June 29, 2021 at 09:52AM

Samurai facial armor (sōmen), mislabelled “executioner’s mask,” iron, 18th–19thcentury (?), London, Science Museum Group Collection, obj. no. A129822, The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.

Two ‘executioner’s masks’ housed in the collection of the pharmaceutical entrepreneur and philanthropist Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936) have recently been exposed as historiographical forgeries manufactured in the nineteenth-century.
Previously these objects were believed to have covered the face of the executioner during capital punishment, either to disguise his identity or to protect him from the ‘evil eye’ of the dead convict. In an article for History Today, Alison Kinney argued that such notions do not match with early modern written and visual documentation but rather with Victorian ‘gothic’ sensibilities.

#creativehistory #revisionisthistory
#mask #armor #samurai #face #executioner https://instagr.am/p/CQtNjsesUMK/


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