side profile shot including front peak

Military Chinese Qing Dynasty Iron Helmet with Gold and Silver

A rare Chinese Iron helmet of military type. This old example is of considerable weight and is reinforced with trim and plates of thick steel around the edge and the front. The front with a shaped iron protective visor and front eyeguard following the shape of the eyebrow, a feature retained from earlier Turkic, mid and far-eastern headgear. The circumference and the front and back applied with thick reinforced bars, additional flattened panels to the front which retain damascened gold and silverwork including bats, the upper crest mount with very nicely surviving silver damascened inlay with motifs based around two dragons. There are several reinforced iron disc panels applied to the helmet front which also have silver damascening in patterns similar to those found on Tibetan arms and armour, the reverse with a shaped panel with a scrolling Mongolian type design. Large iron rivets around the helmet base retain some traces of the fabric neck guard which originally would have existed. The helmet crest spike is nicely shaped and chiselled and has been fitted with a finial early in its life. Traces of silver decoration elsewhere including the rim, this helmet has a well aged surface and blackened patina, with old varnish. The weight and reinforcementing panels indicate that this helmet is not a decorative ceremonial piece but an authentic functional piece of armour, probably well used, we would suggest it dates to the first half of the 18th century, placing it in the early Qing  dynasty,Qianlong period. Stylistically this helmet is Chinese although the decoration to the panels might suggest a Sino-Tibetan or regional influence. These helmets are very hard to find for sale, although as military pieces were presumably not uncommon, it is possible that the damascened decoration denotes the helmet for a ranking officer. This piece comes from a noteable collection, details of which will be provided at the point of sale. far eastern manchu ming

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