Object Title

Breastplate (zirh gomlek gobekligi)

Breastplate (zirh gomlek gobekligi)



Object Number



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

Physical Description

The breastplate has a large circular, convex, centre section. It is embossed with a flat central boss and engraved with a 16 petalled flower and border of strapwork, with surround of radiating narrow flutes and engraved inscriptions from the Koran LXXVI,11-12.
Attached to the central plate by narrow bands of mail are five plates for the chest and sides of the breast. On the right, one plate survives to connect with the missing collar plate. These are embossed and engraved with flowers and flames with detail and frames engraved.


Dimensions: Height as mounted: 510mm, width: 380mm; depth: 290mm;

Inscriptions and Marks

The breastplate is engraved with a maker's inscription, 'But God will deliver them from the evil of that day, and will shed over them a light of beauty and a (blissful) joy. And because they were patient and constant. He will reward them with a garden (and [garments of] silk.)'. and a date, 'wazir 067 [or 097] sanat' (AH 1067 or 1097, 1656/7 or 1685/6).


Places Turkey

Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, Official catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, no. xv.555, p.117.

Viscount Dillon, Illustrated guide to the Armouries, London, 1910, no. xv.690, p.46.