Object Title

Arm defence (bazuband) - Bazuband

Arm defence (bazuband) - Bazuband



Object Number



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

Physical Description

The arm defence for the left arm is composed of a main plate shaped to cover the outside of the arm and the elbow, with a slight flange at the wrist. It is fitted on the inner edge, by the wrist, with two small rectangular plates attached to the main plate and to each other by five rows of butted links. Each has a slight flange at the wrist. The defence was fastened to the arm by three straps, attached by loops with hasps at the lower edge, near the elbow, and at either side of the extension plates at the wrist and buckles at the upper edge. The back of the hand and the thumb are protected by a panel of butted mail, made of iron links with geometrically disposed spots formed of groups of brass links. The mail is sewn to a panel of dark brown leather, lined with white-striped red cotton, the hand having one piece of fabric, the thumb two, and the wrist one transverse piece. The hand defence is riveted to the main plate and extension plate by five externally flush brass rivets, with broad, domed heads inside. Across the palm, fingers, and end of the thumb are sewn three cotton straps, woven in black, white purple and blue. The main plate has a lining of pink, white and blue cotton, glued inside and edged with the same binding used for the straps across the hand. The upper buckle on the 'bazuband' is modern, and the nasal and its bracket are associated. All the straps are modern.

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.


Dimensions:bazuband, length 54.8cm (21.6in), Weight: bazuband 11lb 6.75 oz (0.65kg)

Inscriptions and Marks

Dated at the right side of breastplate 1201 H (1786/7 AD).


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.