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Persian Helmet

The featured bowl-shaped spiked helmet is known as a Kulah Khud, and is mounted with an adjustable nasal guard, two plume holders, and a chain mail neck guard suspended from the skull.  This helmet is decorated with foliage and figures, and is finely damascened, which is a design produced by inlaying soft or precious metals such as gold or silver onto a carved ground of hard metal such as iron, bronze or steel.  The term ‘damascening’ refers to the city of Damascus, from where this technique apparently originated.  This helmet probably dates to the early 19th century.  The Kulah Khud was very popular throughout Persia and India as well as in other countries under Islamic religious and political control, and was often subject to national and regional variations.  This helmet also bears an inscribed band of Kufic script along its border.  Calligraphy is a fundamental element in Islamic art, and developed into the main form of religious ornament.  Islamic arms and armour were often decorated with passages from the Qur’an, which served as talismans or expressions of piety. 


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