The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Kulah Khud
  • Kulah Khud
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Persia
  • 18th century
  • Steel, iron, gold, brass
  • 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/ Dārab 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.
  • OA1571
  • Reserve Vault 3
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  • Kulah Khud or helmet, composed of a watered steel bowl is decorated with eight cartouche-shaped panels created by gold false-damascening. The lower brim of the helmet contains cartouches that alternate with Persian inscriptions and large flowers that are all executed in gold false-damascening.

    The base of the spike is decorated with floral patterns in gold false-damascening. The spike is bears decorative edges with large gold false-damascened flowers in between them.

    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 adjustable 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. Like the rest of the helmet, it is decorated with gold false-damascening in floral patterns.

    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. 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. A similar helmet is OA 1798 (in both style and inscription) and one in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection, 02.5.5.