Object Title

Helmet (top) and cuirass (chahar a'ineh)

Helmet (top) and cuirass (chahar a'ineh)



Object Number



Presented by the East India Company, 1851; from Hyderabad.

Physical Description

The helmet has a low, hemispherical skull surmounted by a fluted spike. The surface is divided into six segments by low, chiselled relief panels joining in scroll and strapwork at the top, bearing traces of gold koftgari onlay. There is a band of gold koftgari decoration around the lower edge. At the front of the skull are two tubular plume holders, and at the centre a nasal secured by a hinged catch. All these are decorated in gold koftgari. The aventail is formed of butted brass and iron links producing a chevron pattern The aventail is damaged at the right.The helmet is lined in red velvet.
The cuirass comprises four plates, for the breast, back and either side, the side plates having cut outs for the arms. Each plate is decorated with a band of flowers in gold koftgari around its main edges, and in the centre with low, chiselled rib terminationg in scrolls and strapwork. The plates are joined by straps at he sides and over the shoulders. Each plate is lined with red velvet bordered by a strip of gold braid.


Dimensions: The diameter of the helmet bowl is 215 mm, the height of the bowl being 100 mm, the overall height of the helmet being 600 mm. The height of the front plate is 307 mm, the width is 214 mm, the back plate measures 308 mm by 237 mm. the right side plate being 249 mm by 202 mm and the left 250 mm by 198 mm. Weight: The weight of the Top is 1.225 kg. The weight of the front plate is 0.825 kg, the backplate is 0.835 kg, the right side plate is 0.53kg, the left 0.53 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks



Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, Official catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, no. xv.112-121, p. 98.

Viscount Dillon, Illustrated guide to the Armouries, London, 1910, no. xv.465-474, p. 2.


This was presented as a complete equipment, additionally comprisinga mail shirt, a round shield and a mace of embossed steel. The other pieces did not return from the British Museum in 1953.