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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Oct, 2006 2:29 am    Post subject: A Rare Jester's or Youth's Masque Helmet         Reply with quote

A Rare Jester's or Youth's Masque Helmet

Presented here is a helm once found in the Hever Castle Collection and put up for auction by Sotheby's on May 5th, 1983.

The openwork skull with ridged gilt crest to which are attached three bells, spirally twisted gilded ram's horns and, on the left side, a gilded plume holder, hinged visor and decorative openwork, moustached mouth and beard wrought in one piece, the visor now painted brown, original color on moustache and lips.

First half 16th century, Minor repair to crest


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This curious helmet is mose closely related to the ram's head helmet with applied silver ornament by Konrad Seusenhofer sent by Emperor Maximilian as a present to Henry VIII (Tower Armouries IV-22), this also has a face mask hinged at the center of the brow. The mask fits more conveniently over the skull instead of fitting partly over and partly under. Unlike the Seusenhofer helmet, which lacks its original crest, this has a central comb, to which the three bells may be a later addition, as are the swiveling square ended loop on the front of the skull and the hook on the mask. A further probable addition is the plume holder on the left hand side. This might be taken for an asses' ear and suggests that this helmet may have had a similar history to the Maximilian/Seusenhofer helmet, namely that, some years subsequent to its original making, it was turned into a jester's helmet and the three featured mentioned above added. At the same time the ridiculous significance of the raim's head (discussed at length in the Borg/Blair controversy, see Journal of the Arms and Armour Society, London, Vol. VIII, 1974, p. 127/185, ill. Pls. LI-LVII) may have become meaningful. The excellence of the quality of the ram's horns, the gadrooned comb and the moustache and beard point to the hand of a first-rate armourer, even Konrad Seusenhofer himself. Other visors wrought with moustaches include that in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, said to have been made for the Elector Frederick the Great of Saxony and attributed by Blair to Konrad Seusenhofer for the Emperor Ferdinand I (Blair, op. cit. pl. LXVII).

Provenance: Zochille Collection

Literature: For the Seusenhofer ram's horn helmet, see Blair, The silvered armour of Henry VIII Archaelogia, Vol. XCIX, p. 17/20.


Copyright 1983 Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co.
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Allan Senefelder
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Location: Upstate NY
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Oct, 2006 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dude! This is awsome. It has kinda a Geigeresque feel to it. This thing is really freakish looking.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Oct, 2006 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Strange strange stuff: Kinky 16th century club armour. Razz Eek! Laughing Out Loud

Well attractive design but a bit puzzling if actually intended to be used as armour for war Question But the purpose of anything or everything is not exclusivaly practical, some things are just for the fun of it I guess.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Richard Fay




Location: Upstate New York
Joined: 29 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 6:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!
Wonderful photo, Nathan, as usual! (I hope you don't mind me addressing you as Nathan. I hope I'm not assuming too much familiarity. I'm still new to this "forum thing", and I'm not sure of the proper etiquette when addressing fellow forumites, moderators, and administrators.) Your photography and the wonderful format of your website was one of the things that drew me to this site.
Now, is anyone else thinking that this would make a great mask for Halloween? Tis the season!
(Can it be, is this truly all I have to say this time? Amazing!)
Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
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