The helmet was intended for the Scharfrennen, a joust fought by two mounted contestants armed with sharp lances. The conjoined initials L and M, for Louis II of Hungary (1506–1526) and his wife, Maria of Austria, are featured prominently in the decoration. Discovered in the collection of the former imperial arsenal in Istanbul, the helmet was presumably captured by the Turks when they overran much of eastern Europe between 1526 and 1529. Louis II was killed in the battle of Mohács on August 29, 1526, while defending Hungary against the Turkish invasion.
Ex. coll.: Arsenal of St. Irene, Constantinople; Bashford Dean, New York.
Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 15–March 18, 1953.
Kalmár, Johannes von., and Erich Haenel. "Pfeilspitzen als Würdeabzeichen." Zeitschrift für Historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde NF 6 (1937–39). p. 112.
Nickel, Helmut. Ullstein-Waffenbuch: Eine Kulturhistorische Waffenkunde Mit Markenverzeichnis. Berlin: Ullstein, 1974. p. 87, ill.
Pyhrr, Stuart W. "European Armor from the Imperial Ottoman Arsenal." Metropolitan Museum Journal 24 (1989). pp. 102–5, 108–9b, figs. 15d, 32–35.
Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer 1991). pp. 16, 64, ill.
Krause, Stefan. "Der Augusburger Druckgraphiker Daniel Hopfer (1471–1536) als Waffendekorateur." Jahrbuch des Kunsthistorischen Museums Wien 15–16 (2013). note 84.