Original U.S. WWI M1917 Doughboy Helmet with Multi-Color Camouflage Paint
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a fantastic genuine Great War hand painted camouflage helmet complete with its original liner. Helmet features original period colored camouflage paint in a multitude of vibrant colors, in a lovely swirling pattern. Definitely one of the more interesting camouflage color schemes we have seen. There is also a black partial unit marking on the front of the helmet, but we cannot identify it.
The paint is very nice and vibrant, with great color retention, and a nice patina of age. There are some areas of rust and fading of the paint, as well as large areas where it has chipped off, so this helmet definitely saw service. The interior of the helmet has all the original paint, with some paint loss and oxidation. It also has a complete liner, though the original chin strap is completely missing below the loops. The liner shows significant age, and the oil cloth liner has had the lacquer separate from the fabric in many areas. Also, one of the chin strap bales is missing. They were only attached by split pins, so loss was somewhat common.
The underside of the rim is stamped HS / 532, indicating that the shell is one of the 400,000 British manufactured helmets supplied to the U.S. at their entrance into the war. The split pin rivets attaching the chin-strap bales further confirm this. "HS" is the marking used by Hadfield Ltd of Sheffield, the company that invented the "Hadfield Steel" that these helmets are made of.
A wonderful totally original helmet with genuine original paint! Ready to display!
The M1917 was the US Army's first modern combat helmet, used from 1917 and during the 1920s, before being replaced by the M1917A1. The M1917A1 helmet was an updated version of the M1917 and initially used refurbished WW1 shells.
The M1917 is a near identical version of the British Mk.I steel helmet, and it is important to note that when the US joined the Great War in 1917 they were initially issued with a supply of around 400,000 British made Mk.Is, before production began state side. The M1917 differed slightly in its lining detail, and exhibited US manufacture markings.
M1917 helmet liners typically show a paper label at the crown and the dome rivet head. The liner is set up as on the British versions, with an oilcloth band and net configuration, attached to a leather strap, riveted to the shell. The chinstrap is leather with steel buckle.
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