Helmet of Prince Yaroslav
Vladimir-Suzdal Rus. End of the 12th-beginning of the 13th centuries.
Forged iron and chased silver.
The helmet of Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich is the earliest and only example of Russian armor and jewelry-work from the end of the 12th-beginning of the 13th centuries. It is forged of a sheet of iron and is rather elongated and pointed at the tip. To the forehead is affixed a plate of metal with the image of the Archangel Michael, along the edge of which is a nielloed inscription. An analysis of the images and inscription allowed scholars to deduce that the helmet almost certainly belonged to Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, father of the celebrated Russian military commander, Prince Alexander Nevsky.
The helmet has rather an interesting history, as in 1808, it was found quite by chance by some peasants on the bank of the Koloksha River, not far from the city of Yuriev-Polskoy. Here, in 1216, an internecine battle well-known in Russian history took place. This was the Battle of Lipetsk, fought by the sons of Grand Prince of Vladimir, Vsevolod Big-Nest, for control of their father's principality. Having suffered defeat, Yaroslav threw down his arms and fled from the field of battle. Thus, his helmet lay buried in the earth for almost six hundred years.
See also: The Hat of Monomakh