Antique Islamic Indian Mughal Helmet 16th -Early 17th-Century India

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Rare antique 16th to early 17th-century Islamic Indian Mughal combat helmet with a hemispherical form skull hand-hammered from solid steel. The interior shows visible hammer marks, while the exterior is entirely smooth. There is a broad reinforcing band encircling the helmet's base, and it is applied on the top by the fluted roundel surmounted with a knob finial.

The front of the helmet is fitted with a massive face guard, finely shaped in trefoil leaf form with a medial ridge and pierced with large almond-shaped holes for the eyes. The face guard is extended at the top by a reinforcing bar of a tapering serpentine shape with a dragon-head finial. The sides of the helmet are affixed with large, hinged ear flaps shaped like facing-down fleur-de-lis.

The back of the helmet is equipped with a long, hinged neck guard, and at the end, there is a large hole for the suspension cord.

This rare helmet is made in the form of a medieval Central Asian Islamic helmet.

A medieval Islamic steel helmet featuring a skull of similar form, with a base applied with a broad reinforcing band and surmounted with a knob finial, was published in Christie's catalog "Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds" London.17 April 2007.Lot 122.

Please see the link below:

A large face guard pierced with eye holes resembles 14th- 15th-century Timurid helmets and 16th-century Safavid helmets with face masks.

Also, the dragon head terminal is derived from central Asian Timurid dynasty period (1370–1507) artwork and can be seen in Timurid jade cups and jugs and metal cups and jugs.

The first Mughal Emperor, Conqueror of Afghanistan and India, and Founder of the Mughal dynasty, Emperor Babur (1483 - 1530), was a descendant of Timur (Tamerlane) and Genghis Khan through his father and mother, respectively.

Early Mughal art was strongly influenced by Timurid art, which used leather mingled with Safavid art. However, the Timurid dragon head motif has become a permanent feature in Indian art. It can be seen on Mughal ewers with dragon head spouts, on the knuckle bows of Indian swords and daggers, and also on finials of the "Alam" banners.

During the 17th-19th century, Indian helmets were made in the style of the Persian Kulah-Khud helmets. This helmet is a scarce early Mughal Indian combat helmet.

There are only two known helmets of this rare form worldwide: our helmet and a second identical helmet published in the Sotheby's catalog, "Arts of the Islamic World and India," London.April 24, 2024. Lot 128, with an estimated value of 15,000 - 25,000 GBP. It was sold for 25,400 GBP (approximately $32,307).

Please see the link below:

Undoubtedly, these two twin helmets were made by the same armourer at the same time. Judging by the sophisticated form of these helmets and the high-quality workmanship, they were made for important figures in the Indian Mughal army elite.

Early Mughal combat armor, including helmets, was less ornate than the armor from the second half of the 17th century and later.

We will provide the buyer with photocopies of the pages from the mentioned references together with a certificate of authenticity.

CONDITION: It is in good condition for an antique steel combat helmet over 400 years old. The surface is slightly corroded.


The height from the top knob finial to the edge of the face guard is 34.5 cm (13.58 inches).

Weight: 1.913 kg (4.22 Pounds).

PROVENANCE: Ex-private old Canadian collection of Islamic art which also included antique arms and armor formed in the 1980s.

Item Details

Reference #:
Militaria & Weapons
Helmets & Headgear
Antiques (approx100yrs)
16th - early 17th-century
(Width x Height X Depth)
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