Name of Object:
Coat of armour
National Museum of Damascus
Date of Object:
Hegira 7th–8th century / AD 13th–14th century
Museum Inventory Number:
ع ر 6788
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Iron rings woven into a chain-mail.
Height 1.30 m
Period / Dynasty:
Probably Damascus, Syria or Cairo, Egypt.
A suit of armour made from iron mail that would cover the body from the head to the knees. It has solid metal plates that cover the neck and the stomach – the latter being much larger in size than the former – to provide additional protection. A number of these chain-mail suits survive, often bearing signs of wear and tear from use in battle. One example reveals evidence of injury received on the left sleeve, where the metal chain is torn through.
View Short Description
Mamluk military suits of armour decorated with gilded emblems, such as this one, were worn in battle against the Crusaders.
How date and origin were established:
The blazon and phrases mentioned on the abdominal plate of this suit of armour indicate that it is from the Mamluk period.
How Object was obtained:
Purchased in 1952.
How provenance was established:
Although this armour is decorated with a Mamluk blazon and was found in Damascus, its provenance is not clear. The Mamluk period saw an increased regional mobility of people and goods, especially military. It was likely produced in Cairo or Damascus, since these were two major regional centres at this time.
Abu al-Faraj al-Ush, M., A Concise Guide to the National Museum of Damascus, Damascus, 1969, p.199.
Citation of this web page:
Mona al-Moadin "Coat of armour" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;sy;Mus01;37;en
Prepared by: Mona Al-Moadin