Object Title

Shaffron (At alinlici)

Shaffron (At alinlici)



Object Number



From the armoury of Hagia Irene, Istanbul. Purchased via. Robert Curzon, c.1842.

Physical Description

The shaffron consists of a mainplate, boxed at the edges and shaped for the ears and the eyes. Across the forehead is a standing flange embossed out of the plate. Above the flange is an embossed triangle, whilst below it is a stylised face with bulging eyes and straight slit mouth. Straight embossed ribs radiate from the chin that might represent the whiskers of a lion or the beard of a human. Embossed just above the nose is a small diamond. At the top, attached by leather is a shield shaped poll plate. Attached to either side of the mainplate by five rows of mail are flat cheek pieces with a curved outer edge, each being embossed with a stylised many petalled flower. There are holes for sewing in the lining around the eye holes, the ears and the edges of the cheek pieces.


Dimensions: The length of the main plate is 495 mm, the maximum width is 258 mm. The poll plate is 90 by 82 mm and the cheek pieces are 142 by 274 mm. Weight: The weight of the shaffron is 1.7 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks

The right eye of the embossed face is punched with the St. Irene mark.


Places Turkey

Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, Official catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, no. xv.574, p.118.

Viscount Dillon, Illustrated guide to the Armouries, London, 1910, no. xv.709.


The poll plate now attached to the shaffron has been modified from a helmet cheek piece.