Original Imperial German WWI Prussian Garde du Corps "Extra" Grade Pickelhaube Helmet with Chin Strap
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very good condition smart-looking, Eigentums-helm (privately purchased) Mannschaften Pickelhauben from the Prussian Garde du Corps Regiment, which was most likely used during the WWI Period. This regiment was the personal bodyguard of the Prussian King and later Kaiser of Germany. The regiment only recruited members from Preußen (Prussia) itself, and all members were considered "elite".
Even though this is a Mannschaften (Other Ranks) helmet, which would be used for Private to Feldwebel, it is of the highest quality, with all the appointments seen on officer grade pickelhaube. The Preußisch Regiment der Gardes du Corps were elite personal regiments under command of the Kaiser himself, and needed to look incredible. Still, the quality of helmets within these ranks depended entirely on how much the individual wished to spend. "Issue" versions were quite a bit lesser in quality than others.
This example is however the cream of the crop: the "EXTRA" grade, with the very rare and highly desirable private purchase "EXTRA" pattern Wappen (Frong plate). It also has the post-1880 internal leather sweatband and silk skull-cap as seen on officer's helmets. These also featured other officer features such as: the undersides of visors are lined, Officer Kokarden are carried, and the "egg & dart" Perlring was matched with star-pattern spike base brads, and chinscales were worn. As with most pickelhauben, they are made from boiled leather, which is then lacquered black.
The overall condition of this officer's pickelhaube is very good. All of the helmet's furniture is highly-detailed nickel plated alloy, though a lot of the plating has faded. The Prussian wappen (coat of arms) features a large eagle holding a scepter and an orb, with a banner bearing the King's motto, MIT GOTT FÜR KOENIG UND VATERLAND (With God for King and Country, i.e. Prussia). As this is a Garde helmet, there is a large 8 pointed star in the middle, which is the emblem of the Hoher Orden vom Schwarzen Adler (Order of the Black Eagle). The motto SUUM CUIQUE (to each his own) is marked above an eagle, with laurel leaves below. This pattern, with the voided crown and 26mm high star, is called the "EXTRA" pattern, and is the most desirable of all Garde Wappen. It is even more sought after than the officer pattern, with the enameled central motto. A truly great example of this helmet.
The chin scales on this helmet are in great condition, solid and functional with full leather behind them and solid large split pin attachment present. They appear to be plated nickel alloy, though they have oxidized a bit.
Both officer-style kokarde (cockades) are present, and are of high-end two piece construction, with detailed casting. In 1897 a 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.
The top spike is very nice, with no dents, and has some nice side vents. It has all four of the gilt brass star retaining screws, and also the top half screws off for mounting of a parade plume.
The helmet's interior reveals no depot marks on the back visor. It is approximately a size 7 3/8 US (59cm). There is definitely age to the exterior black finish, which has small cracks and crazing, and a few areas where it has flaked off.
The inside liner is still present, including the silk skull cap which is so often removed. The silk is light green, and retained at nearly 100%, something we almost never see. The leather sweat band is still supple and complete. Overall a wonderful interior, much more complete and in better condition than almost any we see.
A truly magnificent Prussian WWI Era helmet, ready to be the crown jewel of just about ANY German Pickelhaube collection. Ready to display!
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