H. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm); W. 7 5/16 in. (18.6 cm); D. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 2 oz. (1871 g)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 374
This masterpiece of Renaissance metalwork is signed on the browplate by Filippo Negroli, whose embossed armor was praised by sixteenth-century writers as "miraculous" and deserving "immortal merit." Formed of one plate of steel and patinated to look like bronze, the bowl is raised in high relief with motifs inspired by classical art. The graceful mermaidlike siren forming the helmet's comb holds a grimacing head of Medusa by the hair. The sides of the helmet are covered with acanthus scrolls inhabited by putti, a motif ultimately derived from ancient Roman sculpture and wall paintings.
Inscription: Signed on the brow plate, in gold: PHILIPP NEG ROLV FECIT MCXXXXIII (the date is mistakenly written as 1143 instead of 1543).
Sir Bernard Brocas, Wokefield Park, Sharnbrook, Berkshire, England (until 1834; sale, George Robins, London, March 19, 1834, no. 366, for £29.8, to Roussel); [Monsieur Roussel, Paris, from 1834]; Honoré d'Albert, 8th duc de Luynes, Château de Dampierre, France (until d. 1867); by descent to Charles Honoré Emmanuel d'Albert, 9th duc de Luynes, Château de Dampierre (1867–d. 1870); by descent to Honoré d'Albert, 10th duc de Luynes, Château de Dampierre (1870–at least 1905); [Jacques Seligmann and Company, Paris, until 1907; sold on April 29, 1907, for £13,200, to Morgan]; J. Pierpont Morgan, New York (1907–17; his gift to MMA).