Object Title

Helmet (top)

Helmet (top)



Object Number



Formerly in Tower Collection?, lent to the British Museum 1914 and returned 1954. Probably xv.17, from Gwalior, presented by the East India Company 1851.

Physical Description

Helmet with low hemispherical bowl surmounted with a grooved quadrangular spike screwed into an applied socket. The lower edge of the skull has a slight groove in which are drilled the holes for attaching the curtain. Above this is are two narrow bands of running foliage in koftgari above which the surface is engraved with a diaper of flowers and leaves gilded on a grey steel ground.
To the front are riveted a sliding nasal with broad leaf-shaped terminals and a pair of lateral plume tubes. Attached to rings piercing the lower edge is a fine mail curtain of butted rings with a pattern of zig-zag bands worked in brass the lower edge terminating in long points at the forward corners with two more at the centre of the back. The lining is of crimson velvet made in four gores with a lower border of chevron patterned braid. The helmet retains its chin ties of tasselled gimp cord.


Dimensions: The skull measures 202 mm from front to back, 205 mm from side to side and is 93 mm high. Weight: The helmet weighs 1.05 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks



Bibliographic References

John Hewitt, Official Catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859: 94, no. xv.17

Harold, Viscount Dillon, Illustrated Guide to the Armouries, Tower of London, London, 1910: 34, xv.211


Identification by a process of elimination by TR, 2009; may not be correct, but it is certainly an old Tower piece.