Mystery Helmet

Discussion in 'Militaria' started by Ranger Rick, Nov 18, 2021.

  1. Ranger Rick

    Ranger Rick Member

    Well this is really an odd one. I think it may be decorative? It appears to be made of cast aluminum with steel rivets hammered over on the inside. About 14 ½ inches front to back, 8 ½ wide, 10 ½ tall. Quite heavy for any type of real helmet. The scene depicted on it I have seen before, but have no idea where? Maybe a fraternal sword blade? Appears to be a hunting scene, men with torches and dogs cornering some type of animal. A man is fighting with the animal (maybe a Lion?) Or some mythical beast? Trees and castles in the background. I can’t appear to find anything like it? Any clues on this would be great. I think it looks Awesome!
    Helmet-1.jpg Helmet-2.jpg Helmet-3.jpg Helmet-4.jpg Helmet-5.jpg Helmet-6.jpg Helmet-7.jpg Awesome!
     
    judy likes this.
  2. Mat

    Mat Well-Known Member

    Looks like a (modern) helmet of a Gladiator, with Hercules fighting Cerberus and the Nemea lion maybe?
     
    Bronwen and judy like this.
  3. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Modern decorator piece from here. Not that I've seen a real one, but it looks cast and not well. A real one with that sort of decoration would be hand-hammered repousse.
     
    Bronwen likes this.
  4. Ranger Rick

    Ranger Rick Member

    I do agree that it can't be that old. I also think that "Mat" is probably spot on with "Hercules fighting Cerberus and the Nemea lion". I just don’t know where it came from? I can’t find anything like it on the internet anywhere? It is a casting, but is it someone’s idea of a fantasy helmet or a copy of an existing one? Clearly it was not mass produced or I would be able to find photos of another one. No marking or foundry stamps? I am also sure I have seen this exact scene before somewhere else. I am truly puzzled on its origin!
     
    Bronwen likes this.
  5. Mat

    Mat Well-Known Member

    Maybe I was wrong and it is not a Gladiator helmet but a Renaissance one. The scenes do not quite right for a Roman piece. Search for "Negroli helmet" and you will see some similar ones. I also could not find the exact original so far...
     
    Bronwen likes this.
  6. Ranger Rick

    Ranger Rick Member

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
  7. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    That one's legit. It was a parade helmet I'd bet - no one in their right minds would depend on it in a fight.
     
    Bronwen likes this.
  8. Jeff Drum

    Jeff Drum Well-Known Member

    Is it really aluminum? That alone must make it fairly recent (20th century). Your link at the met didn't work for me - what is that one made of? Aluminum has the lowest temperature for home casting, so could be a one-off by someone with a home furnace and a hankering for a cool looking helmet - home casting using aluminum is something you'll run into fairly often.
     
    Bronwen likes this.
  9. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    This looks like Zeus/Jupiter:

    [​IMG]

    Lernean Hydra.
     
    Boland likes this.
  10. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

  11. Ranger Rick

    Ranger Rick Member

    I am fairly sure it is cast aluminum. It is much thicker that the met helmets. My guess it is a one-off copy of an original helmet in poor shape. The scene depicted is exactly like one I have seen before. Lots of work to make by someone, I just don't understand. I think if someone made an original mold and cast it, there would be better detail.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
  12. A modern cast aluminium copy, probably a copy of a copy of a copy by the looks of it, of a parade burgonet in the mid 16th century style of Lucio Piccinino or the Negroli brothers, but lacking the sharp details of the originals. Every time one takes a copy and then copies that, one loses some more detail unfortunately, as appears to be the case here.
    The genuine ones tend to be fairly thin metal, but not always.
    The beautiful helmet shown below belongs to a similarly decorated full armour in the Royal Armouries, ca. 1550, called 'The Lion Armour', probably French or Italian, the jury is out on this one! But the interesting thing about it is, that the armour has been quite extensively fought with! The right side of the skull bears several quite deep sword marks from use in antiquity.
    [​IMG]
     
    Bronwen, komokwa and Fid like this.
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