Object Title

Turban helmet (migfer) - Migfer

Turban helmet (migfer) - Migfer



Object Number



From the armoury of Hagia Irene, Istanbul. Purchased via Robert Curzon, about 1842. Lent to the British Museum in 1914, and returned in 1954

Physical Description

This is a conical turban helmet with arch-shaped cut outs for eyes. The nasal is missing. There is rich arabesque decoration and inscription in silver letters on a gold ground. Rivets around the lower edge originally held an applied decorative border. The upper inscription reads, 'li-sahibihi al-sa'ada wa'l-salam wa'l-'afiya wa tul al-'amara sahazat hamama' (to its owner good fortune, peace, and health throughout his lifetime as long as the doves coo). The lower inscription reads, 'al-mu'izz, al-mawid, al-malik, al-mansur, 'izza al-izz, al-da'im wa'al-iqbal wa'al-dawla wa'l-sultan wa'l-salam wa'l-'afiya wa'l-dawla' (glorifier of the faith, victorious, triumphant king, to him be lasting glory, prosperity, wealth, power, peace, health and wealth'.


Dimensions: The circumference of the bowl is 740 mm; height 420mm; width 260mm Weight: The weight of the helmet plus its attached mail coif is 2.2 kg.


Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, Official catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, no. xv.550, p.116.

Viscount Dillon, Illustrated guide to the Armouries, London, 1910, no. xv.685, p.14.

H. R. Robinson, Oriental Armour, London, 1967, pl. XII A.