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Inventory

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Eight-Plate Helmet

Place of Origin: Tibet

Date: 16th to 17th Century

Bowl Diameter: 220mm

Reference: 129

Status: Available

Full Description:

This helmet bowl comprises eight plates, four outer and four inner.  The plates are held together in an alternating over-and-under arrangement by means of iron rivets with large conical heads.  The outer plates have a raised median ridge, which is a defining feature of a group of multi-plate Tibetan helmets which includes this example.  The bowl is surmounted by a plume socket, whilst the brim is decorated with strips of brass, which cover a series of holes which are presumably intended for attaching lamellae defences for the neck and cheeks. 

A similar Tibetan helmet is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and is illustrated by La Rocca (2006), see cat.no.7, p.66.  The V&A’s example can be traced to the Tibetan fortress of Phari Jong, which was occupied by the British without a fight on December 20, 1903, during the Younghusband Expedition.