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German ww1 Pickelhaube spike helmet

Article about: Here is what I believe to be a ww1 German pickelhaube I bought years ago. Ive got a few issues with it though. I know the chinstrap and 1 cockade are reproduction for sure. It seems to be th

  1. #1
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    Default German ww1 Pickelhaube spike helmet

    Here is what I believe to be a ww1 German pickelhaube I bought years ago. Ive got a few issues with it though.
    I know the chinstrap and 1 cockade are reproduction for sure. It seems to be the original front plate as see from the inside.
    My main issue is the shell. Its soo clean (like shiny when i wipe it down), yet the liner is worn all to hell. My only guess is that the helmet had a cover on it all through the war keeping the shell unweathered.

    If anyone can give me their opinions, that would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. #2

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    Hello,

    You have a very nice looking Model 1915 Prussian enlisted man's helmet, congratulations! Your helmet may have actually had very little use to it by a German soldier.

    Technically speaking, your liner isn't worn. It actually has a condition called "dry rot" or "red rot", which makes the leather deteriorate. Unfortunately it is a condition that can not be stopped, or reversed in the leather. One can also see this condition sometimes on leather bound books.

    For some reason the leather liners in these M15 pickelhaubes is more prone to getting dry rot. I'm not certain if they changed some chemical ingredient(s) used in the tanning process of the leather back in 1915, and if that's what seems to cause the problem we encounter today with these helmets. The 1914 and earlier maker dated pickelhaubes seem to be more resistant to developing it (along with consideration of the care and climate storage conditions as well, of course. That has something to do with it as well, I believe.)

    Thirty plus years ago I had a mint condition "unissued" Prussian M15 enlisted helmet. Sold it to a friend after having it for a few years, and then bought it back from him 10-years later. In that time period the liner had started to develop dry rot. (He had also displayed it on a styrofoam head form, which we did not know at the time was a big no-no.) I ended up selling it again, a year or two later, because I knew the liner would continue to deteriorate inside, and eventually rot, crumble, and fall apart.

    Best Regards,

    Alan

  3. #3
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    Great Thanks for the info!

    its just a shelf piece so as long as the shell holds out I'm not worried about dry rot.

  4. #4

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    that's a nice helmet.

  5. #5

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    Nice helmet!

  6. #6

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    Hi, I agree, nice authentic helmet. These were made with hardened, {boiled] leather. What I am seeing is very typical aging for this type of helmet. A lot of times the liner or interior seems to rot away while the outer shell looks good. Sweat, and natural produced body acids take their toll, especially on leather, paper products, and with time all kinds of other material. A few years later, these are, for many reasons, considered impractical for battle, and are phased out by the steel helmets. Nice helmet !!!!

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