As an amateur historian I frequently find myself looking at things from the past and being amazed that there was once a time when real, living people used them. Case in point being…this.
Someone back in the early 1600s actually put that thing on, went into battle, and probably killed people while wearing it. Meaning, of course, that there were people whose last moments consisted of looking up at…that. It must have been pretty terrifying, or surreal, or both.
When I see stuff like this, I wonder about so many things. Like, who was the man who wore that? It looks like an empty shell to us, but there was a real person inside it. Was he some incredible badass, a battle hardened soldier? Or was he some officer from a rich noble family who could afford to outfit himself with the most protective gear and ride around on horseback surveying the siege while other guys charged in and risked their lives? It could have been either. The cuirassiers of the 17th century were notorious for their ability to rout companies of infantry several times their size with a full-on shock charge into the line with pistols and swords.
This is like the 17th century version of the snarling mouth and fangs painted onto the nose of a fighter aircraft. Psychological warfare - on a small scale. Never ceases to amaze me, the little details.