Helmets fitted with masklike visors were a popular German and Austrian fashion about 1510 to 1540. With their visors forged and embossed as humorous or grotesque human masks, such helmets were often worn in tournaments held during the exuberant pre-Lenten (Shrovetide) festivals, celebrations somewhat akin to the modern Mardi Gras. Substitute visors of more conventional type were often provided for everyday use.
Ex colls.: Louis Carrand, Lyons, France; Frédéric Spitzer, Paris; Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Dino, Paris.Radziwill Armory, Nesvizh Castle (before 1871); Jean-Baptiste Carrand, Lyons and Paris (until d. 1871; by descent through the family to Louis Carrand); Louis Carrand, Paris (after 1871); [Frédéric Spitzer, Paris, by 1878 (?)–d. 1890; his posthumous sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, June 10–14, 1895, no. 7, for Fr 76,000 (for the entire lot) to Duc de Dino]; Charles Maurice Camille de Talleyrand-Périgord Duc de Dino, Paris (1895–1904; sold to MMA).
Paris. Musée de l'Armée. "Exposition Universelle Internationale de 1889: Exposition Rétrospective du Travail et des Sciences Anthropologiques," 1889, no. 637 (as "Armure de guerre. – Travail allemand, XVIe siècle. lent by Spitzer).
Bonnaffé, Edmond. Le Musée Spitzer. Paris: Imprimerie de l'art, 1890. p. 30.
Blackmore, Howard. Arms and Armour. Dutton Vista Pictureback. London: Studio Vista, 1965. p. 63, fig. 65.
Nickel, Helmut. Ullstein-Waffenbuch: Eine Kulturhistorische Waffenkunde Mit Markenverzeichnis. Berlin: Ullstein, 1974. p. 129, ill.