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A RARE STEEL TURBAN HELMET
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more THE SELDEN COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE ARMS AND ARMOUR
A RARE STEEL TURBAN HELMET

ANATOLIA, CAUCASUS OR PERSIA, LATE 15TH / EARLY 16TH CENTURY

Details
A RARE STEEL TURBAN HELMET
ANATOLIA, CAUCASUS OR PERSIA, LATE 15TH / EARLY 16TH CENTURY
Of one piece rising to a central point with shaped finial, fluted swelled section struck with the Saint Irene Arsenal mark, silver encrusted inscriptions in bands (some loss) around the skull, applied steel bands around the lower section of the skull and above the eyes, and seven rings around the lower edge for the suspension of a mail aventail (area of older restoration to lower edge, minor holing to skull), approx. 12 ½ in. (32 cm.) high
Provenance
The Dikran Kelekian Collection, Parke-Bernet Galleries Inc., New York, 17 December 1953, lot 249 (illus.).
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

Condition report

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Lot Essay

The two Arabic inscriptions in large cursive script decorating the helmet are a variation on the benedictory inscriptions and popular sayings usually found on Turkic helmets of the period. These inscriptions are not always fully decipherable, for example that found on a late 15th century helmet in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York could translate as 'Power (or Sovereignty) the Sultan, the knowing, Sovereignty, complete (complete sovereignty) [..?] the mass (the crowd?), the blesses, the world' (accession no. 04.3.461). The top of the present helmet is inscribed with the words 'al-‘izz fi al-ta’a (glory in self-restraint)' and 'al-qina’a fi [..] (obedience [..])'. The inscription around the base reads 'al-‘izz li-mawla (glory to the master) al-qina’a (obedience) [to?] sultan (the sultan) [..]'. The sultan remains unnamed. A closely related helmet at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London dated to the early 16th century, bears an inscription which starts with the same words 'Honour to our master the Sultan' and follows with 'Lord of the Peoples' necks, of the Kings of the Turks, the Arabs and the Persians' (accession no. 399:1, 3-1888). Two other comparable helmets are in the Furussya Foundation in Vaduz. They are attributed to Iran, Anatolia or Caucasus and dated to the 15th or 16th century (Bashir Mohamed, ed., L’Art des chevaliers en pays d’Islam, Milan, 2007, cat. 309 and 310). The second of these helmets bears the name of Khalilullah, a ruler of the Shirvan-Shah (1418-1463) or an Aq Qoyunlu prince (1441-1478).
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