Object Title

Helmet (chichak)

Helmet (chichak)



Object Number



Acquired from the arsenal of Hagia Irene, Istanbul. Purchased about 1842 from Hon. Robert Curzon. Acquired before 1859. Lent to the British Museum in 1914, returned 1954.

Physical Description

Sipahi helmet with circular skull. There is a small peak at the front, which is riveted to the skull and is slotted for a sliding nasal guard which is secured by a staple and formerly a screw (missing since 1965). On the left hand side of the skull, above the peak, is a short plume tube attached by two rivets (there is a rivet missing from the right hand side of the peak). The cheekpieces are formed of three plates, and there is a cutaway at the front edge to assist peripheral vision of the wearer. They are suspended from restored leather straps riveted to the skull. To assist hearing there is a three layered, almond shaped embossed design with holes punched in it at the centre of each cheekpieces. There is a short concave neckguard attached at the centre by a hinged bracket and at the sides by short restored chains. The helmet has a large jagged hole in the right hemisphere that has been repaired with a plate riveted on the inside. There is also a smaller hole in the crown that has been similarly repaired as well as four smaller holes on the side and back of the right hemisphere, which have not been repaired. There are rivet holes for the missing lining around the edges of the skull. The skull has a rounded plate with a small fluted point on the top.



Dimensions: Skull height 164mm, overall height 295mm, skull diameter 221mm Weight: 1590g

Inscriptions and Marks

No marks


Places Turkey

Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, Official catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, no. xv.566, p.118.

Viscount Dillon, Illustrated guide to the Armouries, London, 1910, no. xv.701, p.35.

H. R. Robinson, Oriental Armour, London, 1967, pl. IX D.