You might find this photograph of interest:
It is great to think so.
Personally, I would not have bought this helmet... I would have needed a closer picture. I have to say that I don't know where this helmet comes from... but I don't feel it.
Difficult to be sure to 100% about the helmets. In 20 years to collect in Normandy, on polish battlefield, I have seen only 6 helmets on the area, absolutely good. For the other helmets I have seen, about 20, I have doubts to 90%...
There is no substitute for close examination of any of these helmets, and even with the best photographs you can never feel 100% confident until you hold it in your hands and examine it closely. That is why I seldom opine on the authenticity of pieces presented here, or at least not without qualifying my opinion.
Inded, it is necessary to get it in own hands.
For the 20 other helmets I mentioned, they didn't come from Normandy. There were no informations about their origin. There are good painters in France... more and more...
When I see US helmets with markings, made by artists... I am afraid... I simply hope that the polish helmets are not so "infectious".
Please allow me to offer my perspective on the helmet question, as my collecting is limited to helmets of the Polish Armed Forces in Exile in WW2. I have assembled a photo archive of several hundred helmets, both real and reproduction. The photographs come from all sources: museums, private collections, internet web sites, and of course -- internet auctions. I am talking here about relatively recent photos of helmets in collections, not period photographs - which is another archive.
As one can guess, the phony helmets outnumber the real ones by a substantial margin. And of course, the place to find the largest percentage of fake helmets would be eBay and similar auction sites. Certain internet militaria merchants are also well-known to routinely offer reproduction helmets as originals.
Although a large percentage of the helmets we see these days are indeed made-up pieces, I have to say that there is nevertheless a certain percentage that are indeed original PSZnZ helmets. Sometimes it is easy to tell one way or the other. Many times, however, it is not so easy.
I limit my collecting activities to these helmets, so my focus has enabled me to develop some expertise in this very narrow field. Experience is every bit as important here as it is in other areas of collecting, and I venture to say that common sense is even MORE important when you are collecting helmets than if you are collecting in other areas. We have discussed elsewhere on this forum several helmets with striking similarities to each other, from the same sellers. Those situations are no-brainers. Some threads discuss stenciled vs. hand painted eagles (both can be legitimate), and known pattern stencils vs. locally-produced types (authentic helmets can exhibit either type). We also need to be familiar with helmet types, paint schemes, types of paint, unit histories, etc., etc. etc.
These are all factors to consider but of course they are by no means the only factors. For a casual purchaser the best advice I can give is to buy from a trusted source, and even then make sure that you have a chance to inspect the piece and get comfortable with its authenticity before the sale becomes final. That would knock out the vast majority of people selling these helmets on eBay, who not only will not accept returns, but will not even let you pick up the item at their location. What does that tell you? And yet, those sellers have profited to the tune of thousands upon thousands of dollars, employing such completely one-sided (and IMHO, very revealing) business practices.
I tend to search for my pieces outside of regular channels. I have never bought a single one of the numerous Polish helmets offered on eBay. That is not to say that there are not some good ones occasionally offered there. But most are not. We all know that instinctively and by applying logic and common sense. For instance: Does anyone ever wonder where all these helmets with unit insignia are coming from? They are almost as plentiful on eBay as Polish helmets without such unit designations. So the conclusion would bee, if we extrapolate from the dozens and dozens of Polish helmets offered on eBay, that about 40% of all Polish Exile helmets bore specific unit insignia. From my collection and in my experience I can tell you that this is just not reasonable, and we all know it. But still, those helmets keep appearing and keep selling.
Authentic helmets from the Polish Exile forces of WW2 are out there. Poland had the fourth largest Allied Army from 1939 to 1945. With so many hundreds -- if not even thousands – of authentic US, German, French and British helmets still in existence, what would make Polish helmets exponentially more scarce? I mention this because I think we need to balance our natural suspicions (which are in large measure as much a product of the fakers as are their wares) against the fact that in pure numbers, there were indeed an awful lot of helmets with Polish eagles on them in WW2, so if you are diligent and careful you can still obtain good pieces.
One last thing: I have been researching this topic for several years now, and am eager to hear from other collectors with good examples of these most interesting military relics for some projects I am working on. Please email or private message me if you’d like to explore this further.
Respectfully, and with apologies for length of this post,
That's an impressive collection of Polish Eagles! ! !
Yes, original helmets do exist, but they are becoming harder to find. As with other wartime painted helmets (i.e. units of the 101st Airborne Division), only a small number of original examples have survived.
Very very nice !!!
And nicely displayed too !!
(Any chance of a close up of the Para helmet ??)
(Any chance of a close up of the Para helmet ??)
Me Too !!
Me Too !!
Does this para helmet fit your expectations?I