Item:
ON1422

Original Persian Gold & Silver Inlaid Qajr Kulah Khud Peacock Head Crest War Helmet circa 1790-1820

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.

This is known a as "QAJR KULAH KHUD" which refers to the fact that the spike has been replaced by a "Bird's Head". This is in fact a Peacock and refers to the country of Persia, which was headed by a leader sitting on the "PEACOCK THRONE." The last such leader was the Shah of Persia, who was ousted by Islamic Clerics in 1979, who still control what we now know as IRAN.

Our helmet is etched and chiseled steel covered in oriental designs fronted with a gold inlaid "SUN FACE" behind a sliding nasal guard bar. The circular bowl shaped helmet is fully surrounded with a chain mail coif leaving an opening for the face. In addition to the Peacock head on the crest there are two plume holders, one on each side. The entire helmet exterior has a mix of gold and silver inlay, though the silver has tarnished, and now is mostly black in color, with a great patina. We have left it as we found it, but it could be lightly polished to bring out the silver.

Only exceptionally important Military Officers and Courtiers were permitted to display the Peacock headed helmets which signified them as the "upper Crust" of Persian Society. In lovely condition having recently been released from a Museum Collection.

Very rare and ready to display on the included adjustable height brass stand.

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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