The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Kulah Khud
  • Kulah Khud
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Persia
  • 3rd quarter of the 19th century
  • Steel, iron, coppery alloy, gold, silver, textile (cotton)
  • Diameter: 20 cm
  • Inscription: Cartouche a. The Sultan; Cartouch b. Son of Sultan; Cartouche c. Shah Suleiman of; Cartouche d. Safavid.
  • OA1494
  • Oriental Armoury
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Kulah Khud or helmet, composed of a watered steel bowl with a riveted iron brim. At the four ‘corners’ are four embossed aftabi (Persian) or suraj-mukhi (Hindi), literally ‘sun face’. Each face has been delicately etched with details such as eyebrows, curly tendrils, and lips. The bottom of each sun face is bordered with line and the top of each sun face is bordered by rays, all executed in gold false-damascening. The iron brim contains cartouches with alternating silver and gold false-damascened flowers. The bowl is lined with printed cotton.

    The edge of the base of the spike is decorated with a floral pattern. The base of the spike itself features arabesque and floral patterns in which four cartouches containing Persian are entwined. The four-sided triangular spike is also covered in floral patterns. All the decoration is executed in gold false-damascening.

    Two plume-holders are riveted to the center of the bowl and flank a nasal guard. Their bases are leaf in shape with scalloped, decorative edges. The plume-holders feature flowers 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 the bottom end, in a pointed, fanned-out, and scalloped-edged shape. Like the rest of the helmet, it is decorated with gold false-damascening in floral patterns.

    The aventail is connected to the helmet by larger mail links. It comprises butted steel links with a design of diamonds in copper alloy links. . The aventail terminates into dags of various sizes, the smaller ones comprising copper alloy links. 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.

    The upper decorative roundel on the nasal guard has been broken off and the break has been filed flat. This helmet is accompanies the shield OA1493.