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A presentation of my prewar Wilhelm Welhausen Pionier officer's Schirmmütze

Article about: by stonemint There is also an Admin visor by Welhausen on Shea's site. Contrary to what Shea says, I do not believe this one is a late-war cap, but it is a wartime example. This type of viso

  1. #1
    KSH
    KSH is offline
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    Default A presentation of my prewar Wilhelm Welhausen Pionier officer's Schirmmütze

    Greetings fellow members!

    I have for some time promised to post my newest acquisition headgear-wise, namely a Schirmmütze manufactured by the firm Wilhelm Welhausen before the war. It has been a dream of mine for some time now, to be able to own a prewar Heer cap made by this maker. I bet that most of you who are going to read this thread are not well acquainted with the maker Wilhelm Welhausen - if at all - but to me these caps stand as the zenith of German cap making. The high swept-back crown-peaks and that almost "demonic-looking" gorgeous saddle shape of these caps just "does it" for me, in lack of a better term describing my fascination for the look and character of these creations. The caps made by W. Welhausen were among the most expensive and luxurious available in the Third Reich - even more expensive than the Holters caps (which Hitler wore for instance) as far as I know, based on the information I have seen. This firm was also a tailor and made uniforms as well as caps in-house, which was a very rare thing in the Third Reich and this has influenced their finished product in a most positive way - sadly the firm did not survive the war.

    The cap I have acquired is a Heer cap that originally belonged to a Pionier-officer that almost certainly held the rank of Major when this cap was manufactured. This cap is part of a grouping that also includes this officer's prewar-made Waffenrock (with "4"-syphers for Pionier Bataillon 4) - it was found recently in the Regensburg area in Bavaria, Germany and has never been in a collection before - I will not go more into this here for several reasons. Sadly the grouping/cap is not named, but based on research of Heer records and other administrative documents I have had access to, in conjunction with the physical objects (the Schirmmütze and the Waffenrock) themselves (and their properties/manufacture/insignia) I am 99,9% sure that the original owner of this cap/grouping was Heinrich Brückmann, commander of Pio.Btl.4 from 1933-1942. In this unit there were only two persons that could have been the original owner of this set and everything points towards Brückmann - but the research continues - I hope to find some period chronicles etc that could shed some more light onto this issue.

    Some background information on the choices available for officers buying Welhausen caps based on a period catalog (in the possession of fellow member/moderator stonemint/Chris):

    The catalog tells us that the basic officer's model was delivered with a vulcan fiber Schirm (peak/visor), insignia made of metal and with an aluminium officer's cord - at a price of 10.60 RM. Now this price is already higher than what we would expect that a decent quality typical officer's visor purchased through the OKK-system would cost - they were usually priced around 7-8 RM. This speaks volumes of the high prices charged by Wilhelm Welhausen (which is reflected in the quality of their caps of course).

    If the officer then paid 2.80 RM more, he would get a hand-stitched bullion wreath instead of a metal one - at a total price of 13.40 RM!

    Now the catalog lists three more options an officer could pay "up" for at a "special cost", namely:

    • Soft leather peak/visor, 0.40 RM.
    • Hand-stitched bullion cockade, 0.70 RM.
    • Hand-stitched bullion cap eagle, 3 RM.







    The catalog in question - the information relevant to this cap is situated in the top part of the second page:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The cap in my possession has all of these "extra features" available in the catalog: the soft leather peak/visor and all-bullion insignia. This means that the cost of my cap originally was around 17.50 RM (!!!) when everything is added together! I have dreamed of finding such a Welhausen, prewar made with all of the above mentioned "extra options".


    Now to what you have all been waiting for - the cap itself (I have done my best to photograph the cap - this is the best I could do)!



