Original U.S. Spanish American War Era M1890 Army Infantry Spiked Dress Helmet by Wm H. Horstmann
Original Item: One Only. Much like our European cousins in the 1880s, the U.S. Army started to adopted spiked helmets, sometimes in white, with all brass mounts and occasionally plumes. These saw active service in the Spanish American War of 1898 especially in the tropical climate in Cuba.
This helmet is in black, and it really is quite striking. This is not the type of helmet that was worn in the field, but instead one intended for use with the "dress" uniform for ceremonial occasions. It beautifully made from cork covered with black fabric, with out any hooks for chin scales, indicating that it is for an enlisted soldier. The Maker's name is marked inside under the liner leather sweatband :-
Wm. H. HORSTMANN
CONTRACT FEB. 19 1892
With this contract date this helmet was definitely made during the Spanish American War era, and may have seen service. The top fitting has the earlier HORSTMANN BROS & CO. marking, so it is definitely an early example of the model 1890.
The front plate displays the Great Seal of the United States over crossed rifles, with the American Eagle with a banner in its beak stating: E PLURIBUS UNUM. Helmet plate is in excellent condition, with all three attachment hooks present. The side cockades over the ears are of crossed rifles for an infantry soldier. The top has a lovely brass spike, which still has a good amount of the original gilt finish. The liner is also in great shape, with a lovely brown color, and we estimate the size to be about a U.S. 7 / 56cm.
Very nice, great condition for age, ready to display!
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