Royal Armouries

Turkish turban helmet (migfer)

Images

A Turkish helmet with mail face protector, highly decorated with engraved Islamic text across the brow.

  • A Turkish helmet with mail face protector, highly decorated with engraved Islamic text across the brow.

Date: 1490 | Object number: XXVIA.142

Turkish turban helmet (migfer)

Description

Turban helmet (migfer)

Turkish, Aq-Qoyonlu, late 15th century

Weights:
The weight of the helmet plus its attached mail coif is 2.2kg.

This conical turban helmet has arch-shaped cut outs for eyes and would have originally had a nasal defence.

The rich decoration includes silver letters on gold ground and the rivets around the lower edge would originally have held an applied decorative border.

The upper inscription reads ‘li-sahibihi al-sa’ada wa’l-salam wa’l-‘afiya wa tul al-‘amara sahazat hamama’ which translates as ‘to its owner good fortune, peace, and health throughout his lifetime as long as the doves coo’.

The lower inscription reads ‘al-mu’izz, al-mawid, al-malik, al-mansur, ‘izza al-izz, al-da’im wa’al-iqbal wa’al-dawla wa’l-sultan wa’l-salam wa’l-‘afiya wa’l-dawla’ which translates as ‘glorifier of the faith, victorious, triumphant king, to him be lasting glory, prosperity, wealth, power, peace, health and wealth’.

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