Original Imperial German WWI Prussian M1891 Line Infantry Pickelhaube Spiked Helmet - Complete
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very good condition Imperial Prussian line Infantry enlisted man's Mannschaften (other ranks) pickelhaube. The features introduced in 1887 proved to be completely unsatisfactory; the front visors were easily damaged without the leather trim and the loop and hook system used to hold on the leather chinstrap resulted in chinstraps being lost. An AKO of 08 January 1891 introduced a new model of Pickelhaube which attempted to address these shortcomings. The brass front visor trim was reintroduced and a new and ingenious system of securing the chinstrap was introduced. The leather chinstrap was changed to a double buckle and the end of the strap was fitted with a brass loop with a cut "V". The chinstrap loop was designed to fit onto the corresponding post, keeping it secure but allowing easy removal. M1891 helmets were often converted from the failed M1887 helmets, so they retained the domed appearance and weight from the heavy gauge of leather. The eagle Wappen was also reduced in size to 115mm and obtained a more refined shape. For the first time, the gap between the wings and the legs was now voided. Like it's predecessors, the M1891 utilized threaded bolts on the reverse to secure it to the helmet shell, but not on this example. The final modification was the introduction of a new 48mm Kokarde with a large center hole to fit the M91 chinstrap posts.
It displays lovely condition brass Prussian spread eagle helmet plate and comes complete with supple original leather liner. The spike on top denotes infantry issue and retains correct brass chin strap lugs, cockades, and chin strap.
This helmet features a lovely gold-colored alloy frontplate (wappen) with the Prussian state eagle clutching a scepter and crown, over the King's motto, MIT GOTT FÜR KOENIG UND VATERLAND (With God for King and Country, i.e. Prussia). The Preußen issued Wappen in 1895 were intended to be made out of Tombak (an alloy made from a combination of copper and zinc) but it seems that the copper-color was unpopular and they were soon replaced with Aluminiumbronze which has a very bright brass appearance.
The crown of this leather helmet displays a brass vented enlisted spike mount on a brass baseplate. The spike is in excellent condition, and as per the pattern, is fixed and does not rotate. It is complete with the Prussian (black and white) and German National Colors (red white and black) kokarden (cockades) around the chin strap lugs. 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 state Kokarde was moved to the left.
To improve ventilation, on the Model 1895 issued Pickelhaube the rear spine on helmets worn by Foot Troops was equipped with a vent near the base of the spike which was fitted with a small sliding cover. This sliding cover allowed the user to increase or decrease the flow of ventilation in the helmet according to the weather conditions. This sliding vent appears to have been only utilized on Infantry helmets. Artillery and other troops did not adopt this feature until some time in 1914. The cover on this example is intact, but does not slide anymore. The spike remained the same as the Model 1887 and the Model 1891, however, the rotating neck was removed.
The soldered bolt and nut system used to secure the front Wappen onto the helmet was changed to a system for retaining Wappen on the front of helmets that had been used as far back as 1845 for Bayern (Bavarian) helmets and 1867 for Sachsen (Saxon) helmets. A soldered loop was affixed to the back of the Wappen which passed through corresponding grommetted holes on the front of the helmet. A leather wedge was then passed through the loop on the interior to keep the Wappen in place. Both Leather wedges are still present.
The lacquer finished leather is in very good condition having no serious issues, just the usual cracking and finish crazing due to age. There is also definitely some level of leather shrinkage due to age, which is why some fittings are somewhat loose. The interior features a nice original leather liner, with the expected wear from age. The chin strap is intact and retains almost all of the finish. It has the correct brass buckles.
The front leather visor has brass trim in very good condition, and the metal spine that descends from the spike's baseplate to the edge of the rear visor is also in good condition but does have cracking present.
Overall a very nice condition Imperial Prussian pickelhaube, a great addition to any collection. Ready to display!
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