This helmet is the earliest surviving example of Renaissance armor all'antica (in the antique style). The lion's head is an outer shell made of embossed and gilt copper that is fitted over an underlying plain steel helmet. It represents the head of the Nemean Lion, whose pelt was worn as a headdress and cloak by the mythological hero Hercules. He was frequently portrayed in Renaissance art as a symbol of indomitable strength, courage, and perseverance.
[Thomas Gwennap, London, 1816–33]; A. C. Lafontaine, England (until 1914; sold to Böhler); [Julius Böhler, Munich, 1914; sold to Germanisches Nationalmuseum]; Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg (1914–22; sold to a private collector); private collection, Holland (1922–23; sold through Julius Goldshmidt to MMA).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 14, 1970–February 14, 1971, no. 201.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Heroic Armor of the Italian Renaissance: Filippo Negroli and his Contemporaries," October 8, 1998–January 17, 1999, no. 8.
Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "Earth, Sea, Sky, Nature in Western Art: Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 6, 2012–January 4, 2013, no. 47.
Beijing. National Museum of China. "Earth, Sea, Sky, Nature in Western Art: Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 8–May 9, 2013, no. 47.
Oplotheca No. 20, Lower Brook Street, Bond Street, London. Catalogue of a ... Collection of Antient Armour Exhibiting at the Oplotheca, No. 20 Lower Brook Street, Bond Street: Forming a Series from the Norman Conquest, Including ... Shields, Helmets, Swords, Etc. .... London: Smith and Davy, 1816. p. 15, no. 107.
Oplotheca No. 20, Lower Brook Street, Bond Street, London and Francis Henry Cripps-Day. Catalogue of a Most Splendid and Instuctive [sic] Collection of Antient Armor: Exhibiting at the Oplotheca.. London: Smith and Davy, 1817. p. 18, no. 107.
Gothic Hall. Catalogue of the Splendid Collection of Ancient Armor: The Collection Comprises Specimens from the Norman Conquest to the Latest Periods. London: J. Davy & Sons, 1818. p. 24, no. 125.
Gothic Hall. Catalogue of a Splendid Collection of Military Antiquities, Comprising ... Specimens of Arms and Armour from the Norman Conquest to the Latest Periods. 4th ed. ed. London, 1819. p. 21, no. 131.
Gothic Hall. Catalogue of a Splendid Collection of Military Antiquities: Comprising the Most Rare and Interesting Specimens of Arms and Armour from the Norman Conquest to the Latest Periods. 6th ed. London: J. Davy & Sons, 1820. p. 21, no. 131.
Royal Armoury. Royal Armoury, Hay-Market: Catalogue. London: J. Davy & Sons, September 1821. p. 8, no. 64.
Robins, George. Military Antiquities: Ancient Armour and Implements of War of Almost Every Nation, All the Specimens Formerly Exhibited in the Gothic Hall, Pall Mall. London: George Robins, June 10–11, 1833. p. 19, no. 124.
Royal Armoury. Royal Armoury, Hay-Market: Catalogue. London, 1835. no. 64.
Germanischen Nationalmuseums. "Zuwachs der Sammlungen: Kunst und Kultureschichtliche Sammlungen." Anzeiger des Germanischen Nationalmuseums no. 3–4 46–47, tafel I.
Laking, Guy Francis, Charles Alexander Cosson, and Francis Henry Cripps-Day. A Record of European Armour and Arms Through Seven Centuries. Vol. II. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1920. pp. 12–14, 20, fig. 355.
Dean, Bashford. "A Lion-Headed Helmet." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 18, no. 10 pp. 224–27, figs. 1, 4.
Dean, Bashford. "Notes: Additional Information on the Lion-Headed Helmet." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 19, no. 2 p. 50.
Cripps-Day, Francis Henry, and Verein für Historische Waffenkunde. "Zwei Weitere Montmorency-Harnische." Zeitschrift für Historisches Waffenkund 11 (n.s. 2), no. 7 p. 164.
Dean, Bashford, and Robert T. Nichol. Handbook of Arms and Armor, European and Oriental, edited by Stephen V. Grancsay. 4th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 1930. p. 92, fig. 50.
Beard, Charles R., and The Hearst Corporation. "Some Tower Armour Pedigrees." The Connoisseur 87 pp. 159–69.
