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Horse armour

  • Object:

    Horse armour

  • Place of origin:

    Tibet (made)

  • Date:

    1400-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Forged and pierced iron, leather

  • Museum number:

    IM.30 to J-1933

  • Gallery location:

    On display at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds , case OG1 []

The head guard or chafron form a complete set of lamellar armour. This type of armour, in which lamellae or rectangular plates are bound together in rows, was known from as early as the 4th century in central Asia and Sassanian Iran. Other Tibetan suits of this type have been dated to between the 15th and 17th centuries.

Physical description

Head guard or shaffron. An armoured headguard for a horse consisting of square lamellae and openwork iron pieces attached to a leather backing.

Place of Origin

Tibet (made)


1400-1800 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Forged and pierced iron, leather


Length: 57 cm, Width: 66.5 cm

Object history note

Given to Sir Charles Bell by the 13th Dalai Lama in Darjeeling in 1910 during his exile from Tibet.

Descriptive line

Horse armour composed of lamellar metal and studded leather panels decorated with painted and inscribed designs, textiles and pendants of dyed hair, with head guard, neck defences and panels enclosing the horse's flanks, Tibet, 1400-1800


Iron; Leather


Forged; Piercing


Arms & Armour; Transport; Animals and Wildlife; Equestrian equipment


South & South East Asia Collection

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