• Protection

    Knights of old used masks

    Q:  Helmets count as a type of mask, right? I thought this one was particularly cool. Imagine showing up for a joust and your opponent is wearing this.  Found on twitter @TheHiddenWorld   Helmet (Savoyard Type) Germany 1620,  Jay, 1454   A:  Jay is right.  The face part of a helmet 1s both for protection and intimidation.  This is one of the most scary (and funny) pieces of armor from the middle ages I have ever seen. The other Savoyard helmet is not as funny, but it is in higher resolution so you can blow it up and see all the detail.  We have a category called “Protection” which also contains gas…

  • Protection

    Collectible protective mask

    After the last post I want to talk more about protective masks. They are an interesting category of mask collecting. Unlike most collectable masks, they have nothing to do with ceremony or having fun. They are meant to keep the wearer from injury. But they also may have a secondary purpose of intimidating opponents. Here are some examples. You can see more protective masks by going to that category. None of them fail to impress the viewer Gas masks are often used by the military to protect soldiers from poisonous gas that the enemy might use against them. This one, like many others, would also be a little scary for…

  • Protection

    Is the Burka a real mask?

    A burka is a long, loose garment covering the whole body from head to feet, worn in public by many Muslim women. It does not have to be this color or design, but can vary, depending where you are located in the world of Islam. I think of it as a mask meant to protect women from tempting men and will add it to the “Protection” category in our archive. Do you think it qualifies as a real mask?

  • Protection

    Ice hockey goalie’s mask

    Many people collect them for looks or because they are avid sports fans.Other people collect all kinds of protective masks, in fact, we have on this site a category for these. What fascinates me is that this kind of safety equipment is also meant to intimidate opponents. Goalies Bernie Parent and Pelle Lindbergh were famous Philadelphia Flyers who introduced the very scary fiberglass face mask. This one was probably wore by Pelle. Others were a little different and often colorfully painted.

  • East Asia,  Protection

    Samurai metal face mask

    Solid metal masks were used by the samurais to protect their face in combat. Along with a large helmet and armor over all of his body, the warrior was well protected. A colorful and rather frightening appearance was also important. The superb set of full-body armor from the 18th century is the second photo. Its facial armor is not the same as the close-up. I will categories this mask in both the East Asia and Protection categories. Beautiful work! Japanese folk art, from masks to clay pots, has always been the best in the world… in my humble opinion.

  • Protection

    Protest masks

    I like ethnographic masks from all over the world; also protest, protective, steampunk and sex. You can go thru our archives and see just about everything. In my book, Masks of the World, non-ethnographic masks are covered in pages 166-180. Today we have a Guy Fawkes mask (and another one) used for protests. Not shown are the many masks that portray political personalities. Using masks to cover the face helps protestors in many countries avoid arrest, jail, and even worse. Follow this link to learn more about Guy Fawkes.

  • Protection

    Protective mask for paintball

    Many sports, law enforcement and military use protective masks. They can be very scary to look at, which is done intentionally. Naturally, there are people who collect them. This one is for the sport called paintball where teams shoot at each other with powerful airguns and rubber ball ammunition. No one is supposed to get hurt in the face. This is called an Invert Helix Thermal Paintball Mask and it looks better when used because the little cap covers all of the head. You can easily buy a new one for $30.  

  • Protection

    Hood masks from WW1 & 2

    The first hood mask is from WW1 and was probably made for civilians. The second photo of three women in new masks is from WW2. Both are British in origin. There are a surprising number of collectors who are fascinated with gas masks. Unusual ones like these are rare, but most gas masks are easy to find and inexpensive. You can find more about them in the Protection section under “Categories.”  Bob, 1311

  • Protection

    Argentinian gas mask

    I think we may have posted another gas mask under the category of protection. This one is from Argentinia and is probably old and used.  These kind of things are quite collectable. If you Google “gas mask/images” you will see many different types. Of course, only weird collectors like myself would ever hang them on the walls of a house.  Bob

  • Protection

    Labor Day surprise

    For those of you from countries where baseball is not played, this is a catcher’s mask. It protects the player’s face from a missed, fast-moving hardball. It is a true mask– not a tourist’s souvenir. I love protective masks for their beauty. As Louis Sullivan said, form follows function. Please check out the category called “Protection” to see others. They are all excellent designs. There are many others from different occupations and sports. Most of them can look great on the wall or a stand. You might want to consider getting a beautiful book called Masks by Nunley & McCarty. It contains ethnographic masks from all over the world, plus…