Place of Origin: Tibet
Date: 16th to 17th Century
Bowl Diameter: 220mm
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.