Ottoman Turkish armor in the State Hermitage Museum (Saint Petersburg 2014)

The State Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia has a magnificent exhibition of Ottoman Turkish arms and armor among a bigger exhibition on oriental arms and armor.  In the following the armor sets and shields are presented. 

A full set of Ottoman Turkish armor and horse armor from the late 15th or early 16th century

Side and front views of the armor and horse armor

The knee caps are protected each by a steel plate which is integrated in mail protection mesh made of riveted rings. The thighs are protected by small steel plates overlapping each other facing upwards. Further they are attached to riveted mail rings. For similar integrated plate knee cup protector integrated with mail links and attached to a combination of small plates and mail rings for the thigh protection see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 71), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Saint Petersburg: D. A Feburin]. The sabaton (foot armor) consists of a steel plate protecting the toes and top of the foot integrated in a mail mesh protection made of riveted rings for the rest of the foot.

Note how small plates overlap each other upward. This protects the rider from spear thrusts of infantry soldiers of the enemy executed from below in an upward thrust motion.  The shins are protected by two steel plates each attached to each other via riveted mail rings.  Note that the back and side of the knees are protected via small steel plates overlapping each other upwards.  For a similar shin protector see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 71), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Saint Petersburg: D. A Feburin].

The back of the hand is protected by four rows of overlapping steel plates facing downward towards the tip of the finger.  The plates are connected to each other via riveted mail links. The  thumb is protected by other rows of steel plates connected to each other via riveted mail rings. The lower arm is protected by two steel plates connected to each other via hinges.  Further the plates are connected to hand protection via riveted mail links.  For a similar armguard see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 72), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Saint Petersburg: D. A Feburin].

The fluted turban helmet has a helmet spear and an adjustable nasal. The rim of the helmet is connected to a mail coif made of riveted rings protecting the whole neck, face and throat. For similar Turkish turban helmets see Stone (1999, pp. 41), Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times.  Originally Published in 1934.  Mineola: Dover Publications.

The left leg is protected in the same way as the right leg. Note the plates and the riveted ring and the way they are connected to each other.

The chest, belly, sides and back up to the shoulders are protected by overlapping steel plates facing upward to defend against spear thrusts executed by the enemy infantry.  The plates are integrated in a mail body armor made of riveted mail rings. For a similar Ottoman Turkish mail armor with integrated small steel plates for the chest, abdomen and back protection see Stone (1999, pp. 37-38), Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times.  Originally Published in 1934.  Mineola: Dover Publications.

The steel shield is fluted and is of a big size offering an excellent protection for the body. For a similar shield made of copper see Petrasch, Ernst, Reinhard Sänger, Eva Zimmermann, and Hans Georg Majer (1991, pp. 171), Die Karlsruher Türkenbeute: die “Türkische Kammer” des Markgrafen Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden; die “Türkischen Curiositäten” der Markgrafen von Baden-Durlach.  München: Hirmer Verlag.

The chamfron consists of five plates.  One big plate protects the whole face of the horse down to the nostrils. The plate is connected to a cheek plate on each side via riveted mail rings. Two other steel plates protect the horse ears. The whole body of the horse is protected by small steel plates overlapping each other downwards and connected to  each other on the side via riveted mail rings.  The horse armor is attributed to the late 15th to the early 16th century.  It was acquired from the Armoury of Tsarskoye Selo in 1885-1886.  For a similar horse armour and chamfron from the 16-17 century see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 79), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Saint Petersburg: D. A Feburin].

A Turkish helmet with a face mask and mail coif made of riveted rings. The nasal is missing.  The rings which should have been attached to the rim at the nasal area are disconnected. The helmet is attributed to the 16th century and is described as either from Turkey (Ottoman period) or Egypt (Mamluk period).  It was acquired in 1838. For similar Turkish helmets from the 15th-16th century see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 64, No 7879), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Sankt Petersburg: D. A Feburin].

A fluted Turkish turban helmet made of forged steel with an adjustable nasal and a helmet spear.  The helmet rim is equipped with hooks to hold a mail coif and face protection (which is missing now).  It is attributed to the 16th century.  It was acquired in 1885-1886 from the Armoury of Tsarskoye Selo.  For similar Turkish helmets from the 15th-16th century see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 64, No 7879), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Sankt Petersburg: D. A Feburin]. For similar 15th-century Turkish turban helmets see Stone (1999, pp. 41), Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times.  Originally Published in 1934.  Mineola: Dover Publications.

An Ottoman Turkish style helmet (chichak - çiçak) from the late 15th century or early 16th century. The museum attributes it to Mamluk Egypt. It is made of steel or copper.  The museum attributes it to Egypt (Mamluk period). The helmet is made of steel and copper and forged into shape. The surface of the helmet is engraved, carved and gilded and partially decorated with niello. It was acquired in 1885-1886 from the Armoury of Tsarskoye Selo.

A copper helmet from Turkey (Ottoman period) from the 17th century.  It is partially gilded. It was acquired in 1919 and had been formerly held in the Chertkov Collection. The surface of the helmet is fluted with parallel lines.  For similar Turkish helmets from 15th to 17th century see Stone (1999, pp. 42), Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times.  Originally Published in 1934.  Mineola: Dover Publications.

