16th C. Korean Joseon Choson Dynasty Iron War Helmet, silver damascene (ID: ca1196)
16th C. Korean Joseon Choson Dynasty Iron War Helmet, silver damascene
|( ID: ca1196 )|
A rare early war helmet from Korea, dating to the 15-17th centuries. This form of helmet has an archaic form, influenced by Central Asian prototypes with the distinct forms of eye cutouts. An early Timurid period Persian helmet in the collection of the Hermitage has similar eye cutouts and which would have had chainmail extending down in a mask form, and likewise early Ottoman, Persian, and Mamluke turban helmets also retain the eye cutouts with chainmail to have extended beneath.
Korean helmets do not have chainmail and would have otherwise had cloth, with internal iron plates, for protection around the neck, though due to the age of this example that is now not suriving.
J.L. Boots writing in “Korean Weapons and Armor,” Transactions of the Korea Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 33, no. 2 (December 1934) notes of a helmet in his collection "The casque accompanying this coat is of conical shape, of two iron plates riveted together and banded on the outside. A visor of iron with silver inlay decoration is riveted on, and below it another piece of iron to protect the forehead." A form that this example has though missing the thin iron plate on the front.
Our example remains in fine untouched condition with much of the silver damascene remaining on the visor and the conical crown. This helmet is oversized and heavy, likely a function of it having been worn over a heavy cloth padding and of having been for fighting use, not a parade helmet like the more gilt copper decorated examples (see here for an example sold by us in the previous year).
Overall this is a very rare Korean helmet, dating to the period circa 1600 around the time of the Japanese invasions and very likely used in battle against Hideyoshi and the Japanese brigands that hounded the Korean coastline in that period.
Price on request.