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Original French WWI Armée de l'Air Air Force Roold Aviation Crash Helmet With Original Period Applied Insignia, Correct Ear Pieces, Intact Label and American Luxor Goggles - Casque d’Aviateur

Regular price $3,495.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is an incredibly rare offering we have to bring to the table! This is an intact and complete example of the legendary French “Roold” Aviation Crash Helmet. It has the correct ear pieces on the sides, original period applied prop insignia on the front, an intact manufacturer label and even an original pair of goggles! It does not get better than this.

During the late 1900s France was the leader in most things aviation, as witnessed by words such as ‘aileron’, ‘fuselage’, ‘pitot’ etc. In the US the Wright Brothers’ fierce enforcement of their patents had stifled developments; elsewhere things were half hearted and usually pursued by a few private individuals. This meant that the most up-to-date aircraft, equipment and aviation clothing tended to be French in the fledgling ‘Blériot’ years ~1909 to WWI.

In 1910 ‘Roold’, a Paris department store, commissioned the inventor M. F. Gouttes’ design of a moderately complex aviation crash helmet. This led to the famous pre-and early WWI Roold Helmet – ‘Casque pour Aviateurs ROOLD’, or ‘Casque d’Aviateur’. It was adopted by the French military in 1911 and later by several other nations; it was also copied by many companies in several countries.

That the Roold Helmet was indeed based on colonial sun helmets is alluded to in its description in a Roold 1911 information and advertising pamphlet; – ‘The Roold helmet, which is similar in shape to that of a colonial helmet, consists of two overlapping cork and gutta-percha caps, leaving a free space between them’.

The overall condition of both items is quite worn. The leather is very well broken in with the expected cracking in the finish. The helmet retains the original ROOLD brand Paris based manufacture cloth label, still wonderfully stitched to the quilt style lining. The sweatband and the insulated lining are worn with very little tearing present or material loss but does have loose stitching. The goggles are intact though the elastic strap was definitely added with the help of bobby pins. The lenses are still clear and surprisingly unbroken!

A lovely set that comes more than ready for further research and display.

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