A few days ago I chanced upon the this Royal Navy issue Wolseley pattern Pith helmet being offered for sale on ebay. The dealer just dealt in general antiques and had agreed to sell the helmet on commission for one of her customer's. The day after I purchased the helmet the seller returned to the dealer with an original receipt for the purchase of the helmet back in October 1930.
It was purchased by the wife of Commander Shipright W P Watts who joined the crew of HMS Leander - a light cruiser - shortly after she was commisioned. It cost Mrs Watts the princely sum of £4.10 shillings, which was half of the Commanders pay at that time.
Although the cloth of the helmet is fairly stained, it is still in very fine condition, with no cracks to the cork or rot to the material. The stains on the cotton do not show up due to the flash of the camera. But it was customary at the time to whiten these helmets with Blanco. The tin is original to the helmet. And although there is a bit of distortion and light rust, it is also in very fine condition. It isn't the kind of thing I usually collect, but I still find it a very interesting item!