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Bhutan Helmet
very rare helmet
excellent condition

Bhutan Helmet very rare helmet excellent condition 17th 18th century A Nobleman's helmet sword Jinchuan hill regions qianlang Tusi Chief Chieftan emperor Jinchuan Jianruiyingwww.swordsantiqueweapons.com


A visually striking and exceptionally rare and very well-preserved Helmet from the far eastern region of the Himalayan mountains, Bhutan, Eastern Tibet.

La Rocca notes the helmets of this type as typically Bhutanese, although worn within Tibet too. Such helmets are seen within historical expedition photos of festivals in Lhasa in the early 20th century.
Although obscured by fabric coverings, the Bhutan origin is also well supported in historical photos dating to 1905 of the future first king of Bhutan’s bodyguards.

The helmet dome section stands 16cms tall and 22cms across excluding the peaked visor and the original padded textile armour.
The construction of the helmet is surprisingly perfect in form and finish, and its construction differs greatly from the early multi plate types known in museums.

The helmet is surprisingly light for the thickness of the dome, and by design it is more than capable of withstanding a galloping blow.
The inner surface retains an original resin like material, likely a moisture proofing protection in mind.
The outer surface is a blue grey in colour and this colour is mostly retained throughout with the exception of some minor blemishes.
The colour of this outer surface puzzled me for quite some time, in that the helmet remained so very well preserved from rust and retained the blue grey surface colour throughout. Although not tested, I feel that the steel used may have been derived from the zinc rich regions of Lhasa, and in turn providing this hue post manufacture.

The crown is mounted with a chiselled and gilded plume holder, and the visor shares the same chiselled scrolling designs with full gilding in place.

The textile armour plates are silk covered. This padded head and neck protection are constructed from a thick fabric inner sandwiched between a woven hemp like material and a waxed silk outer. The seams of these plates are fully and tightly stitched and waxed like the outer covering.
These plates are secured to the dome with original leather or sinew bindings.

An exceptional and complete example of a very rare helmet. A very fine and rarely seen type of notable quality, as worn by the warrior caste of the King's Knights / Royal body guards of the Bhutan and Tibet plateau.

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