An extremely rare horse armour. Turkey, late 15th Century

Chanfron (baraki) in iron, with eye protection, the upper part with engraved «Tamga» mark under a small horizontal shield, the lower part faceted; the two side parts connected with full rivetted iron rings; neck- breast- and sideplates of rectangular form united by chain-mail made of full rivetted iron rings, some of the plates with floral engraving. The armour conserves great parts of the original fringes in green fabric with brass rivets, rests of some buckles and leather stripes. In patina, untouched and to be cleaned. Small defects and missings. On a horse dummy of real size. (The shield is not included, lot 443) - condition: good - dimensions: High 200 cm - Estimation : 50 000 / 75 000 €

Note: This extraordinary horse armour, completely homogeneous, is one of the few survived till our times from the hundreds produced by the end of the 15th Century. In this moment there are only eighteen Turkish horse armours known, apart this one only one in private collection (Collection of King Hassan of Morocco). Three of the others are in the Askeri Museum of Istanbul, one in the Musee del Armée in Paris, one in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, four in the Stibbert Museum of Florence, two in the Armeria Reale of Turin, two in the Museum of Bern, one in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, one in the Historical Museum of Dresden, one in a Fondation of the Arabian Emirates and the last one (Sold by Czerny's, 15th of November 2003) to a Swiss Museum. Great parts of Islamic arms and armour, today in various museums and private collections seems to have provenance in the City of Istanbul, where it has been transferred from the Arsenal of St. Irene to the Topkapi Saray Museum under the Sultan Abdul Mecid (1839-1861). A lot of this material has been sold in this time to European collectors. The «Tamga», often thought to be the mark of the Arsenal of St. Irene, is probably a deposite mark of any Ottoman arsenal.

Bibliography: Alexander, M. M. A., Journal 18, pag. 98; Gransay, S., pag. 447; Robinson, Stibbert, n° 1 - 6; Armeria Reale di Torino, tav. 393, pag. 412 (inv. B 12); Collezione Moser Charlottenfels, 1912, tav. II; Missilier, P., Ricketts H., Splendeur des Armes Orientales, 1988, pag.16; Stone, G. C., A Glossary of Costruction Decoration and Use of Arms & Armour, pag. 95; Boccia, L. G., Godoy, J. A., Museo Poldi Pezzoli, 1986, pag. 521; Islamic Military Heritage, Arriyadh, Arabia Saudita, 1991, pag. 29; Mayer, L. A., Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society; Mayer, L. A. Saracenic Heraldry.

Vente du Vendredi 17 octobre 2008. Armes Anciennes, Armures, Militaria. Czerny's - Sarzana, Italy - Tel: +39 0187 691376