Multi-Plate Helmet of Thirty-Two Lames

Date: possibly 14th–16th century

Culture: Mongolian or Tibetan

Medium: Iron, silver, gold, brass or copper alloy

Dimensions: H. 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm); W. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm); D. 10 5/8 in. (27 cm); Wt. 3 lb. 9.7 oz. (1635.8 g)

Classification: Helmets

Credit Line: Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2005

Accession Number: 2005.146


This helmet is the most complete example from a small group of helmets that share several features. They are made of overlapping narrow iron lames, each with a raised central ridge and an applied brass border on the left edge, plus brass borders on other parts such as the base of the finial or the edges of the brim. In addition, all the components of these helmets are attached by brass rivets rather than leather laces. The finial at the top of this example is decorated in gold and silver with the protective mantra OM AH HUM, and the brim is adorned with a series of five "dry skulls" and tendrils of flames.