A very rare authentic 17th century antique top of karacena (scale armour) helmet szyszak of a Polish winged hussar. The dome top is of a characteristic shape and is composed of several elements of hand forged steel plates including a large plate with a scalp rim, a smaller plate of similar shape, a circular washer notched with radiating lines, surmounted by a finial, seven rhomboidal shaped rivets near the edges, and a circular ring with four rivets.
Some karacena turban helmets were constructed of thick hide lined and padded by wool or cotton fabric liner. Fitted at the top with large plate and the small iron scales pleats covering the rest of the skull of the helmet. Other examples of karacena helmets are with iron skull, but the majority of this type of helmet has a body made of leather and fabric.
The karacena turban helmets were worn exclusively by higher rank commanders of polish winged hussars, including by the king John II Sobieski. Since they were made during the 17th century in limited number and with the fragility of the leather, not to many of them survived to the present day. Authentic 17th century Polish karacena turban helmets are extremely rare and are hardly ever seen in museums, including museums in Poland, where there are only few examples of this type of the helmet, probably not more than 5.
We had attached to the listing pictures of Polish Karacena turban helmets with the top of similar shape to ours. One from the museum’s collections of National Museum in Krakow, the second from Wawel Royal Castle National Art Collection Krakow, and a picture of a helmet lost during WWII.
1. Husaria Polska by Zdzisław Zygulski Jun.
2. HUSARIA: THE WINGED HORSEMEN [Anna Wasilkowska.
3. Bron w dawnej Polsce by Zdzisław Zygulski Jun.
The buyer will be provided with a copy of the pages from the mentioned references, together with a certificate of authenticity.
Diameter: 15 cm (5.91 inches).
Height from the top of the finial holder to the bottom of the ring: 4 cm (1.57 Inches).
CONDITION: Signs of usage and wear, pitted overall, minor dents, small crack on the central plate, a minor crack on the edge of the circular ring, and one rivet missing. All of this can be an aspect from an old combat helmet that is over 300 years old.
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Antique 17th c Top of the Polish Hussar Karacena Helmet Szyszak