Original Imperial German WWI Saxon Line Infantry Officer Model 1897 Pickelhaube Helmet

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a good condition smart-looking, private purchase officer's pickelhaube from a Saxon Infantry Regiment, which was most likely used during World War One. It's also a relatively interesting example, in that it appears to originally have been a Prussian helmet, but later had an officer badge from Saxony attached in the middle of the Prussian Wappen. We're not sure if this was common, but it's the first example of this type we have seen, making this a great research opportunity!

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 good, though it was not stored on any type of support, so the shape has become a bit deformed. All of the helmet's furniture is highly-detailed gilt brass alloy. 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). Part of this is not visible, as the Saxon emblem has been added in the center of the eagle, over the F.R. shield.  The chin scales are in good condition, solid and functional with full leather behind them and solid large split pin attachment present. The Kokarden (cockades) that would normally be around the chin strap attachment points are unfortunately missing.

The officer spike atop the helmet is intricately decorated at the base with the usual  "egg & dart" Perlring, indicating officer issue. The base plate is attached with the correct four large star base studs, which are all in great shape and solidly attached. As expected, the rear support spine does not have the adjustable vent usually seen on the enlisted man's helmet.

The helmet's interior reveals no depot marks on the back visor. It is approximately a size 7 1/8 US (57cm). The lacquer finished leather is in good condition having no serious issues, just the usual cracking and finish crazing due to age. However, the stitching attaching the front visor has completely rotted out, and there is some leather deterioration in that particular seam, and the rear visor stitching is also deteriorated somewhat. The overall shape of the helmet is somewhat crushed, as it was not stored properly for a long period. The inside of the helmet is marked with the manufacturer information on a cloth label:


The inside liner is still present, as is the green linen skullcap.  The condition of the interior indicates that this helmet did not see much use in service, as those worn into battle are often far more stained and deteriorated.

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

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