Original French 1st Empire Napoleonic Model 1810 Other Ranks Cuirassier Helmet dated 1812 - As Found
Original Item: One of a Kind. This is a remarkable find, out of the wood work and offered just as it has been found.
This is an Other Ranks, (Regular Trooper not an Officer's) steel and brass Cavalry helmet from Napoleon Bonaparte's heavy cavalry, known as "CUIRASSIERS". The steel dome is very clearly dated on the right rear with the date 1812 under V, and is also marked on the other side rear with its serial number 563.
The helmet bowl is sound and the steel is somewhat stained. the hard leather wrap is still present although some bits of leather are missing, and the leather definitely shows age. The brass plume holder on the left side is present but is empty, unfortunately. The Chin Strap assembly of leather backed brass scales/chains is also absent. The brass trimmed hard leather "beaks" to both front and back are present, and all retain all of their brass hardware.
The brass "comb" is in place mounted on the top of the helmet but shows dents and scratches from over 200 years of age. The Medusa style face to the front has an old split in the nose but the rosette beneath it is still present. There is still a black horse tail protruding from the rear of the comb, which is very dry and could even be the original one from 1812. The brass "pumpkin" mounted "shaving brush" to the front top of the crest is also absent.
HOWEVER we have sourced NEW MADE replacement parts, both Chin scales and "Shaving Brush" Assembly complete with brass "pumpkin" mounted on its securing shaft. This is so if the buyer wishes to, they can install thees to at least bring the helmet to a more complete state for display. The NEW parts are just that and would possibly be needed to be aged to create the best effect. These New parts we are including with the helmet at no additional charge.
With research we discovered a Website in France which provides multiple photographs of an M-1810 OFFICER'S Helmet and Cuirass which clearly shows the more flamboyant Officer's model, however the relationship to this "Other Ranks" example is unmistakable. This website can be accessed at:
The back story for this item is interesting: the helmet was in a Private Museum Collection in London, England, being exhibited atop of a French Brass Covered Cuirass dated 1832 of the Carabiniere Regiment. It was the cuirass that was being sold. Upon purchasing the Cuirass, the Vendor asked if there might be any interest in the Helmet despite the fact that it was incorrect for the 1832 dated Carabiniere Cuirass. Being is such an "as is" condition the price was exceptionally modest. Regrettably the Buyer was not us, but one of our suppliers who then graciously called us.
This is an EXTREMELY RARE 1ST EMPIRE HEAVY CAVALRY HELMET of Napoleon Bonaparte's Cuirassiers. Left completely untouched, nor restored, NOT EVEN CLEANED! The Only one we have ever seen.
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