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.