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Protective Equipment: Roman Helmets
Helmets with Face Masks

Below are examples of  Face Mask Helmets, thought to have been worn in battle and during parades by cavalry.

Bronze mask type Kalkriese. Definition is a mask without ears and low hanging hinge on forehead. Probably worn in combination with a Weisenau type of helmet with two cheek pieces.

This pieces displays unique features (geometric decorations on cheeks and edge), Ex Axel Guttmann Collection (now German private collection)


and a second mask helmet of the Kalkriese type. Brass sheet on iron core in combination with remains of a Weiler Type bowl with figural decorations. Ex Axel Guttmann collection, present location unknown

Face mask of type Kalkriese with two preserved cheekpieces. Both mask and cheekpieces executed in iron (base plate) and brass (cover sheet). This combination clearly was part of a cavalry type helmet (Weiler or Weisenau). This is supported by the shape and profile of the cheekpieces which feature an ear-protection. The best comparison is a complete brass Weisenau helmet with a similar type of mask and cheekpieces in the Shelby White collection in NY.

Dated: Augustan-Neronian

Private collection. Formerly 2006-2007 on display at Museum Carnuntinum ( Austria, Bad Deutsch-Altenburg)
Published: Exhibition catalogue "Legionsadler und Druidenstab, F. Humer, 2006," ISBN 3854602294"


Face Mask Type Kalkriese, displayed at Leiden, NL (combined with wrong helmet/bowl)


Face mask of the type Nimegen Kops-Plateau. Massive iron base plate with brass cover sheet. Partially retaining its silvered (tinned) surface. Belongs to a Weiler type cavalry helmet. Please compare to examples found in the Netherlands (Nijmegen) and France.

Dated: Augustan-Flavian

Private collection. Formerly 2006-2007 on display at Museum Carnuntinum ( Austria, Bad Deutsch-Altenburg)
Published: Exhibition catalogue "Legionsadler und Druidenstab, F. Humer, 2006," ISBN 3854602294"

Mask Type Nijmegen-Kops Plateau, brass sheet on iron core, exhibited at Leiden, NL

Another example of a Mask Type Nijmegen-Kops Plateau from the Axel Guttmann Collection

Images  Herrmann Historica Auction 154, 2008

Mask Type Nijmegen-Kops Plateau from Nijmegen, with Weiler type bowl

Type Nijmegen-Kops Plateau Face Mask, Nijmegen Museum, NL,

Mask type Nijmegen-Kops Plateau, mid 1st century, ex Gorny & Mosch auction, brass sheet on iron core


Face Mask of the Ribchester / Newstead Type, late 1st century, British Museum

to the left a copy of the Nijmegen helmet type Nijmegen-Kops Plateau, to the right a copy of a Newstead type Face mask (from Edinburg), both RGZM Mainz

The Ribchester "Sports"helmet, British Museum  (copy to the upper left is from the RGZM Mainz)
battle scene decoration on bowl

Mask Type Ribchester, Leiden Museum, NL

Iron face mask type Ribchester, from the Axel Guttmann Collection, ex-Christies Auction, New York, 8 Dec 2005, current location unknown

3 Type Newstead helmets from the Scottish National Museum at Edinburgh, found at Newstead


Type Pfrondorf facemasked helmet, Cavalry Sports type F, late 2nd-early 3rd century,   (Aalen Limes Museum)

Alexander and Female Type Masks, here copies from RGZM Mainz

Female Mask Type Straubing, corresponds to Robinson Cavalry Sports E, Eining,  3rd century, now Munich Archeological Museum

Female Mask Helmet, from Christie's Auction 2005, dated second half of second century to first half of third century AD

Alexander and Female mask helmets, late 2nd - 3rd century, Straubing

Alexander type mask, from Strass-Moos,  Munich Archeological Museum

Saalburg Museum, near Frankfurt, Germany

Heddernheim 2 helmet

Heddernheim type Helmet, Frankfurt Archeological Museum, found at Heddernheim

ex Axel Guttmann collection

Images from Herrmann Historika Auction

Example of a Late Roman - Germanic Face mask helmet (Sutton Hoo Ship burial, ca 600 AD). The helmet is based on a Spangen Helmet, London British Museum


Related Sections of the Roman Numismatic Gallery:

The  Location of Roman Legions from Caesar to ca. 300 AD is summarized in a table.
Military Equipment
Military Diploma
Roman Legionary Bricks
Countermarks of roman legions on coins are shown in the Legionary Countermark section.
Coins making reference to roman legions are to be found in the Legionary Coin section.
Wars and Victories on Roman coins.
Roman Military Main Page