Morion Style Helmet
The item presented here is a beautiful Morion style helmet used by the Swiss Guard in service to the Pope in the 1960s.
It has full plumage.
In nearly 20 years of searching for papal items this is the only time I’ve seen one of these helmets available.
The white plume along with the red felt interior indicate the helmet was made for the commanding officer. This is the most ornate form of Swiss Guard helmet and was reserved for use at only the most important occasions.
The coat of arms is from the Del Rove Pope, Julius II, who established the Swiss Guard. –Father Richard Kunst
Both the first and second pictures of the helmet clearly reveal the coat of arms in the embossing. (Page 5 of Papal History also has an image of Pope Julius’ coat of arms.)
A morion helmet is a type of open helmet used from the middle 16th and early 17th centuries, usually having a flat brim and a crest from front to back. It has been represented in 19th and 20th century book illustrations and in films as well as by the Vatican Swiss Guard.
A Civic Guard Papal Officer’s Helmet
The item is a papal officer’s helmet used in the Papal States dating to the mid-19th century during the papacy of Pope Pius IX.
The skull is of blackened boiled leather trimmed with gilded brass metal parts and the papal cross keys & tiara with Pio IX’s inscription.
The top of the helmet includes a plume holder with a horsehair plume.
This type of helmet was widely used by European armies of that era of which the Vatican Papal States were a part. It continued to be used for parades and other ceremonial duties before the 1870 fall of the Papal States to the Kingdom of Italy.
Early 19th Century Helmet of the Swiss Guard
The helmet is a mid-to-early 19th century example with an ornate leather exterior and the GSP. The emblem contains the cross keys and tiara, the symbol of the pope. The chinstrap has two lions’ faces with their mouths holding the rings of the chinstrap. A metal cone on the top of the helmet holds the plume.
Signed Photograph of the Vatican Swiss Guard Commander in 1930
The item is a vintage photograph of the Vatican Swiss Guard Commander, Alois Hirschbuhl, in 1930. He served as commandant from 1921-1935. The artifact includes both a dedication by him and his autograph. It is in good condition in a simple, vintage frame and is a great addition to the Swiss Guard portion of this Collection.
Commander Hirschbuhl was from the Canton of Graubunden, a region in eastern Switzerland, known for its dramatic Alpine scenery, and its skiing and snowboarding. The Engadin Valley has traditional whitewashed houses decorated with sgraffito (designs painted with plaster).
St. Moritz, an upscale resort town, offers 5 ski complexes and an Olympic ski-jumping hill.
Davos, home to the annual World Economic Forum, is also popular for skiing and hiking.
*Note the similarity to the Morion Style Helmet being worn by Commander Alois Hirschbuhl,