Item:
ONJR23MJ013

Original Imperial German WWI Prussian Infantry Officer Model 1897 Pickelhaube Spiked Helmet

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very good condition, smart-looking 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 aluminumbronze alloy, and the gilding is still mostly present and bright. The Prussian wappen (coat of arms) features a large eagle with the King's motto, MIT GOTT FÜR KOENIG UND VATERLAND (With God for King and Country, i.e. Prussia). The chin scales are in very good condition, solid and functional with full leather behind them and large split pin attachment present.

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. The Reichs-Kokarde was to be worn on the right side of the helmet, and the state Kokarde was moved to the left. Both cockades are present on this helmet, and they are very good condition, with the paint well retained. The alloy central bands have oxidized and faded from their original bright appearance.

The top spike is a classic example, with all four star shaped attachment split pins intact, and the correct round base. The "egg and dart" perlring around the bottom is in great shape, though the base is slightly crumpled on the left side from past damage. The top of the spike can be unscrewed for the attachment of a parade plume, as was common with officer pickelhauben. The top disk on the inside crown has a much later “repair” which was just to replace a missing nut and washer.

The helmet's interior reveals no depot marks or maker marks, so it was most likely bespoke. The underside of the front visor is green, while the rear is red, a color combination that we see on most of the officer pickelhauben we handle. Unfortunately both the front and rear visors have had the stitching pull and deteriorate, so they are held on more by the fittings than the stitching. There is definitely age to the exterior black finish, which has small cracks and crazing, as well as areas of deterioration.

The inside liner is still present, including the silk skull cap which is so often removed. The silk is torn in a couple areas but is retained at about 60%. The leather sweat band is still supple and complete. It is approximately a size 6 3/4 US (54cm). Overall a wonderful interior, much more complete and in better condition that most we encounter.

Overall a very appealing Model 1897 Officer Pickelhaube helmet, ready to display!

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