Imperial Seebataillon officer's shako in case
Very rare shako for a "Einjährig Freiwilliger" serving with a so-called "Seebataillon" (Marine-Infanterie). 27.5.1914 dated. "Seebatal" written with pencil to the inside.
"This Shako is one of the rarest pieces of head gear that I have encountered in my career. I happened to be at the right place at the right time at the renowned Baltimore Antique Arms Show in March when this treasure surfaced.
The shako has the normally-seen hard leather top cover. The lower sides have matching black leather as does the reverse visor and the obverse visor, all in excellent condition with some age crazing, but nothing bad. The body of the helmet is made with a textured brown color leather with all of the finish intact, except for a couple of minor lifts at the rear. The shako has two round pierced brass ventilators, one on each side of the upper body.
The helmet is equipped with the Colonial face plate that features the striking Reichsadler of the German Empire. This brass-based eagle has a fine gilded finish. It depicts a fierce, open-winged bird with the crown of the Holy Roman Empire atop his head. A Prussian eagle adorns a shield on his breast, which in turn is overlaid with the shield of the house of Hohenzollern; this is one great-looking bird here.
Affixed in the slot at the top of the bird is the original officer-caliber plume having the national colors of red in the center and black and silver bullion around it. The plume is nicely patinated. The NCO-style leather strap is in good pliable condition with its two adjustment buckles. It connects to the brass side brackets.
The inside of the shako remains in choice condition. The still-supple liner tongues are all constructed of black leather, each with its intact original gathering hole, however the drawn string has gone to time. The inner reverse visor is stamped with the capital letters "B.A.O.", which I understand was the abbreviation for helmets meant for East Asiatic usage. Beneath is the year "1901".
Just think of it... The original owner of this shako was most likely involved with the historic Boxer Rebellion in Tsing Tao, where the Germans, of course, had their colonies established in this area. A lot of exciting history here! I believe this helmet to be of museum quality and a tremendous find for someone interested in head gear from this bygone time in German history. An opportunity to acquire a very rare helmet here.
Excellent Plus. $4,500.00"