Original Magnificent North Indian Gold Inlaid Kulah Khud Spiked War Helmet circa 1780 - 1820

Item Description

Original Item: Only One 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.

Our example here comes from the Northern region of India, and is one of the most highly ornamented examples that we have seen. The main body is made from etched and chiseled steel covered in foliate / floral designs, as well as an Elephant on the left, and what looks to be a tiger on the right. These are much of the other designs are highlighted with intricate gold inlay.

The front of the helmet has a sliding gold encrusted nose guard with two feather plume holders on the helmets front surface, one on each side of the nose guard. It also comes with a very pointy detachable 5 3/4" spike on the top, which is fully inlaid with gold as well. The rear of the helmet has the usual "aventail" chain mail rear neck defense, which is still well retained, though many of the loops have come undone from the bottom of the helmet.

The helmet still has much of its original leather interior lining, dried out but still present. This is truly exceptional and fully original to the period. In fine condition this was recently acquired from a large collection where it had been for decades. Most likely this was originally the war trophy of some Officers who took part in Queen Victoria's Colonial Campaigns.

Ready to display!

NOTE: Plastic Stand is for photography only and is not included.

History of the 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

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