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Savoyard Helmet (Todenkopf)

Savoyard Helmet (Todenkopf)

c. 1600-1620

Steel, blackened

Overall: 30.5 cm (12 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Trust 2013.50

Fun Fact

This type of helmet is also called a "todenkopf," translating to "death's head."

Description

The term “Savoyard helmet” is used today to evoke the elite cavalry units formed by Charles Emanuel I, Duke of Savoy (1580-1630). Such helmets were designed principally to withstand and protect the wearer from shot from the powerful wheel-lock guns of the day, though their secondary function was to intimidate and terrify. The design of the helmet suggests a human face or skull. They were known as todenkopf or “death’s head” helmets in Germany. The helmet would have originally been associated with a three-quarter cuirassier armor. Similar armors are displayed nearby.

See also
Collection: 
MED - Arms & Armor
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Arms and Armor

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