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
    1800 - 1899
  • Steel, iron, gold, copper alloy, textile (velvet)
  • Inscription: īn khūd chu khurshīd ki barāmad zi sar-i kūh
    z’ āhan gashta būd murassa‘ u zar u sīm
    hamchu falak-i hashtum akhtar-rā ārāyish
    basar-i falakī … ki bast dar-rā
    az shahr-i farkhunda-pay ablaq-i barq
    alqissa, rubūdan-i sar-i sultān-i javānbakht
    īn khūd-i murassa‘ ba-saram dilāvurd
    chu būd ān sar tāj-i kay u afsar-i qaysar This helmet, like the sun emerging from over a mountain
    of iron was gem-studded and gold and silver
    like the eighth celestial sphere, adornment of the stars
    over a sphere…that closed the door
    the steed of lightning from a felicitous city
    in short, taking the head of the lucky ruler
    this gem-studded helmet on my head gave me courage
    since that head was Chosroes’ crown and Caesar’s diadem
  • OA1474
  • Oriental Armoury
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Kulah Khud or helmet, composed of a watered steel bowl with a riveted iron brim. The bowl features four large cartouches with hunting scenes chiseled in low relief. The cartouches are bordered with gold false-damascening. The rest of the bowl is decorated in a large arabesque pattern in gold false-damascening. The iron brim contains cartouches that alternate with Persian inscriptions and large flowers that are all executed in gold false-damascening. To enhance the decoration on both the bowl and rim, the gold has been tooled and punched. The bowl is lined with red velvet.

    The base of the spike is decorated with four cartouches with animals chiseled in low relief. The cartouches are bordered with, and surrounded by arabesques in, gold false damascening. The spike is four-sided and bears flowers chiseled in low relief.

    Two plume-holders are riveted to the center of the bowl and flank a nasal guard. A third can be found directly above the nasal guard and near the base of the spike. The bases of the plume-holders are leaf in shape with scalloped, decorative edges. They are chiseled with birds in low relief that are surrounded by gold false-damascened borders.

    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 pointed, fanned-out, and scalloped-edged shape. The ends contain pairs of birds chiseled in low relief and surrounded by gold false-damascened borders.

    The aventail is connected to the helmet by large mail links. It comprises butted iron 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. A ‘swallow’s’ tail is formed at the back of the helmet to protect the back of the neck.

    especially nineteenth centuries. The velvet lining is mostly likely of nineteenth century European manufacture. This helmet resembles OA 1487; it is the same decorative scheme but was not made by the same workshop. It is also comparable to OA 1436 and OA 2270.