Original 19th Century Bavarian Raupenhelme Cavalry Helmet from the Reign of "Mad King" Ludwig II

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The distinctive Bayern (Bavaria) Raupenhelme (Caterpillar helmet) can be traced back to 1800 when the "Kasket Muster 1800" was introduced. The Raupenhelme had a leather body with a large wool or hair comb on the top and was worn by all ranks from 1800 to 1886 undergoing numerous modifications. After that, Bavaria fell into line with the rest of the German Empire, and adopted its own version of the pickelhaube. This fine example of a Raupenhelme is a cavalry version, and bears the Royal Monogram of King Ludwig II.

King LUDWIG II of Bavaria, born 1845, was the son of King Maximilian II and Prussian Princess Marie. He was ignored by his parents and left to his own fantasies. In 1865 he became King but within two years Bavaria was taken over by the Prussians and he remained as King in name only. He is considered to have been quite mad and built extraordinary castles throughout his realm, including NEUSCHWANSTEIN, the model for the castle at DISNEY WORLD. He died under strange circumstances just two weeks after having been deposed as King for reasons of insanity. He was followed by King Otto, who was himself never in power due to alleged mental illness. His uncle Prince Regent Luitpold ruled in his stead.

Here we have a King Ludwig II Cavalry Helmet of black leather with gilt brass fittings. The helmet still retains its enlisted style black leather multi-panel liner, though the top tie is missing. It still has the lovely black wool "Caterpillar" type wool comb on top, unique to the Raupenhelme, though it does show some wear, and has faded from black to a light brown color, which is very common.

The leather chin strap is in good shape, and clips to two Lion's Head fittings on the side. Above the Lion on the left side the helmet still has the original Bavarian blue brass Kokarde, as well as a faded black hackle plume, which is currently somewhat loose in the socket.

In service for just 20 years, this helmet is in very good condition and is ready to display!

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