Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Sallet in the Shape of a Lion's Head

Date:
ca. 1475–80
Culture:
Italian
Medium:
Steel, copper, gold, glass, pigment, textile
Dimensions:
H. 11 3/4 in. (29.8 cm); W. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm); D. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm); Wt. 7 lb. 14 oz. (3574 g)
Classification:
Helmets
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
23.141
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
This helmet is the earliest surviving example of Renaissance armor all'antica (in the antique style). The lion's head is an outer shell made of embossed and gilt copper that is fitted over an underlying plain steel helmet. It represents the head of the Nemean Lion, whose pelt was worn as a headdress and cloak by the mythological hero Hercules. He was frequently portrayed in Renaissance art as a symbol of indomitable strength, courage, and perseverance.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 14, 1970–February 14, 1971, no. 201.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Heroic Armor of the Italian Renaissance: Filippo Negroli and his Contemporaries," October 8, 1998–January 17, 1999, no. 8.

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Beijing. National Museum of China, Zhangshen Lu. "Earth, Sea, Sky, Nature in Western Art: Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 8–May 9, 2013, no. 47.

Oplotheca No. 20, Lower Brook Street, Bond Street, London. "Exhibiting at the Oplotheca." In Catalogue of a Most Splendid and Instructive Collection of Antient Armour. London: Smith and Davy, 1816. p. 15, no. 107.

Gothic Hall, Pall Mall. Catalogue of the Splendid Collection of Antient Armour, etc.. London: J. Davy & Sons, 1818. no. 131.

Royal Armoury. "Catalogue." In Royal Armoury: Hay-Market. London: J. Davy & Sons, September 1821. no. 64.

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Laking, Guy Francis, Charles Alexander Cosson, and Francis Henry Cripps-Day. A Record of European Armour and Arms through Seven Centuries. Vol. 2. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1920. pp. 12–14, 20, fig. 355.

Dean, Bashford. "A Lion-headed Helmet." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 18, no. 10 (1923). pp. 224–227, fig. 4.

Dean, Bashford. "Notes: Additional Information on the Lion-Headed Helmet." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 19, no. 2 (February 1924). p. 50.

Cripps-Day, Francis Henry, and Verein für Historische Waffenkunde. "Zwei Weitere Montmorency-Harnische." Zeitschrift für Historisches Waffenkund 11 (n.s. 2), no. 7 (July 1927). p. 164.

Dean, Bashford, and Robert T. Nichol. Handbook of Arms and Armor: European and Oriental, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, edited by Stephen V. Grancsay. 4th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 1930. p. 92, fig. 50.

Beard, Charles R., and The Hearst Corporation. "Some Tower Armour Pedigrees." The Connoisseur 87 (1931). pp. 159–169.

Granscay, S. V., A. Hyatt Mayor, James J. Rorimer, William Holmes Forsyth, Bruno Thomas, Sir Richard C. Jebb, Randolph Bullock, Stephen V. Grancsay, and Helmut Nickel. "The New Galleries of Oriental Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (May 1958). p. 210, ill. right.

Thomas, B., Ortwin Gamber, Hans Schedelmann, and Keysersche Verlagsbuchhandlung. Die Schönsten Waffen und Rüstungen aus Europäischen und Amerikanischen Sammlungen. Heidelberg, 1963. pp. 34–35, no. 15.

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Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor From the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer 1991). pp. 24, 64, ill.

Scalini, Mario. "La Celata di Borghese Borghesi ed Altri Copricapi Onorifici del Quattrocento." OPD Restauro: Rivista dell'Opificio della Pietre Dure e Laboratori di Restauro di Firenze 5 (1993). pp. 137–141, fig. 15.

Pyhrr, Stuart W., José-A. Godoy, and Silvio Leydi. "Filippo Negroli and His Contemporaries." In Heroic Armor of the Italian Renaissance. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998. pp. 92–94, ill. p. 93 (color).

Renaudeau, Olivier, Jean-Pierre Reverseau, Musée de l'Armée, and Jean-Paul Sage-Frénay. "Armures des Princes d'Europe." In Sous l'Égide de Mars. Paris: Éditions Nicolas Chaudun, 2010. pp. 366.

Campbell, Thomas P., Jane Adlin, Maryan W. Ainsworth, Dita Amory, Katharine Baetjer, Peter Barnet, Andrea Bayer, Keith Christiansen, Elizabeth Cleland, Malcolm Daniel, James David Draper, Mia Fineman, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Kathryn Galitz, Jared Goss, Sarah B. Graff, Stefan Heidemann, Seán Hemingway, Cindy Kang, IFA, Curatorial Studies Intern, Robert Lehman Collection, 2010-2011, Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, Jean-Francois de Laperouse, Lisa Messinger, Asher Ethan Miller, Jeffrey H. Munger, Atsuyuki Nakahara, Alison Manges Nogueira, Adela Oppenheim, Amelia Peck, Marla Prather, Sabine Rewald, Jeff L. Rosenheim, Susan Alyson Stein, Wendy A. Stein, Gary Tinterow, Clare Vincent, Ian Wardropper, Melinda Watt, Beth Carver Wees, H. Barbara Weinberg, Nagako Kakehi, Sheila R. Canby, Donald J. La Rocca, and Walter A. Liedtke. Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, edited by Peter Barnet, Atsuyuki Nakahara, and Nagako Kakehi. Tokyo: The Yomiuri Shimbun (Yokahama Museum of Art), 2012. p. 101, 226, no. 47.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Thomas P. Campbell. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 161, ill.



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