Title: Helmet

Classification: Helmet

Artist(s): Unknown

Date: c.1838

Dimensions: Circ. 22.5 in.

Museum number: 297

Physical location: Section 2 (Central Hall): Implements of War

Inscriptions:

Akāl Sahāi
(Supported by God)

Zarfishān kard badiyā-e khās
(A special gilded bowl)

Fateh ya shahīd?
(Victor or martyr)

Sambat 1895
(Vikram Samvat 1895 [c. 1838 CE])

This hemispherical close-fitting copper helmet must have been worn by a member of the Sikh royal family or a Sikh noble. Its crowning inverted-lotus-flower in the top center may have held heron feathers, a sign of monarchy. Another similar symbol is denoted by the vertically oriented cusped-cartouche at the helmet’s front. This cartouche appears to substitute a sar-pesh or turban ornament, a characteristic feature of the Sikh aristocracy’s headgear. In keeping with the military character of the helmet, the cartouche is inscribed with a Persian inscription (see details tab). A few extant steel rings in the perforations of its rim indicate the chain mail neck guard it once sported.

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