Original Imperial German WWI Prussian M1895 Line Infantry Pickelhaube Spiked Helmet - dated 1912
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very good condition Imperial Prussian line Infantry enlisted man's Mannschaften (other ranks) pickelhaube. The M1895 was the final pre-1914 evolution in a long series of spiked helmets. 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 chinstrap 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 an brass baseplate. The spike is in excellent condition, and as per the pattern, is fixed and does no 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, and slides easily. 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, though we do not know if they are original.
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 the some fittings are somewhat loose. The interior features a nice original leather liner, with the expected wear from age. The crown of the helmet shows a 1912 date. The chin strap is intact, though it is definitely worn, and now is almost brown in color due to erosion of the black 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 very good condition. The rear visor however has had a lot of the stitching rot out, so it is partly detached from the helmet at present. This could be repaired, but the leather is currently quite dry from probably a century of time spent in storage.
Overall a very nice condition Imperial Prussian pickelhaube, a great addition to any collection. Ready to display!
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