The Strange And Grotesque Decoration Of King Henry VIII Horned Helmet

One of the most mysterious objects in the Royal Armouries’ collection is the ‘Horned Helmet’ that belonged to King of England Henry VIII. Made by Austrian goldsmith Konrad Seusenhofer, a leading armor manufacturer of the 16th century, this strange-looking horned helmet was originally part of a suit of armor presented by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I to Henry VIII in 1514. The decoration on the grotesque mask is etched, with life-like facial details even down to the stubble on the chin and crow’s feet around the eyes, and there is a pronounced drip beneath the nose. The mask is complete with a pair of spectacles, which heighten further the strangeness of this helmet. A pair of ram’s horns, beautifully modeled in sheet iron, complete this extraordinary piece and make it so remarkable. The bizarre appearance of the helmet probably saved it from destruction, but the rest of Henry’s armor no longer survives (probably discarded as scrap metal after the Civil War).

The strange and grotesque decoration of King Henry VIII Horned Helmet

The strange and grotesque decoration of King Henry VIII Horned Helmet

The strange and grotesque decoration of King Henry VIII Horned Helmet

The strange and grotesque decoration of King Henry VIII Horned Helmet

The strange and grotesque decoration of King Henry VIII Horned Helmet

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