Place of Origin: Qajar Empire (modern-day Iran)
Date: 19th Century
Overall Diameter: 195mm (7 ¾ Inches)
Charming panels etched into the watered steel surface of this Qajar helmet’s dome are bordered by thick swirls of gold overlay and depict a lion and deer in different stances from panel to panel: in some the animals appear reposed, and in others they grapple with one another – a reminder to the owner of this helmet, perhaps, to always remain ready for combat even when at rest.
Above the helmet’s brim, calligraphic cartouches – cleverly merged with stylised foliage and flowerheads so that the script and background become one – alternate with quatrefoil panels framing pleasant bird-pairs, their ruffled chests picked out with attentive stippling.
As in the previous entry of this catalogue, the present example retains the expected fixtures: a tall conical spike together with two plume holders and a nasal bar, the terminal plaques of which have been engraved to depict charming flowerheads in bloom. A rare and eye-catching feature, however, is the bright red padding which lines the helmet’s interior – a feature not typically extant in such pieces.