Original Imperial German WWI Prussian Infantry Officer M1897 Pickelhaube Helmet
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great condition, smart-looking high-end officer pickelhaube from a Prussian Infantry Regiment, which was most likely used during World War One. The Pickelhaube of commissioned officers holding a rank from Lieutenant to Colonel are all identical in features, but not quality. The quality of helmets within these ranks depended entirely on how much the individual wished to spend. A lowly Lieutenant's helmet may be of much higher quality than one worn by a Colonel. As expected, officer helmets were of a much higher quality than the issued version and utilized the "squared finger" liners until 1880, when the internal leather sweatband and silk skull-cap came into use.
Regardless of the unit, officer Pickelhaube share common 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. The officer's Pickelhaube was basically unchanged from 1871 to 1899 when it had a more domed shape, and from 1899 to the end it had more of a skull shape. Otherwise, with the exception of the addition of the Reich's Kokarde in 1897, the officer's Haube was mostly the same from 1871 to 1918. 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 gilt brass alloy, which is still very bright, something we rarely see! Usually the gold has worn away, leaving a dull patina.
The front Prussian wappen features a crowned Prussian state eagle clutching a scepter and orb in its talons. There is a banner across the eagle's breast reading MIT GOTT FÜR KOENIG UND VATERLAND. This translates to "With God for King and Country," i.e. Prussia, The Wappen is held in place by the correct bolts used on officer's models. The chin scales are in great shape, complete and quite shiny, with complete leather backing and front buckle and clasp. This is one of the best looking officer's helmets we have ever had!
Both kokarden (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, which is on the left side. The right side bears the black and white Prussian state colors kokarde. The paint on both is still almost completely intact, with the usual age related fading and checking.
The officer spike atop the helmet is intricately decorated at the base with "egg & dart" Perlring. The base cup still has all four 8 pointed stars, with very bright gilding still intact. The spike itself unscrews in the middle, which would allow the attachment of a fancy officer's plume for parades.
The helmet's interior reveals no depot marks on the back visor. The lacquer finished leather is in great condition having no serious issues, just the usual light cracking. The shape of this pickelhaube is preserved excellently, though it is just a bit sunken in on the top. The front and rear visor stitching looks to be fully intact, and hasn't rotted out as many do. The front still has its green lining, and the rear is lined in red. There seems to have been minimal leather shrinkage on this example, and it displays great.
The inside liner is still present, complete with the original silk skull cap, though there is definitely deterioration from age and use. The sweatband is the correct doeskin leather, and is retained very well, though the silk has detached from the age in areas. The silk is also split in places, though still looks good, with a nice ivory color.
Overall a very appealing Model 1897 Officer Pickelhaube helmet, one of the best looking we have ever had! Ready to display!
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