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Asian Art

Breastplate (Cuirass) with Qur’anic Inscriptions

17th century

Steel with gold inlay

15 × 34 1/2 in. (38.1 × 87.6 cm)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore
1951.51.396
Inscribed with verses from the Qur’an and embellished with grapes, vines, and birds, this breastplate belongs to a type known as chahar aineh, or “four mirrors,” after the original examples produced with four undecorated steel plates. The verses, which serve as talismans or protection for the wearer, discuss Allah as the god of light, punisher of evildoers, and protector of the faithful.
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Iranian/Persian, Islamic
Period: 
Safavid dynasty (1501–1722)
Classification: 
Arms and Armor
Provenance: 

Arthur Upham Pope letter of Oct 9, 1950: "[The Persian Steel Breastplate] was presented, at considerable personal sacrifice, by a Persian official who is the most influential man in the Persian colony in New York...."; Asia Institute, New York; Mrs. William H. Moore (Ada Small Moore) (1858–1955) New York; gift in 1951 to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.