Ottoman Helmet
Lot 72
An Ottoman gilded Helmet Turkey, Late 16th-17th Century
Sold for £4,500 (US$ 7,563) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
An Ottoman gilded Helmet
Turkey, Late 16th-17th Century
of domed form with a series of overlapping vertical pleats with incised verticals, the rim and peak with plain bands, the rivet for the sliding nasal protector still in place, traces of gilding
31.5cm. high


  • This helmet is of a shape consistent with 15th and 16th century Ottoman helmets and derives its form from the flutings of "turban helmets" of the 15th century. It appears that this example was heavily gilded and thus may have been made for a royal patron, although according to James Allan much of the steel Ottoman weapons and armour in the Topkapi Sarayi armoury includes many objects made for the Ottoman sultans themselves (Y. Petsopoulos,Tulips, arabesques & turbans: Decorative arts from the Ottoman Empire, 1982, p.41, no.16a).

    The significant number of tombak pieces in the Karlsruher Türkenbeute from the Baden-Baden collections confirms that tombak armour was certainly used at the siege of Vienna in 1683, and must have made a glorious impression on the battle field. The absence of an inscription on our helmet may be due to the loss of the cheek and neck guard, or it may have been present on the now-heavily rusted lower border.

    For comparable Ottoman helmets with pleats see Sotheby's, Arts of the Islamic World, 18 April 2007, lot 158; a tombak example in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (MMA 1974.118); and another in the Istanbul, Askeri Muze (Inv. 6622); and B. Mohamed, The Arts of the Muslim Knight , Milan, 2007, nos. 305-307.
  1. Oliver White
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