Wolf’s Head Helmet, 6th-5th century BCE, Roman
This helmet appears to actually be Etruscan, according to the Harvard Art Museum. This is a wonderful piece so I wanted to find out more about it! The museum also describes it as being a boar head, not a wolf head, which makes sense to me considering that the boar features more commonly in Etruscan designs.
They said that this particular helmet (probably a ritual helmet) has been through many repairs, both ancient and modern. They compare the structure of this helmet to the structure of similar pieces of boars’ heads on Etruscan chariots (and in fact, some of the pieces of this helmet may have actually been taken right off of said chariot).
In my hunt, I also found another Etruscan helmet featuring boars, from the Dallas Museum of Art. This one is a Corinthian-type Etruscan helmet made in Southern Italy. If anyone likes Etruscan art and culture it’s really no secret that the Etruscans loved Greek work!
(Really fantastic detail of the boar!)
It’s not hard to mistake the first helmet as Roman. It does look a lot like a wolf’s jaw and the Romans are strongly connected with wolf symbolism, as well as Roman artifacts overlapping in the same area. It does sadden me a little when the artifacts of other ancient peoples in Italy are mistakenly associated with the Romans, though. (As much as I love ‘em!) Etruscan craft was gorgeous on its own merit.