Pop culture tends to depict the 16th-century English king Henry VIII as a mustache-twirling despot bedecked in fancy garb, munching on a giant turkey leg, and executing his wives willy-nilly.
But at one point, Henry really lived up to the supervillain stereotype with this idiosyncratic headgear, which made him resemble a demon who regularly got beat up for lunch money.
This spectacled steel mask was a gift created in 1511 by armorer Konrad Seusenhofer at the behest of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. (Seusenhofer also once designed a similar but less zany horned headpiece for Maxmilian himself.)
Henry’s helmet belonged to a (now lost) larger suit of armor which was adorned with purple velvet for maximum tyrannical fabulousness. Henry wore this mask to court pageants and other social events, which one can only assume were the 1500s equivalent of ugly sweater parties.
Although Henry’s later years would be defined by an ill temper, chronic injuries from sport and jousting, and profound obesity, he was athletic in his youth. No doubt this mask imbued in his subjects a twofold fear — their king dressed like a crazed ogre accountant, and he could probably outrun them.
You can definitely own your own less-steampunk-y but still awesome Loki helmet regardless of what Henry VIII had.
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