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Possible SS M42 Helmet

Article about: Hello, A few days ago I purchased some kind of German helmet shell from an antique store. I say "some kind" because it was listed as a "dug up German helmet". No claim of

  1. #1

    Default Possible SS M42 Helmet

    Hello,

    A few days ago I purchased some kind of German helmet shell from an antique store. I say "some kind" because it was listed as a "dug up German helmet". No claim of the year, model, etc, and the listed price was $169. After doing some basic research into the general market value of similar items, I worked them down to $135, and I think I got a pretty good deal. Upon closer inspection, I believe it's an M42, as the edges are not rolled. I also noticed what looks like a decal on the left side. It appears to be an SS decal, and a friend of mine got pretty excited when he saw pictures, but I figured I would ask people who are more experienced with this.

    Also, I know cleaning is a controversial topic (don't worry, I'm not planning on "restoring" it), however I was wondering what people's thoughts are on attempting to clean some of the rust off. From what I've read, oxalic acid can help remove surface rust and make paint and decals clearer and brighter. I'd really like to see what the decal is, if possible.

    Possible SS M42 Helmet

    Possible SS M42 Helmet

    Possible SS M42 Helmet

    Possible SS M42 Helmet

    Possible SS M42 Helmet

    Close up of the decal

    Possible SS M42 Helmet

    Thanks for any information.

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  3. #2
    MAP
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    This helmet has already been "cleaned" with an Oxalic (acid) bath to stabilize it. I would not touch it any further.

    As far as the decal. Tempting to think it is an SS given the white background but I would lean towards a heavily degraded Heer. Tough to tell from these photos.

    Relic helmets are a minefield. It is easy to slap on a repo decal and scrub it. But this decal looks pretty convincing to me.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  4. #3

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    Interesting. I guess it does have a greenish tint to it. Here's a few more pictures of the decal. It is pretty degraded, I don't think I can do much better.

    Possible SS M42 Helmet

    Possible SS M42 Helmet

    Possible SS M42 Helmet

  5. #4
    MAP
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    I can not tell if that green "paint" is over or under the decal. It matches with the rest of the paint on the helmet. I've never used or held a helmet that has had an Oxalic bath but I have noticed like you said that it tends to brighten and change colors a bit which MAYBE why this looks more green than the typical darker feldgrau

    Maybe others can give an opinion as I'm just hypostasizing now, but I see no tell tale signs of any SS Runes or an eagle so I can't tell one way or the other. But I lean towards it being a Heer. I would expect to at least to see bits of the black boarder of the SS Decal.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  6. #5
    M38
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    I agree with MAP that it is most likely a Heer decal. Wrong side for an SS decal anyway so probably just a Heer decal worn down to the silver. You are right about it being an M42.

    Cheers,
    Terry

  7. #6
    MAP
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    Quote by M38 View Post
    I agree with MAP that it is most likely a Heer decal. Wrong side for an SS decal anyway so probably just a Heer decal worn down to the silver. You are right about it being an M42.

    Cheers,
    Terry
    Doh!!!! Can't believe I missed that! (wrong side of the helmet). LoL

    Thanks Terry for pointing out that faux pas on my part.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  8. #7

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    Thanks for the replies. In the interest of being thorough, I have two more questions.

    I know I might just be seeing what I want to see, but it looks like there's bits and pieces of a black border, as one would expect from an SS decal. The upper left corner is the best example. And I'm sure you know there were reverse decal variations. I'm not claiming that this is one, just sharing my thoughts.

    Possible SS M42 Helmet

    That being said, if it is a Heer decal as you've said it could be, which kind would it be? I haven't seen any Heer decals with a white background, only a black background. EDIT: I missed the part about it worn down to the silver. So Heer decals had silver underneath the black?

  9. #8
    MAP
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    I did see that smudge but I don't think it is part of the decal. And yes, the first layer of a Heer decal is all silver. Then it is overlayed with the black. I have seen the top layers worn away in relics before. But you need to look at each example separately.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  10. #9

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    Interesting. I'll look into it a bit more. Thanks for the information.

  11. #10

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    Wrong side for SS as was said,must be Heer but impossible to tell,boy that is one rough german helmet,never bought a ground find but they are interesting,thanks for showing it!

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