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A Curious Mistake


The Arsenal of Tsarskoe Selo offers the one-piece exhibition A Curious Mistake in the Imperial Collection: Indian Armour of the 17th Century from the State Hermitage, which will run until 30 September 2022.

This armour set was on display in the Arsenal until the late 19th century when it and the rest of the imperial arms and armour collection was transferred to the Hermitage. The set came to the Arsenal in 1840 as the "ancient Bohemian armour from the times of the Hussites, i.e. the beginning of the 15th century". It was placed in the vestibule on the first floor together with a Bohemian pavise shield of the Hussite Wars period (1419–1434), hence the set's erroneous initial attribution because both those items were probably obtained from one source simultaneously.

Moved to the Hermitage in 1886, the armour's provenance region was changed to "Oriental" and later attributed as "Turkish" in 1908. Given the medium quantity and somewhat random selection of the armour pieces, with parts of horse defenses used as a breastplate, it is fair to assume that the former owners were warriors of not the highest income and status, who collected protective equipment for themselves from various materials at hand.

A Curious Mistake is already the fifth one-piece exhibition of the Arsenal's former attractions at the place of their original display. The Indian armour is showcased in the Turkish Room together with a Bohemian pavise shield of the 15th century. Previous similar exhibition

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