Object Title





Object Number



Acquired before 1859.

Physical Description

This helmet is constructed of rawhide covered with wadding over which is an outer cover of faded red velvet. The top quarter of the skull is covered by a deep plate that terminates in a small knop. Around the base of the skull is a band of copper gilt tombak, pierced with foliate decoration. At intervals around the skull are strips of pieced copper gilt that connect the top and bottom mounts, and large tear shaped plates. At the front is a small gilt peak, pierced for a nasal. No trace of the nasal fastening now remains. Above the right eye is a gilt copper plume holder. Sewn to the rear edge is a small fabric neck guard with further copper gilt plates as decoration.


Dimensions: The height of the skull is 300 mm, the overall height is 385 mm and the diameter of the skull is 210 mm. Weight: The weight of the helmet is 0.935 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks



Places Turkey

Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, Official catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, no. xv.618, p.120.

Viscount Dillon, Illustrated guide to the Armouries, London, 1910, no. xv.738, p.35.

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


The applied plates are fastened to the bowl by gilded nails that have their inner ends bent into a curl in the same way that the nails holding the linings of Indian armours are formed. There is another example in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, no. 7959, which retains its tombak nasal and has etched decoration including an inscription running round the upper part (TR). Another example is in the Hermitage, St Petersburg, and another in the Museo Stibbert, Florence, Robinson 1974: tav 15a, no. 121. (private communication, Yurij Miller, July 2004; Y Miller, 'Turkish ceremonial helmet fof the 17th century from the Arsenal Collection of the State Hermitage', Reports of the State hermitage Museum LXII, 2004: 148-152). Another example of the group is in Antalya Museum, Turkey.