Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1786 Qajar cavalry
Subject: irregular armored cavalryman
Culture: Turco-Iranian
Setting: civil war, Zand-Qajar Persia mid-late 18thc
Object: زره armor


* Persian arms and armour 2000 p69
"[Persian helmets from the second half of the 18th century and the 19th century] have spherical domes with sharp tufts and two sleeves for holding feathers.  Sometimes, instead of a fluke, an additional barrel would be mounted on top.  The nose was protected by a moveable nose protector and there was a long steel mail aventail, partially covering the arms attached to the helmet.  The helmets were usually richly decorated by gold or silver damascening and engraving.  In more inferior, later helmets the decorating was executed by etching with acid.  The dome was sometimes shaped like a bird's or demon's head with horns."

* Robinson 1967 p40-41
"[The Persian helmet in its later form] is fitted with a curved nasal of square section with foliate terminals, which passes through a socket on the brow part of the bowl fitted with a set-screw for securing it in the raised or lowered position.  When lowered, the bottom finial would come to below the level of the wearer's chin, so giving reasonable protection against a sweeping cut with a sword.  ...  [The front of the aventail] acts as a screen for the eyes and may, in fact, have covered them in many cases, for they are deep enough for this purpose."

* Wilkinson 2011 p52
"Helmets of this type [kula-khud with horns and a rudimentary face] were primarily ceremonial and never intended for serious use but they form an interesting group.  Similar helmets made for battle are usually much plainer and simpler in design ...."


* Elgood 2004 p238
"Chahār-ā'inā/Chār-Ainā (Persian, literally 'four mirrors')  Steingass gives āyina as 'a mirror, sometimes made of polished steel'.  Four metal plates, generally worn over a suit of mail, to protect the ribs.  General Indo-Persian usage and Far East.  Russian armour of this kind is called zertsalo meaning mirror.
"The mirror serves a prophylactic as well as a purely physical purpose, to reflect and thus deter the predatory demon or the evil eye.  The central division of an army was called 'gol' or 'ghol' which has two meanings, multitude and a man-devouring demon, an indication of the uncertain nature of the forces confronting the early warrior, who understandably sought the assistance of protective magic.  The origin of this armour is said to be Central Asian but the Medusa legend and pectoral discs on Greek sculpture show the concept was both ancient and widespread."

* Persian arms and armour 2000 p68
"A typical chahar-a'na would consist of four rectangular steel plates; one for the chest, one for the back and two for the sides, with semicircular excisions on the top that fit into the armpits.  The plates were held together by leather straps and a coat of mail was worn underneath."  


* Elgood 2004 p242
"Chilta (Persian)  Thick double coat for soldiers. ...  Chihal'tah.  'Fourty-fold coat'.  A fabric coat of many layers worn as a defence by soldiers.  ...  Chihilqad, a quilted coat of cotton or velvet worn over armour, referred to as chihal-qad and chahlam, both 'a sort of armour.'  Chihal means forty."   [references omitted]

* Elgood 2003 p250
"Kawaj (Persian) Quilted jacket worn in battle."  [reference omitted]