Grancsay, Stephen V. "The New Galleries of European Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (May 1956), p. 210, ill.
Thomas, Bruno, Ortwin Gamber, and Hans Schedelmann. Die Schönsten Waffen und Rüstungen aus Europäischen und Amerikanischen Sammlungen. Heidelberg: Keysersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1963. pp. 34–35, no. 15.
Thomas, Bruno, Ortwin Gamber, and Hans Schedelmann. Arms and Armour of the Western World. New York: McGraw Hill, 1964. pp. 64–65, no. 15.
Blackmore, Howard. Arms and Armour. Dutton Vista Pictureback. London: Studio Vista, 1965. p. 25, ill.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Kenneth Clark. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1970. p. 212, no. 201, ill.
Thomas, Bruno. L'Uomo, le Armi, le Mura. L'Illustrazione Italiana, Vol. 1, no. 2. Milan: Bramante Editrice, 1974. pp. 45, ill.
Thomas, Bruno. "L'elmo Leonino del Metropolitan." L'Illustraziona Italiana 1, no. 2 pp. 4–5.
Hayward, John F. "The Revival of Roman Armour in the Renaissance: The Endeavours at Recreating the Pomp of the Caesars for the Princes of the Cinquecento." In Art, Arms and Armour: An International Anthology, edited by Robert Held. Vol. 1. Chiasso, Switzerland: Acquafresca Editrice, 1979. p. 148, fig. 6.
Boccia, Lionello G., Fabio Rossi, and Marco Morin. Armi e Armature Lombarde. Milan: Electa, 1980. pp. 78–79, no. 67.
Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer, 1991), pp. 24, 64, ill.
Scalini, Mario. "La Celata di Borghese Borghesi ed Altri Copricapi Onorifici del Quattrocento." OPD Restauro: Rivista dell'Opificio della Pietre Dure e Laboratori di Restauro di Firenze (1993), pp. 137–41, fig. 15.
Pyhrr, Stuart W., José-A. Godoy, and Silvio Leydi. Heroic Armor of the Italian Renaissance: Filippo Negroli and His Contemporaries. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998. pp. 92–94, no. 8, ill.
Renaudeau, Olivier, Jean-Pierre Reverseau, Musée de l'Armée, and Jean-Paul Sage-Frénay. "Armures des Princes d'Europe." In Sous l'Égide de Mars. Paris: Éditions Nicolas Chaudun, 2010. p. 366.
Campbell, Thomas P., Jane Adlin, Maryan W. Ainsworth, Dita Amory, Katharine Baetjer, Peter Barnet, Andrea Bayer, Keith Christiansen, Elizabeth Cleland, Malcolm Daniel, James David Draper, Mia Fineman, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Kathryn Galitz, Jared Goss, Sarah B. Graff, Stefan Heidemann, Seán Hemingway, Cindy Kang, IFA, Curatorial Studies Intern, Robert Lehman Collection, 2010-2011, Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, Jean-Francois de Laperouse, Lisa Messinger, Asher Ethan Miller, Jeffrey H. Munger, Atsuyuki Nakahara, Alison Manges Nogueira, Adela Oppenheim, Amelia Peck, Marla Prather, Sabine Rewald, Jeff L. Rosenheim, Susan Alyson Stein, Wendy A. Stein, Gary Tinterow, Clare Vincent, Ian Wardropper, Melinda Watt, Beth Carver Wees, H. Barbara Weinberg, Nagako Kakehi, Sheila R. Canby, Donald J. La Rocca, and Walter A. Liedtke. Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, edited by Peter Barnet, Atsuyuki Nakahara, and Nagako Kakehi. Tokyo: The Yomiuri Shimbun (Yokahama Museum of Art), 2012. p. 101, 226, no. 47.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Thomas P. Campbell. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 161, ill.
Pyhrr, Stuart W. "Of Arms and Men: Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan, 1912–2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer 2012), p. 21, fig. 29.
La Rocca, Donald J. How to Read European Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2017. p. 116, fig. 127.
Artist: Date: ca. 1470; gilt mounts, probably added early 16th century Accession Number: 29.158.15 Date: ca. 1470; gilt mounts, probably added early 16th centuryMedium: Steel, copper alloy, gold, velvetAccession: 29.158.15On view in:Gallery 373