Friday Five…the Top 5 moustaches of all time!

Salvador Dali

The breaking dawn tomorrow morning will see the beginning of Movember 2013 (*cringe from the ladies*). It’s at this time of year men worldwide relish the excuse to let hairy caterpillars set up camp on their upper lips, all in the name of prostrate cancer awareness (and instinctive male competitiveness).

So if moustaches really are the measures of manliness, here are some of the most macho men in history…

1.  Asterix

Asterix new


C. 50 BC

A true hero moustache if ever we saw one! The blonde moustache is something we believe is not seen quite often enough – and one as luscious as this definitely deserves a place in our top five. Protecting your village from Roman invasion during the Gallic wars would seem like a doddle after the trials and tribulations of cultivating hair like that. Watch out Caesar, if the Gauls don’t finish you off, insecurities about your own lack of facial hair may just be your downfall.

2. Jesus

Jesus Moustache

0 – c. 30AD

Ok, so maybe we can’t prove this one for certain, but if the Turin shroud is anything to go by, Jesus had a pretty epic moustache. The cloth which some people believe to be the burial shroud of Jesus bears the image of a crucified man. However radiocarbon dating suggests it may date from The Middle Ages. The many debates surrounding this controversial artefact are not for here and now, but what we can say is that we haven’t ever seen a depiction of Jesus without a good, sizeable moustache on it.

3.  Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan

1162 – August 1227

You would have to be mad to poke fun at founder of the Mongol Empire’s moustache style. The ruthless warrior apparently killed so many people (an estimated 40 million) that large areas of cultivated land were allowed to grow thick with forests once again, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reducing carbon levels by about 700 million tons.  A surprising, though admittedly unintentional, eco-warrior, and with a moustache like that we think he may even rival John Lennon.

4. Mortimer Wheeler

Mortimer Wheeler

September 1890 – 22 July 1976

We simply could not do the five greatest moustaches of all time and not have an archaeologist, could we? Sir Mortimer Wheeler was significant to archaeology for his promotion of more scientific methods of excavation and recording of stratigraphic contexts, and Monty’s ‘tache is significant to this list for its bushiness and subtle flicks. In fact, assisted by the pipe, he looks such an English gent in this photo we can’t really imagine him getting down in the dirt.

5. Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali

May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989

While Dali’s moustache may not immediately evoke thoughts of manliness, it makes a bold statement nonetheless. He demonstrates moustaches for what they are truly about, a statement of expression. Let’s just hope his style doesn’t come into fashion anytime soon… In his own words:

“Since I don’t smoke, I decided to grow a moustache – it is better for the health. However, I always carried a jewel-studded cigarette case in which, instead of tobacco, were carefully placed several moustaches, Adolphe Menjou style. I offered them politely to my friends: “Moustache? Moustache? Moustache?” Nobody dared to touch them. This was my test regarding the sacred aspect of moustaches.”

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Written by Aisling Serrant

An all round museum educator and enthusiast, Aisling's the Family Festival Coordinator at the Museum of London Docklands.

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