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Old 7th August 2007, 10:43 PM   #1
Klas Larsson
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Default Help with helmet, origin?

Hi, I wonder if somebody could help me with the origin of this helmet I just found. To me it looks like a tibetan style, but when I look in the book Arms and armor of Tibet, I cant really see just the same style. It was sold as Mongol, but I have an impression that it may as well be Chinese, korean or manchu. Now, it has a written character on it that may give a hint to its origin, is it a tibetan or maybe san skrit character? Grateful for any and all information on this helmet.
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Old 8th August 2007, 12:46 AM   #2
dennee
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It is intended to be Tibetan. Made in China. Recent.
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Old 8th August 2007, 01:52 PM   #3
josh stout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennee
It is intended to be Tibetan. Made in China. Recent.


Ouch... They did a good job making it look old. The patina is not too even, and the damascened gold is quite artfully worn.

Is this style of helmet a fantasy piece that you see often?
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Old 8th August 2007, 09:59 PM   #4
Klas Larsson
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Ouch is quite proper then, if Deene is correct. But it looks very convincing, the patina as Josh says and the wear....

There where two other helmets, not identical but same basic design sold by the same dealer over a few weeks time. If they had been the same I wouldn't have chanced on this one, but the variation speaks against them being fakes.

Deeene, I wonder why you go for the fake alternative? What do you base that on? Have you seen other similar helmets that are fakes?
Do you know what the character on the helmet is, what kind of writing? Hopefully it do not mean Made in China....

There are other possibilities, as for example that its not very old, and maybe not the highest quality, but not fakes, from Tibet, where armor where used in to modern times.
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Old 9th August 2007, 02:07 AM   #5
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Yes, I have seen a bunch of very similar helmets, some with the Buddhist designs and more without. On ebay and from various dealers, some reputable, some not. I have seen it once identified as Korean, but usually Tibetan. I think you would have to agree that such a helmet, if genuine, would have to be rather scarcer than it has been in my experience. I asked Don LaRocca last year if he had seen a genuine prototype for these, and he said, no. I have seen something somewhat similar in a monastery in central Tibet (see below).

I can post pictures of fakes from ebay and from the Barkhor, if you like. And yes, they are generally convincingly patinated, although some are better than others in terms of uniformity between the constituent pieces.
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Old 9th August 2007, 11:45 AM   #6
Klas Larsson
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Deene, Thanks for the reply, and the good picture.
That helmet is a bit more in the style of mine than the helmets of the book Warriors of the Himalayas.

Quote:
I can post pictures of fakes from ebay and from the Barkhor, if you like.
Yes, that would be great. And any more information is welcome.
In few days I will have the helmet here and can take a hands on look at it.

I hadn't seen these before the last weeks, and I had no idea that they where common, or that it existed fakes of helmets.
So I was a bit careless. But I suppose it should be expected, with all the fakes that exists in Chinese weapons...
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Old 9th August 2007, 10:45 PM   #7
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Klas, it's nothing to feel bad about (except for regret at the lost money). We have all made missteps. I absolutely have.

A few helmets of, shall we say, suspect origins. The first two are from prominent auction houses about two years ago, the next two from dealers who generally offer authentic pieces, the next two from the main market street in Lhasa two years ago (although they were only two of many of various types), and the last two from ebay (see next post for last four mentioned).

The fakes usually take this form or a Tang/Yarlung Dynasty period form--or a mixture of the two. They almost always have a lamellar neck guard. I have seen an example similar to the eight-plate types shown in LaRocca's book with a pagri not dissimilar to those shown in Waddell's 1905 book.
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Old 9th August 2007, 11:11 PM   #8
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Similarities and variations...
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Old 10th August 2007, 01:00 AM   #9
Bill M
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Old 23rd February 2013, 07:55 AM   #10
Timo Nieminen
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I look at these helmets and the neck guards just look wrong, very wrong. But it's very common to see the lamellae laced together like this. Is there some mis-laced museum example that these copy?
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Old 2nd March 2013, 06:38 PM   #11
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HERE IS A PICTURE OF A REPLICA BRONZE HELMET MADE IN CHINA. THEY ARE HEAVLY PATINATED AND SORT OF COOL IF YOU CAN GET ONE AT A FAIR PRICE. UNFORTUNATELY THEY ARE OFTEN SOLD AS ORIGINALS AND A HIGH PRICE IS ASKED. SO AS USUAL WITH ALL BRONZE WEAPONS BUYER BEWARE AS THESE FAKES CAN BE VERY GOOD.
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Old 4th March 2013, 12:50 AM   #12
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This has been a very useful thread. Thanks. I have been tempted by these helmets - which seem to have burst rather suddenly on the market. The collectors' community needs this kind of candid discussion.
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