Item: cc1251

Korean Helmet. Joseon Dynasty Iron and silver decorated helmet, Circa 1600



    Diameter: 20.32 cm

    20.32 cm Weight: 3.7 lbs

    Price on request

    A classic example of a Korean helmet from the period of the Japanese invasions, circa 1592-1600. Similar in form to helmets in the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, and other institutions with holdings of Korean armor, this example survives in similar condition to many others of its type having had a long life of use. Decorated with silver along the brim and the half hemispherical pennant holder, this helmet would have belonged to an officer, who would have been able to afford the iron protection it afforded. Likely worn over a cloth undercap, the helmet is large for its size to accommodate a cushioned padding (Boots 1934). Another in the GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig (2013) displays a similar though more elongated form. The construction is of two half-hemispherical iron plates joined with outward reinforcing iron strips, the front one now missing, and a reinforced band around the edge and to protect the eyes. The eye cutout is distinct to East Asian helmets and is a holdover from Central Asian armor, particularly that of the Mongols, which swept into Korea in the 13th century. These same syncretic and conservative design elements can be seen on Catalog Nr. 1 where the hunting scenes of Korean folk screens showing galloping horses influenced the artist who carved the elegant horse movements on the scabbard, and which are holdovers from depictions on the tents of the 13th century Mongol invaders of the Korean peninsula (Moes 1983).


    Boots, J.L. (1932). Korean Weapons and Armor. Korea Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society

    GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig (2013) . Korean Art Collection. GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig: Leipzig

    Moes, R. (1983) Auspicious Spirits: Korean folk paintings and related objects. International Exhibitions Foundations. New York