We have always considered and collected these commercial masks and helmets as industries tribal art. Examples can be elegant in their simplicity or bazaar and complex. They are always unique, suprising and filled with personality.
1800s Skin Covered Lion Model
This looks like a very early model. I can't say what's under the surface but it may be wood. The outside layer is a very thin skin or hyde that was shaped. The eyes are glass... $250