Elephant armour or bargustavan-i-pil, South Asia 17th to 18th century
This armour was probably made around the 17th century, but it is difficult to say exactly where or for whom. The plate and mail structure was most widely used in northern and central India, particularly in Muslim states. However, the peacock, lotus bloom and fish motifs embossed on the larger panels may indicate it was made or used in an area which maintained at least some frameworks of Hindu belief and reference.
The helmet's delicate decoration of embossed designs featuring bunches of fruit and flowers, interspersed with birds and insects and fire-gilded copper panels in the form of a variety of Classical figures and trophies of arms, made it unsuitable to be worn on the battlefield. Instead it was designed for parades and other ceremonial occasions where its beauty proclaimed the power, wealth and culture of the wearer.