Horned kulah khud (helmet)
The kulah khud style was exported from Persia to India, where it is sometimes known as the khud islamiya, “Islamic helmet.” The mail fringe at the front of this piece cannot have provided much protection; it probably served to shade the eyes in a sunny climate. In fact, some Indo-Persian headgear has the face entirely covered with mail, taking advantage of its see-through properties. The demon (div) face on this piece is found on many helmets of Persian and Indian origin.
Iron, deeply ovoid bowl with repousée demon (‘div’) face, decorated overall with scrolling floral vines of silver & gold koft-gari. Conical base with scalloped edge, balustered above for lost spike. To either side is applied oval-section horn which tapers as it curves upward & inward to a blunt point. Beneath “nose” is applied brass moustache with central slot for missing nasal. Aventail butted, tight mail, level across brow, & triangular at back & sides. Mail held to edge of bowl through holes.
On some Indian headgear, the mail covers the face entirely, cf. Wallace Cat #1982. Pant 3.51, 60 Cf Wallace Cat #1523 for a ‘Deer’ helmet from India. Cf. also Pant 3 plate 12. JLF Cf. HAM 2971.4
Accession Number3092.8OriginIndia, possibly mid-1800sMaterialsIron; gold and silver inlayMeasure21.5 cm H with horns x 21 cm L x 18.5 cm WWeight2 lb. 6 oz.