Helmet

Helmet

1600s

Steel with gold and brass

Overall: 9.6 cm (3 3/4 in.); Diameter: 20.7 cm (8 1/8 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1919.62

Location

Description

Mughal soldiers wore hemispherical steel helmets to battle. This helmet’s surface features decorative floral patterns created using a process called damascening, in which gold wire was hammered into steel grooves. A leaf-shaped guard slides down in front of the nose for protection. The short tubes on either side of the nasal guard were for holding plumes, most popularly black heron feathers or white aigrettes. The spike that would have been on the apex has broken off. Also missing is the stuffed cotton padding that lined the interior. Chain mail made up of interlocking steel wire rings protected the ears, neck, and shoulders.

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