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Original Magnificent North Indian Gold and Silver Inlaid Kulah Khud Spiked War Helmet with Matching Dhal Shield - Circa 1800

Regular price $7,995.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Set Available. We've all seen the Indo-Persian KULAH KHUD spiked helmets of the 18th and 19th centuries. This design goes back to the times of the Crusaders and Saladin during the battles over the Holy Land in the 13th and 14th centuries. They were very popular among the Mughal Royal houses of Northern India, and often paired with the traditional circular Dhal shield.

This is a marvelous matching Kulah Khud and Dhal Shield set, totally untouched for well over 150+ years, typical of the Northern region of India. Both helmet and shield are fully chiseled and inlaid with gold and silver accents, the latter of which are tarnished and dark. There are repeated Tiger and sun designs in gold inlay on the helmet, as well as lots of foliate designs. The helmet also has protruding faces stamped into the helmet at the four corners, which exactly match the design in the center of the shield.

The Helmet has its full complement of the usual "aventail" chain mail rear neck defense hanging beneath it, providing full neck protection. It is still well retained, though many of the loops have come undone from the bottom of the helmet. It is topped with a wicked spike and comes with its sliding nose bar to the front centered by two feather plume holders.

The shield is quite domed, with a very nice fabric backing, and measures about 20 1/2 inches across. The rear also features a great red suede leather covered arm handle with a pad underneath it. Definitely not a shield for a run of the mill soldier. This was definitely made for someone of significant importance.

This set originates from Northern India, most likely from one of the Mughal Royal houses, who reigned until the 1850s in India. Truly magnificent and extremely hard to find in this untouched condition. Most likely this was originally the war trophy of some Officers who took part in Queen Victoria's Colonial Campaigns.

Ready to display!

History of the Indo-Persian Kulah Khud Helmet:

Kulah Khuds (known as top in India and Devil mask among English speaking arms collectors) were used in ancient western Asia for battle and as decorative head pieces. This style of helmet originated in Central Asia, and were worn by [Persian Empire] soldiers in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Made of steel, these bowl-shaped helmets were designed as either low and flat, or high and pointed. They sometimes contained a spike socket at the top of the helmet, which resembles a spearhead with a cross-like section. Two or three plume holders were attached on either side of the skull, used to mount feathers from birds such as the egret.

The helmet had an iron-and-brass or brass-and-copper male aventail that hung at the base of the helmet to protect the neck, shoulders and the temple of the face. Sometimes, the male aventail extended down to cover the eyes and the nose. The low end of the male aventail was often shaped in a triangular pattern so they stood relatively affixed on the front and back side of the warrior's shoulder.

A bar made of iron or steel was attached to the front of the helmet with a bracket and could be adjusted in position - so when not in use, it could slide upward and fasten with a link, a hook, or a set screw. The two ends of the bar expanded into leaf-shaped plates, forming a final. In some Indian tops, the lower end of the bar was designed as a large crescent-shaped metal guard that protected most of the face below the eye level. One rare version of the helmet included three irons protecting the nose and the cheeks

History of the Indo-Persian Dhal Shield: 

The dhal is a type of shield found in the Indian subcontinent and surrounding areas, where they can be known as Sipar or Qajar shields. They are nearly always geometrically round and yet they vary in diameter from about eight inches to twenty-four inches. Some are nearly flat while others are strongly convex or curved. The edges may be flat or rolled back in the reverse direction to that of the curvature of the shield. Dhal shields were either made from metal or hide.

Leather shields were made from a great variety of animals found in the Indian subcontinent. The hide shields were made from either water buffalo, sambar deer, Indian elephant, or Indian rhinoceros. The rhinoceros shields were the most prized variant among leather shields

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