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    The piping on this cap is of a very velvety character, quite unlike my other caps, simply exquisite:
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    The bullion eagle is one of the most gorgeous I have ever seen - it actually resembles an eagle:
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    The device holding the sweatband together at the rear is missing - also the leather of the sweatband is so brittle that no "under the hood" shots are possible, in fact I have not looked myself. It is really that brittle and there is no way I can lift it without damaging it, so I will never do it. Here is also a good view of the early Wilhelm Welhausen maker's stencil with the tailor's shears incorporated into it, which is somewhat different from their later one, although almost identical:
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    Here I have tried to photograph the maker's stamp embossed in the leather sweatband, but it is very difficult to capture with my camera:
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    This is as evident not a cap in mint condition, this is in fact exactly how I prefer my caps - well used, but in good shape. It really "reeks" of service history (it actually smells absolutely identical to the Waffenrock that accompanied it - which is not surprising).


    I hope you enjoy this interesting cap as much as I do, my collector friends.



    Regards,

    Kenneth S-H.
    Last edited by KSH; 02-10-2012 at 01:50 PM.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: A presentation of my prewar Wilhelm Welhausen Pionier officer's Schirmmütze

    Nicley presented and informative thread. Thanks Kenneth.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  4. #3

    Default Re: A presentation of my prewar Wilhelm Welhausen Pionier officer's Schirmmütze

    Quote by Adrian Stevenson View Post
    Nicley presented and informative thread. Thanks Kenneth.
    I agree entirely. Very informative post, great to learn from!

    Thank you!

    Josh

  5. #4
    ?

    Default Re: A presentation of my prewar Wilhelm Welhausen Pionier officer's Schirmmütze

    An excellent post, very informative, with a fine visor for show and tell!
    I was fortunate enough to acquire a Wm. Welhausen GJ Officer recently and I can confirm the superior quality of this manufacturer.

  6. #5
    KSH
    KSH is offline
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    Default Re: A presentation of my prewar Wilhelm Welhausen Pionier officer's Schirmmütze

    Thank you all for your kind words!



    Quote by ErichK View Post
    An excellent post, very informative, with a fine visor for show and tell!
    I was fortunate enough to acquire a Wm. Welhausen GJ Officer recently and I can confirm the superior quality of this manufacturer.
    Have you shown your W.W. on this forum Erich? I would love to see it! Apropos the manufacture quality - I just noticed something with my Welhausen visor that my other visors do not display: there is definitely a spring running above the lowest ring of piping all around the cap to help maintain the shape of the visor, this is very easy to see and feel with cap in hand - it seems somewhat similar to the spring used by the maker Paul Kaps in fact IMO. There is also a support/spring running directly behind the join of the cap band at the back side of the cap. It feels like both springs are directly under the dark green "badge cloth" of the cap band.

    I have here charted these two (?) springs (remember that the circular spring goes all around the cap):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Regards,

    Kenneth S-H.

  7. #6

    Default Re: A presentation of my prewar Wilhelm Welhausen Pionier officer's Schirmmütze

    KSH, terrific hat, terrific post. The officer who purchased this fine hat definately cared about quality, irregardless of price. This one has all the bells and whistles!
    NEC SOLI CEDIT

  8. #7
    KSH
    KSH is offline
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    Default Re: A presentation of my prewar Wilhelm Welhausen Pionier officer's Schirmmütze

    Quote by stonemint View Post
    KSH, terrific hat, terrific post. The officer who purchased this fine hat definately cared about quality, irregardless of price. This one has all the bells and whistles!
    Thank you Chris, it certainly is a fine cap I shall post this officer's Waffenrock shortly in the uniforms section, also with that piece he wanted the best quality, regardless of price...


    Regards,

    Kenneth S-H.

  9. #8
    ?

    Default Re: A presentation of my prewar Wilhelm Welhausen Pionier officer's Schirmmütze

    Lovely cap. Anxious to see the waffenfrock.

  10. #9
    KSH
    KSH is offline
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    Default Re: A presentation of my prewar Wilhelm Welhausen Pionier officer's Schirmmütze

    The accompanying Waffenrock is posted here: http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/heer-l...laiber-144907/.



    Click image for larger version. 

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    Regards,

    Kenneth S-H.

  11. #10

    Default Re: A presentation of my prewar Wilhelm Welhausen Pionier officer's Schirmmütze

    KSH

    Best thread I have seen for a long time. Superb research and information content. Fabulous cap and history of its "past"...all the components of a great post.

    Thank you for sharing.

    cheers

    tony

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