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Parade Helmet

Ottoman16th c.

Armoury, Dresden State Art Collections

Armoury, Dresden State Art Collections

This, the most prominent oriental helmet in the Turkish Chamber, was part of a gift sent by Francesco I de' Medici, Grand-Duke of Tuscany in 1587 and was brought to Dresden by Heinrich van Hagen. This is a characteristic Ottomon helmet of the 16th century, a type which developed out of the earlier "turban helmets". The latter were, as their name suggests, worn over a turban, which also served as padding, and so they were correspondingly large. Compared with them, this type of helmet was considerably smaller and its popularity soon spread to Europe. Despite its splendid appearance, this helmet was not purely a ceremonial piece of equipment. Helmets of this quality were certainly also intended for use. Of course, such splendour was not something every ordinary soldier could afford. Although the original owner of this helmet has not been recorded, it can definitely be assumed that it belonged to a high-ranking officer or dignitary of the Ottoman Empire.

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