Description A warrior would have worn this helmet over a cloth turban. He would have been confident of being safeguarded in battle by the writing around the helmet's rim. The inscription from the Qur'an is garbled, however, indicating that its Iranian maker may not have known Arabic. Yet the presence of Arabic writing apparently was thought to be enough to invoke the protective power of God's word. This helmet once belonged to the royal arsenal in Istanbul, Turkey. It was probably part of the war booty amassed by the Ottoman Dynasty during the many wars between Turkey and Iran. Later, it was owned by the French painter Jean-Léon Gérôme, who traveled throughout the Near East and painted many scenes of Muslim life.
Provenance Armory of Constantinople; Jean-Léon Gérome Collection; Dikran Kelekian, New York and Paris; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1913, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1913
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