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MORO ARMOUR

Place of Origin: Mindanao, Philippines

Date: 19th Century

Height of Shirt: 610mm (24 Inches)

Diameter of Helmet: 220mm (8 ¾ Inches)

Reference: 417

Status: Available

Full Description:

The main body of this well-preserved armour comprises brass plates burnished bright and connected by the small links of a mail shirt. The two larger frontal plates then are studded with a symmetrical display of three silver panels depicting the outlines of stylised sea monsters, the two pairs of central latches each secured by a silver plaque cut and engraved in the form of an unfurling flowerhead with large, coiling leaves.

A burgonet helmet with upturned peak, pierced plume-holder, and ridged central comb completes the armour, the comb cut over the greater part of each face with a charming trellis of interweaving vines and flowerheads - a motif repeated in the curved plaques placed at either end of the comb and just above the hinged cheek-pieces, which are later additions. 

In similar armours, there are often disappointments: latches or plates may be missing; or there may be gaps in the mail shirt. The present set, however, is especially complete, making it a particularly attractive example. The helmet of another set (Cat. No. 28)[1] published by Runjeet Singh Ltd in Iconic: London 2017 is similar in its decoration,[2] and a full armour (Number 2014.12.1)[3] preserved in the Peabody Museum at Harvard University - though in worse condition than our own - has silver foliate plaques with the same outlines used to hold the frontal plates together.

 

[2] Runjeet Singh, Iconic: London 2017, pp.86-89, Cat. No. 28.

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