowers, and bound around the base of the skull with a five-banded turban of dark green silk. The helmet cord is formed of two broad lengths of black silk. The inside of the neck defence is lined in blue silk brocade, worked with a diaper of flowers in gold.


Dimensions: The circumference of the hat is 820 mm, the length of the neck flap is 325 mm. The legth of the peti is 840 mm, the depth is 220 mm. Weight: The weight of the helmet is 1.35 kg, the weight of the peti is 1.4kg.

Inscriptions and Marks


Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, Official catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, no. xv.406-7, p. 111.

W. Egerton, An illustrated handbook of Indian arms, London, 1880, no. 587T, p. 124.

Viscount Dillon, Illustrated guide to the Armouries, London, 1910, no. xv.477-8, p. 14.

H.R. Robinson, Oriental armour, London, 1968.

C.A. Bayly, The Raj, India and the British 1600-1947, London, National Portrait Gallery, 1990, no. 162, p. 157.

S. Z. Haider, Islamic arms and armour of Muslim India, Lahore, 1991, pl. 36.

Thom Richardson, An introduction to Indian arms and armour, Leeds, Royal Armouries, 2007: 36


Another helmet of this group was sold at Sotheby's, New York, 13 January 1995, lot 1341. It was first noticed by Z Zygulski at a dealer's in New York in 1994.