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Exceptional 18th C. Safavid or Early Qajar Persian Khulah Khud Helmet Armor of watered steel or wootz

( ID: ia1012 )

A beautiful example of the Persian armor smiths art. This is one of the finer Persian khulah khud we've owned and dates to an earlier period in Persian history than most Qajar era examples.  The heavy and true siege weight bowl is made of vivid watered steel or wootz, which can clearly be seen in between the finely chiseled floral arabesque designs.  The lower quarter of the bowl is an applied rim of chiseled iron, a form of construction seen on the best quality Persian khulah khuds, where the main protecting bowl is of heavy watered steel construction with a non wootz rim (see examples of Persian armor in the Wallace Collection for similarly designed bowls).  

The helmet features chiseled designs of a much finer level of quality than is normally found on Persian helmets and therefore inclines us to date this piece to the period of 1780-1810 when Persian craft was at it's apex, and which slowly deteriorated into the later years of the Qajar Empire. 

The chiseling is of a fine quality, soft in parts with a firmer hand than is seen on later Qajar armor where crude designs were used to take up space and less attention was paid to the spacing of the design. On this piece you can see that the craftsman has spaced the design in a deliberate manner to create crescendos of chiseling, leaving troughs of negative space where the soft watered steel can be seen.  Coupled with the carved and pierced iron work with Arabic caligraphic scroll work the helmet is a tour de force of Persian metal work.

The chainmail is complete and features the familiar brass and iron interwoven construction and retains much of its old patina.

Nota Bene- The antique carved wooden bust is not included but can be purchased seperately or included in the sale of the helmet at cost.

 

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