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Old 10th October 2013, 04:49 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default Help with Helmet Identification

Hope I can get some help with the proper identification of the cultural origin of this unique helmet.

It has some features that seem Islamic....spiked(if subdued) top, nose guard, and Islamic style chain mail...but some unique features as well. It is a two piece dome with the bottom portion riveted to the top at the rib, which hides the rivets. This recreates a very deep dome.

The helmet was found complete, but in pretty rough shape with a outer layer of active rust with heavily patinated rust beneath. You can still see the impact of the old rust on the outer portion of the helmet by way of many small spots and one large area of light pitting. The helmet is clearly quite old.

At first glance it reminds me of some Sudanese helmets, but it seems perhaps too refined for that.

I am looking forward to any input regarding the origins of this piece.
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Old 10th October 2013, 06:09 PM   #2
mahratt
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The version of Sudanese origin seems to me to be correct.
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Old 10th October 2013, 09:41 PM   #3
Runjeet Singh
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Hi Charles,

I am not sure if is OK to post this link - but it is sold - so I hope it's OK.


I have been told that these helmets were made in Birmingham, England (my birthplace!) and exported to Africa. I'm still looking for a source to verify this.

Be sure to click the link at the bottom of the page which shows a similar helmet which was captured by the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Royal Warwickshire) at the battle of Omdurman (Sudan) 1898. It is complete with it's thick curtain like lining.

Regards,
Runjeet

In this forum please post a photo only and not a link to a sales site. If you want to post a link to your website do so in the swap forum.

Robert

Last edited by Robert : 11th October 2013 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 10th October 2013, 10:43 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys.

Runjeet, that one you have shown us is identical for all practical purposes.

The British affiliation would certainly explain the very finished look that I would not have expected on Sudanese armor. It is likely a machined helmet as no hammer marks are visible.
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Old 11th October 2013, 02:24 AM   #5
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A+ to Mahratt!
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Old 11th October 2013, 06:52 PM   #6
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Hi Charles, All,

Here is the description from a similar helmet I have had in the past:

Scarce 19th Century Sudanese Helmet. Of large proportions, probably worn with a small turban or with padding on the head.

A large and deep steel bowl, of two piece construction, terminating with a faceted knob finial.

A long nasal guard, with a typical screw fastening to hold it in place. A complete camail with double ring maile in an interlocking pattern. Some traces of silver paint where a previous owner has decorated the helmet. A rare and impressive item.

For a similar example please see P.149, Splendeur Des Armes Orientales (Ricketts/Missilier) 1988. There is also a similar example shown in at St Johns House Museum, Warwick, England.


Overall Height: 22in (560mm)
Bowl diameter: 8 1/4in(210mm)


I attach photos of my helmet and the one from the St Johns Museum.

Regards,
Runjeet
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Old 11th October 2013, 06:53 PM   #7
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Photos attached.
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Old 11th October 2013, 07:45 PM   #8
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Thanks for your efforts here Runjeet!
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Old 11th October 2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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No problem Charles, happy to help.
Here is a photo from the Royal Armouries, Leeds, England.

The same helmet, again with padding (which I have never seen outside of a museum) and the traditional Sudanese dress.

I have seen some early photos of Sudanese warriors in these helmets and chain mail armour - but I don't have them saved.

Regards,
Runjeet
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Old 11th October 2013, 09:53 PM   #10
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Thanks yet again for that pic. I'd love to get more on the Co. that may have manufactured these....that must be a story within itself. Afterall, surely they did not manufacture these for the Madhists!!! Were they made for the Egyptians that administered the Sudan?? I know there were Sudanese troops fighting alongside the British, but was there an independent Sudanese government that could have ordered such pieces?

That really raises so many interesting questions, and I have no idea how to go about finding the answers.
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Old 11th October 2013, 11:09 PM   #11
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These helmets were actually Egyptian, they were made in England for use by the forces of the Khedive of Egypt. In the mid to late 1800s Egypt was modernizing their military, they hired European and American military advisors and started using several types of European made armor, first these helmets with split ring camail and split ring mail shirts from England and then later a French made helmet with butted link camail and a steel cuirass.

The Sudanese ended up with Egyptian armor by capturing it or by buying or trading for it. A lot of Sudanese armor, weapons and accessories were captured and sent to England after battles with the fanatic Islamic revolutionaries of the self proclaimed "Mahdi" in the late 1800s.

Here are a couple of links with information on the Khedives and the Sudanese.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16920

http://www.ottoman-uniforms.com/egy...1820-till-1914/

http://www.pinterest.com/samuraiant...dives-of-egypt/

http://www.themailresearchsociety.e.../tmrs_pdf_9.pdf
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Old 11th October 2013, 11:34 PM   #12
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Fantastic research Eric - do you know (or does anybody) know the name of the maker in Birmingham? Personal curiosity - you understand!
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Old 12th October 2013, 12:33 AM   #13
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Eric,

What a superb addition to the thread!! Thanks so much. I remember how helpful you were with the Egyptian Guard's helmet as well.

Thanks again!
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Old 12th October 2013, 04:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akaalarms
Fantastic research Eric - do you know (or does anybody) know the name of the maker in Birmingham? Personal curiosity - you understand!
Runjeet, its unbelievable how hard it is to find any information about of the armor worn by the Egyptian military during the time of the Khedives, all I have ever read about the English armor is "Birmingham".
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Old 12th October 2013, 11:41 AM   #15
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I can only agree with all the other comments, Sudanese and a rare find. Not to mention an intriguing window into the last days of this sort of industrial old fashioned armour.
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Old 12th October 2013, 09:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
I can only agree with all the other comments, Sudanese and a rare find.
Iain, these helmets are actually not Sudanese at all they are Egyptian, the only reason they are associated with Sudan is due to the use of appropriated examples by Sudanese warriors during various conflicts there. Here is a print showing this type of helmet being worn by an Egyptian cuirassier.
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Old 13th October 2013, 09:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Iain, these helmets are actually not Sudanese at all they are Egyptian, the only reason they are associated with Sudan is due to the use of appropriated examples by Sudanese warriors during various conflicts there. Here is a print showing this type of helmet being worn by an Egyptian cuirassier.


Hi Eric, yes they originated in Egypt, however in the context most showed up in European collections they were as items captured during the Sudanese campaigns taken off Sudanese.

But I see your point. Actually the style was well known in Sudan before these later 19th century helmets as well, the occasional older example turns up.
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Old 12th February 2014, 05:38 PM   #18
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Default helmet

egypt seems a good possibility.
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Old 13th February 2014, 12:24 AM   #19
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Nah, it's a Persian-WWI German fusion helmet. Very popular with the kids today!
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