Place of Origin: CHINA
Date: Qing Dynasty, 19th Century
Overall Height: 19.25" Inches
Resplendent beneath a cascade of blond yak hair, this Qing dynasty helmet has been richly decorated. The copper bowl has now acquired a pleasing patina but it was once gilded. Such gilding remains intact upon the ornate framework that encloses the bowl and it is here that we find inset turquoises, corals, moonstones and red tourmalines dotted among serpentine dragons writhing within the finely detailed openwork. Of important note is that the feet of the dragons are depicted with four claws, confirming that the helmet was, as also suggested by the profuse adornment, made for a man of considerable status and taste.
An ink inscription in Mandarin characters can be seen inside the helmet and translates to read ‘50 million’. For comparison, Brooklyn Museum holds a similar helmet which is dated 1821–1850.