Helmets with Faces

From Palazzo Altemps
This crappy picture is the front view of the same helmet seen from the sides in the above two images. I spotted it in the Vatican Etruscan Bronzes Gallery.
Same case as previous, said to be a mask visor.

I’ll add more here when I spot them. I like this type of thing for thinking about coin imagery like the ketos helmet/headdress on the coins of Vetulonia (blog post) or even the boar headdress on Roman Republican bronzes. (RRC 39/2 etc…)

Update 5-3-23:

Reading this piece:

Elliott, John. “The Etruscan wolfman in myth and ritual.” Etruscan Studies 2 (1995): 17-33. (link)

Abstract: A large bronze animal’s head in Cambridge (Mass.), Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University Art Museums Acc. no. 1964.128, is indeed the head of a wolf and was used as part of a masked ritual in which the Etruscans defeated a monster personifying death. Urns, wall-paintings and pottery decoration all provide additional evidence for the connection between wolves and the deities of the underworld in Etruria.

It has great images and I think even without the helmet or the Capitoline Wolf (proven to be not ancient) the corpus of images adds up to a distinctive and important cultural practice. The helmet while likely ancient has been distorted through heavy ‘restoration’ esp the teeth and perhaps low jaw:

Harvard link

So it is evidence of an animal helmet but we cannot say what kind… This object needs some provenience research.

2 thoughts on “Helmets with Faces”

  1. Very interesting topic. The human merging with the device, the metal skin. Could do a lot with it and obviously shields merge with coin fields too, like Antigonid ones. Ketos head, wondering how it’s different than other head/helmets.

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