Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Shirt of Mail and Plate

late 15th–16th century
possibly Istanbul
Turkish, possibly Istanbul
Steel, iron, copper alloy, silver
as mounted, H. 34 in. (86.4 cm); Wt. 20 lb. 10 oz. (9349 g)
Coat of mail and plate
Credit Line:
Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
Shirts constructed of small interlocking rings, called mail, were the principal body defense of Muslim warriors since the time of the Prophet Muhammad. By the late fourteenth century, this flexible defense was reinforced with rigid plates to cover the vital areas of the torso. The engraved and silvered damascened inscriptions on this armored shirt, rendered in a flamboyant kufic script, contain well-wishing phrases utilizing the words "glory" and "wealth."
Marking: Stamped on the front of the lower left plate: the Constantinople arsenal mark.
[William Ockelford Oldman, London, before 1935; sold to Stone]; George Cameron Stone, New York (by 1934–d. November 18, 1935; his bequest to MMA).
Stone, George Cameron. A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times, Together with Some Closely Related Subjects. Portland, Maine, 1934. p. 38, fig 51, nos 2, 3. ill.

Alexander, David G. "Two Aspects of Islamic Arms and Armor." Metropolitan Museum Journal 18 (1983). pp, 101-102, fig. 8, ill.

Alexander, David, Stuart W. Pyhrr, and Will Kwiatkowski. Islamic Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. cat. no. 7, pp. 32-34, ill.

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