Close Helmet with Mask Visor

Armorer: Attributed to Kolman Helmschmid (German, Augsburg 1471–1532)

Date: ca. 1515

Geography: Augsburg

Culture: German, Augsburg

Medium: Steel, gold

Dimensions: H. 12 in. (30.5 cm); W. 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm); D. 13 in. (33 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 12 oz. (2146 g)

Classification: Helmets

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1904

Accession Number: 04.3.286a

Description

Helmets fitted with masklike visors were a popular German and Austrian fashion about 1510 to 1540. With their visors forged and embossed as humorous or grotesque human masks, such helmets were often worn in tournaments held during the exuberant pre-Lenten (Shrovetide) festivals, celebrations somewhat akin to the modern Mardi Gras. Substitute visors of more conventional type were often provided for everyday use.

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