An Ottoman Turkish helmet (chichak - çiçak) made of steel and copper.  It has velvet fitting and embroidery inside. It is forged, shaped and carved into shape and has also yellow metal inlay.  It is dated to the middle -second half of the 16th century. It was acquired from the Armoury of Tsarskoye Selo in 1885-1886. The rim and peak of the helmet are inscribed with gold-overlaying technique. This type of helmet was developed in the 16th century in Turkey and was later adopted by the later Christian states of Europe. It has a forward projecting peak, a sliding nasal and a neck guard.  The cheekpieces are missing on this piece.  For similar Turkish helmets from the 16th century see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 63), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Sankt Petersburg: D. A Feburin]. For similar Turkish helmets from 15th to 17th century see Stone (1999, pp. 42), Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times.  Originally Published in 1934.  Mineola: Dover Publications.

An Ottoman Turkish mail and plate armor from the first half of the 16th century.  It is made of steel plates and riveted rings with some copper alloy inserts. The ear protectors are gold-inlaid.  It was acquired from the Armoury of Tsarskoye Selo in 1885-1886. The chest, sides and back are protected by steel plates overlapping each other facing upwards.  The plates are integrated into a mail armor made of riveted rings. It was acquired from the Armoury of Tsarskoye Selo in 1885-1886.

An Ottoman Turkish misurka (head mail cover) made of steel plates and riveted rings with inlay and gold-overlaid and gilded areas in floral design.  It has also some inserted rubies.  The upper part of the head is protected by overlapping gilded steel plates. The top of the head is protected by a steel bowl. All small plates are attached to the bowl via riveted rings. The helmet has also two cheekpieces made of steel plate as well.  It is attributed to the late 16th century.  It was acquired from the Armoury of Tsarskoye Selo in 1885-1886.  For a similar Turkish helmet from the 17th century without integrated cheekpieces see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 67, No 14674), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Sankt Petersburg: D. A Feburin].

A fluted Turkish turban helmet made of forged steel with an adjustable nasal and a helmet spear.  The helmet rim is equipped with hooks to hold a mail coif and face protection (which is missing now). The surface of the helmet is partially gilded. For similar Turkish helmets from the 15th-16th century see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 64, No 7879), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Sankt Petersburg: D. A Feburin].  For similar 15th-century Turkish turban helmets see Stone (1999, pp. 41), Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times.  Originally Published in 1934.  Mineola: Dover Publications.

An Ottoman Turkish style helmet (chichak - çiçak) helmet from the 16th century. This is made of steel and copper and its surface is carved and engraved. It was acquired from the Armoury of Tsarskoye Selo in 1885-1886. For similar Turkish helmets from 15th to 17th century see Stone (1999, pp. 42), Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times.  Originally Published in 1934.  Mineola: Dover Publications.

A fluted Turkish turban helmet made of forged steel with an adjustable nasal and a helmet spear.  The helmet rim is equipped with hooks to hold a mail coif and face protection (which is missing now).   The surface of the helmet is carved in floral design. The helmet is attributed to the late 15th to early 16th century. It was acquired from the Armoury of Tsarskoye Selo in 1885-1886. For similar Turkish helmets from the 15th-16th century see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 64, No 7879), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Sankt Petersburg: D. A Feburin].  For similar 15th-century Turkish turban helmets see Stone (1999, pp. 41), Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times.  Originally Published in 1934.  Mineola: Dover Publications.

A steel Ottoman Turkish helmet from the 16th century. It is from the Winter Palace.

An Ottoman Turkish helmet made of steel. It was acquired from the Armoury of Tsarskoye Selo in 1885-1886. For similar Turkish helmets from 15th to 17th century see Stone (1999, pp. 42), Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times.  Originally Published in 1934.  Mineola: Dover Publications.

A Mamluk Egypt helmet from the 16th century. This piece is from the Winter Palace. For similar Turkish helmets from 15th to 17th century see Stone (1999, pp. 42), Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times.  Originally Published in 1934.  Mineola: Dover Publications.

A Kalkan wicker shield. For similar Kalkan shields see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 77), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Sankt Petersburg: D. A Feburin]. For other similar shields see Petrasch, Ernst, Reinhard Sänger, Eva Zimmermann, and Hans Georg Majer (1991, pp. 172-178), Die Karlsruher Türkenbeute: die “Türkische Kammer” des Markgrafen Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden; die “Türkischen Curiositäten” der Markgrafen von Baden-Durlach.  München: Hirmer Verlag.

 

A kalkan wicker shield. For similar Kalkan shields see Astvatsaturjan, E.G (2002, p. 77), Турецкое оружие в собрании государственного исторического музея [Turkish Weapons in the Collection of the State Historical Museum].   Санкт Петербург   Д. А. Фебурин [Sankt Petersburg: D. A Feburin]. For other similar shields see Petrasch, Ernst, Reinhard Sänger, Eva Zimmermann, and Hans Georg Majer (1991, pp. 172-178), Die Karlsruher Türkenbeute: die “Türkische Kammer” des Markgrafen Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden; die “Türkischen Curiositäten” der Markgrafen von Baden-Durlach.  München: Hirmer Verlag.

 

Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani