Object Title

Helmet (kolah khud) - Kolah Khud

Helmet (kolah khud) - Kolah Khud



Object Number



Purchased from Arbour Antiques, Poets Arbour, Sheep Street, Stratford upon Avon, 15 January 1986.

Physical Description

The helmet has a hemispherical skull made of one piece to which a lower band is riveted, and a spike attached to the apex. The spike is of square section, with an onion-shaped knop below, and is threaded at the base to fit into a moulded base-plate attached to the skull by four rivets. The curved nasal is made of a rectangular section bar, expanded at the top and bottom into arabesqued onion-shaped terminals. It is attached to the skull by a bracket, riveted through two holes adjacent to two or more, which has moulded terminals and is pierced and threaded at the centre for a screw fastener. The nasal and its bracket are plain, and probably associated. The skull is pierced around the base with small close-set holes, to which the aventail as attached by butted rings. The aventail is made of fine, butted rings. It is formed with a fringe across the front, a deep point at either side of the face and at the centre rear, and three small points at either side between the large points. Brass links are used to decorate the aventail with a band around the top and bottom,above the start of the points, and a geometrical pattern of spots overall.

The whole armour is decorated with etched designs; the helmet with four arabesque panels containg mounted hunters and foliage, seperated by small panels containing foliage above and inscriptions below; the band around the brim with alternate panels of calligraphy and birds amidst vegetation. Each plate of the 'chahar a'ineh' is decorated with a central panel, containing an arabesque and corners of foliage, and a border of caligraphic panels. The bazuband is decorated with a continuous calligraphic border, and a central line of two calligraphic panels, one hunter, and one bust, bordered by hunting scenes at either side in which a mounted archer, followed by a deer, shoots forward at two deer; all within foliage. The shield has five central arabesque panels, containing mounted hunters,two shooting forwards, the others holding a mace, an axe, and a dagger, with a variety of animals below their horses. The bosses are decorated with foliage, and the border is composed of portrait busts, alternating with medallions containing animals and calligraphic panels. On each piece, the decorative elements are outlined and bordered with lines or simple geometric bands of koftgari gold onlay. At least two hands can be seen in the decoration, the shield, and front and one side plate of the 'chahar a'ineh' in one, the rest in the other. A wide variety of motifs and details are found throughout.


SkullHeight255 mm


Places Persia

Bibliographic References

In general, see L P Elwell-Sutton, 'Persian Armour Inscriptions', in R.Elgood (ed.), Islamic Arms and Armour, London, 1979, pp.5-19.