The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Helmet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • India
  • 19th century
  • Brightened steel, gold, brass, iron and velvet, damascened (Koftgari)
  • Height: 37.4 cm, including the camail
    Weight: 1.27 kg
  • OA1769
  • Oriental Armoury
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The richly gold-damascened helmet-skull is of burnished iron, shaped to accommodate the top-knot of hair that is worn for religious reasons by all devout Sikhs; this type of helmet is always therefore specifically Sikh in origin. It is furnished with a tippet (camail) of fine butt-jointed brass and iron mail worked in a diaper pattern, with a dagged bottom edge. There is in fact a slight flaw in the metal of the helmet skull, just to one side, but it has been cleverly concealed by the maker, who has applied a bird damascened in gold directly over it. Another bird has been applied to the other side, in order to balance the design.