The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Kulah Khud
  • Kulah Khud
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Persia
  • 19th century
  • Steel, iron, gold, copper alloy
  • Inscription: Ya ḵẖūd ṣaiqalī tū magar mihr anwarī/ ya kās ḥaiyāt ja dariya akhzari/ Rustam t̤ibyasan hama zar kulāh sari/ Bahram sū latan hama rā zīn afsari/ Dāra bam’arr ki sad Sikandari/ mihrab irāḥat? āz tu’st bi ṣad Sohrāb/ ḥaq rā agar ba-zīr shamshir chā maikashi/ marjān agri chā ḵẖūn-rez tu jā ḵẖanjarī. Oh helmet you are polished, you are like the bright sun,
    oh you are the cup of life from sky.
    You are a golden hat of head, pure like the character of Rustam
    You are a diadem for everybody, like Bahram who was strength
    If Dara is in the battle you will be barrier like Alexander (the Great)
    There are hundred complaints to you because Sohrāb stayed at home (?)
    Why you killed the justice?
    If you are like Mars, you are more blood-shedding than the dagger.
  • OA1471
  • Oriental Armoury
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Kulah Khud or helmet, composed of a watered steel bowl with a riveted iron brim. The bowl is divided into sixteen segments created by the decorative gold false-damascening, which radiates from the base of the spike at the top of the helmet down to the base of the bowl. It terminates in a shape similar to a trefoil with flowers and arabesques. The iron brim contains cartouches with Persian inscriptions that are executed in gold false-damascening.

    The base of the spike is decorated with four cartouches with Arabic inscriptions in the four corners that are amongst floral and arabesque patterns in gold false-damascening. The spike is four-sided and bears traces of large gold false damascened flowers.

    Two plume-holders are riveted to the center of the bowl and flank a nasal guard. The bases of the plume-holders are leaf in shape with scalloped, decorative edges. They feature pairs of birds in gold false-damascening.

    The nasal guard is secured to the bowl by a screw. It consists of a long rod that extends past the bowl and terminates, at both ends, in a leaf in shape with scalloped, decorative edges. They are similar to the shape of the plume-holder bases. They are decorated with pairs of birds in gold false-damascening. The rod is decorated with foliate scrolls in gold false-damascening.

    The aventail is connected to the helmet by large mail links. It comprises butted steel links with a design of dots and horizontal lines in copper alloy links. The aventail terminates into dags of various sizes. Some dags are longer than others so that they drape down the shoulders. The front dags on both sides are both all riveted and solid. A ‘swallow’s’ tail is formed at the back of the helmet to protect the back of the neck.

    The shape of the helmet and design of the helmet is of standard Persian type. The decorative program and the use of false damascening were common in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This helmet is nearly identical to OA 1450, OA 1463, OA 1798, and OA 1800. It is similar to OA 1809, OA 2199, and OA 2336 with regard to form and layout of the decoration. OA 1441 has is also comparable but is executed in true encrusting. A similar helmet is in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection, 02.5.5.