Personal Armour Of Emperor Akbar
22.4028, 22.4054, 22.4007, 22.4122
The cuirass was common during the Mughal period and seems to have been more popular than the coat-of-mail. It is made of two pieces, a breastplate and a backplate. This breastplate was probably moulded to the shape of Emperor Akbar’s torso. Notice the high neck collar, intended to protect the throat. This is an uncommon feature in Indian armour. The quality of the steel, the high water mark and the distinct damascened work indicate that the armour was manufactured with great care. Emperor Akbar personally supervised the production of his arms. In his memoirs, Akbar mentions in great detail the process and the tests he carried out to select his armour. The helmet is decorated with delicate gold damascene and has a spike at the apex. The two arm guards are decorated in koftgari along the edges. The breastplate has a decoration along the sides and on the lower rim. In the centre are inscriptions from the Koran in fine Nastaliq script. The inscription on the collar reads:
“The personal garment of the emperor of lofty fortune, Akbar. Year A. H. 989 = CE 1581.”
Sir Ratan Tata Art Collection
Arms and Armour
Steel with gold damascene
Helmet Ht: 29.9 x Dia: 20.2 cms. | Breastplate: 42.2 x 37.3 cms. | Armguards L: 32.6 x Dia: 11 cms.