Original German WWI Prussian M1895 Infantry Enlisted Man's Pickelhaube Spiked Helmet with Pioneer Wappen

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very good condition Imperial Prussian line Infantry enlisted man's Mannschaften (other ranks) pickelhaube. The M1895 was the final pre-1914 evolution in a long series of spiked helmets. It displays lovely condition "German Silver" Prussian spread eagle Pioneer helmet plate and comes complete with supple original leather liner. The spike on top denotes infantry issue and retains correct brass chinstrap lugs, cockades, and chin strap.

This helmet features a lovely Pioneer Unit Nickel-Silver alloy frontplate (wappen) with the Prussian state eagle clutching a scepter and crown, over the King's motto, MIT GOTT FÜR KOENIG UND VATERLAND (With God for King and Country, i.e. Prussia). The Preußen issued Wappen in 1895 were intended to be made out of Tombak (an alloy made from a combination of copper and zinc), but most were instead issued with Aluminiumbronze which has a very bright brass appearance. However, this helmet had the original wappen replaced with a Pioneer / Engineer unit wappen. Most likely, the soldier already had a pickelhaube, but rather than issue a new one when he was reassigned, he simply replaced the wappen.

The crown of this leather helmet displays a brass vented enlisted spike mount on an brass baseplate. The spike is in excellent condition, and as per the pattern, is fixed and does no rotate.  It is complete with the Prussian (black and white) and German National Colors (red white and black) cockades around the chin strap lugs. In 1897 the new Reichs-Kokarde in Red-White-Black was introduced for all ranks to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kaiser Wilhelm 1st. The Reichs-Kokarde was to be worn on the right side of the helmet, and the state Kokarde was moved to the left.

To improve ventilation, on the Model 1895 issued Pickelhaube the rear spine on helmets worn by Foot Troops was equipped with a vent near the base of the spike which was fitted with a small sliding cover. However, the rear spine on this helmet unfortunately broke off, most likely some time ago. The wappen on the front is an older type, normally retained with screws, as opposed to the M1895 pattern with leather wedges.

The lacquer finished leather is in very good condition having no serious issues, just the usual cracking and finish crazing due to age. There is also definitely some level of leather shrinkage due to age, which is why the some fittings are somewhat loose. The front visor rim is definitely separated from the front visor leather. The rear visor has fared somewhat better, and even has some original depot markings stamped/burned into the leather: F.A.R. 59 and I.A. in boxes. There is also an earlier depot stamp below that, but it is illegible.

The interior features a nice original leather liner, though unfortunately it has deteriorated somewhat due to age and wear, and is currently in delicate condition. The chin strap is fully intact, and in great shape, with just a bit of verdigris around the fittings, with the expected wear on the leather due to age.

Overall a very nice condition Imperial Prussian pickelhaube, a great addition to any collection!

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