armoury marking of hagia eirene

Early 16th Century Ottoman Armour Plates Complete

 A very rare complete set of  Ottoman upper-body armour. Protective wear of this form would have been worn by cavalry troops of the 15th and 16th centuries, such as in the European campaigns of the Sultan Suleiman I, and at the seige of Vienna in 1526. Identical artifacts are scattered though Museums of Austria, and Northern Italy originally captured as booty. The form of this type of plate armour is much older than the 16thc. and harks back to early medieval eastern armours of China and Mongolia which featired the armoured central disc to the abdomen as a centrepiece. The turkic tribes carried these Eastern influences with them as they spread towards the West from the Timurid period onwards.

This example is has the armoury marking in three seperate places,  showing that the armour was once kept at Hagia Eirene in Constantinople, the city which itself fell to the Ottomans in 1453 under Mehmed. One marking chiselled on each round plate, and one on the shoulder section.

The iron plates are joined by thick rivetted mail, the outer plates with remnants of silk embroidered edging, and brass domed rivets. Traces of the original leather strapping survive in places. In uncleaned, original condition, wear and minor losses to areas. It can be noted that the back plates overlap in an upwards direction, a feature seen on cavalry armour where the mounted man would be above the assailant. Overlapping downwards would enable weapon points to catch easily and slide beneath...

middle eastern