Iron mask, said to be worn by victims going to execution in Nuremburg, Germany, 17th century
This grotesque mask is believed to have been worn by prisoners being led to their executions in Nuremburg, Germany, during the 1600s. It was presumably intended to bring further distress and humiliation to a terrified individual.
Masks were also often worn by executioners to hide their identity. There are fewer historical references to prisoners wearing masks. One exception is a French prisoner immortalised in The Man in the Iron Mask by author Alexander Dumas (1802-1870). The prisoner was reputedly held for over 30 years and never allowed to remove his iron mask.
- Wellcome (general)
- Object Number:
- furnishing and equipment
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.