Original German WWII DAK Kriegsmarine Administrative Official's Sun Pith Helmet by Gustav Barre in size 57
Original Item: On first deployment to North Africa in 1941, Afrikakorps infantry were issued with the traditional European sun helmet known as Tropische Kopfbedeckung (Tropical Headwear), of the type known to the British forces as the solar topi (or topee). In the German case, these were made of pith, had prominent ventilation holes in the crown, and bore insignia to indicate the branch. There were several models made, with the first model like this having cotton outer covering made of fabric sewn together.
This particular example is in very good condition, and is an extremely rare Kriegsmarine Administrative Official's Sun Helmet. These are one of the rarest types of all Tropical pith helmets, and this is the first example we have had! It comes with complete original leather trim and liner, and unlike other types, the canvas and trim are both a cream white color, not tan or green. It also has three additional vent holes on each side, which could be used to attach additional insignia if needed.
The original cloth covering shows age and light wear but retains its original color well, though there are areas which have some dirt soiling, making it look almost tan. The helmet band, which hides the attachment rivets for the chin strap and liner, is in good condition. The chin strap is present and still in supple complete condition, stretched over the front brim. Overall the helmet still retains its shape well, with almost no deformation.
The interior of the helmet still has the original red cotton covering intact, while the underside of the brim is covered with brown green light canvas. The liner itself is in very good condition, with the leather complete and supple, with light wear and almost no staining. The sweatband is stamped on the inside with size 57, which is also stamped on the under side. To the left of this on the underside is the maker mark and address of GUSTAV BARRE of Berlin.
The top fitting for the helmet vent is marked D.R.G.M. as well as C. TH. DICKE, the abbreviation for Carl Theodor Dicke, of Lüdenscheid, a German city which had a large number of companies who made buckles, buttons, and other clothing items. The "D.R.G.M" indicates that the fitting is a trademarked design. This make made many top fittings for these pith helmets.
The large metal Reichsadler (National Eagle) badge on the front of the helmet is in very good condition, with the expected wear to the plating. It has an overall dark patina, with some of the original silver wash visible. All three retaining pins on the back are still present.
This very rare sun helmet will make a great addition to any German WWII Africa Campaign or Kriegsmarine collection. Ready to display!
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