Original German WWI Prussian M1915 Jäger zu Pferde Lobster Tail Pickelhaube Helmet by Helbing & Sackewitz - dated 1915
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very good condition Imperial German Prussian M1915 Jäger zu Pferde (Mounted Dispatch Rider) Lobster Tail Pickelhaube Helmet, made by Helbing & Sackewitz. This is one of the two varieties of Metalhelme (Metal Helmets) in use by the German Armed forces, the other of which are the Kürassier Metalhelme worn by heavy cavalry.
It is in size 58cm, and is dated 1915 around the top vent, placing production right in the middle of WWI. The M1915 was the last model of Pickelhaube issued. In accordance with the 1915 regulations these helmets would no longer would use brass, silver, or Tombak as previous models did. All issued Pickelhaube would now use grey oxidized steel fittings for all Regiments, where previously the dispatch rider fittings had varied based on the regiment. Also, this last revision of the Dispatch Rider helmet replaced the usual chin scale chin strap with the standard M91 leather chin strap, and it would now have the standard removable spike, held on with a "bayonet" style attachment.
This pickelhaube has a basic three-piece construction: helmet, visor and extended rear protective neck guard. It is fabricated from blackened stamped manganese steel, which is the distinctive black mounted dispatch rider finish. The helmet is topped by a removable spike with four ventilation holes and a spike mounting base in the distinctive "cloverleaf" shape used by the dispatch riders, which is held in place by four large capped rivets. The front comes with a visor designed with a turned-up lip, held in place by large capped rivets on either end.
This helmet features a replacement 1895 pattern brass frontplate (wappen), and the crown of this leather helmet displays a vented enlisted removable spike mounted on a steel baseplate. The rear neck guard protrudes outwards, away from the body in the traditional "lobster tail" design, held in place with large capped rivets just inside the outer edge and one smaller central rivet at the rear neck line. The entire outer edge is trimmed in a rolled-around steel band, including the visor and neck guard, protecting the wearer from the raw steel edges of the helmet itself. It is size stamped 58 on the steel rim on the underside of the neck guard, along with being maker stamped and dated SHELBING u. / SACKEWITZ 1915 on the inside of the dome, around the vent hole.
The front Dragoon-style replacement brass wappen features Prussian state eagle clutching a sword and rod, over the King's motto, MIT GOTT FÜR KOENIG UND VATERLAND (With God for King and Country, i.e. Prussia). It does look to at one point have had another badge attached to it, and it is currently held in place only by the brass loops on the back, with no leather wedges in place.
Both kokarden (cockades) are present, and are definitely quite large compared to those on a standard pickelhaube. 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 Black & White Prussian state Kokarde was moved to the left, as on this helmet. The paint on both is still almost completely intact, with very little age or degradation, so they may have been touched up post war. The chin strap is still present, however it looks to be a post war replacement, either unissued or possibly a reproduction, with the correct oxidized steel hardware.
The interior leather liner is unfortunately completely missing, which is how these helmets are often found, as the leather is far less resilient than the steel, so when brought back from the war, the usually rotted liner was removed and discarded. Condition overall is good, with a lot of the original finish present, though there is oxidation in areas, as pictured.
Overall a nice condition Imperial German Prussian Jäger zu Pferde Lobster Tail pickelhaube with a maker marking and date, perfect for any WWI collection!
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