If we wait for original factory documents to surface before we do anything research wise, I suppose we will be waiting another 70+ years, and even then they may not have surfaced.
If we don't have fact (factory documentation), then observation of original examples (also fact) iis the next best thing, imo.
As far as the SE M40 SD SS helmets you have seen, I would be curious to know which type of SS decals they had? Was there any evidence at all of a former service decal having been on the left side of the helmets?
There is an example in SS-STEEL Updated edition on pp.158-159 and pp.257-258 (the same helmet). Listed as having a factory applied (champagne) runic shield, I have difficulties with this helmet being 100% period for several reasons:
-The color on pp.158-159 appears to be the rough texture blue-gray paint used by the Luftwaffe
-There are sanding marks on the left side of the helmet, indicative of post war alteration
-The runic decal is the controversial champagne shield
09-01-2013 04:05 PM
Well, I guess it's gonna be a long wait! LOL!
The SE SS helmets i've seen had Pochers, and NS pattern decals.
The SE M40 on Kelly's site you refer to probably looks that blue-gray due to poor photography. The sanding marks you see on the left side look more like honest scuff marks to me. Not all champagne runes are controversial. I don't have this one in hand, so I can't be quick to judge. Going by the overall pics in the book, can't say I see anything that will raise any red flags, at least not in my eyes.
Not trying to defend Kelly's book either, I myself have debates with him just as much as you, DougB, and other highly experience collectors. I'm just going by the two photos available.
One interesting thing about lot number research and the gathering of a massive amount of information, is not only what appears, but what does not appear.
The scuff marks you refer to are listed as 'sanding preparation to the paint surface prior to application'. p.258
You shouldn't be quick to dismiss a helmet as fake just because there is evidence of "sanding". It may raise suspicions to some, but doesn't necessarily mean something funny went on. Let's not forget that every German helmet book is not 100% accurate, including your's Brian. =)
If the C resulted from a worn out 0 die, would it not fade at the edge rather like the RZM/SS stamps in the rzm helmets. It looks quite crisp to me.
Very true Andy, but it also could have been the result of a broken stamping die, not sure of course, it could well be a "C" prefix.
Yes, I know my lot number book is very incomplete, and have in fact caught some errors myself, which I have corrected in the latest revision.
In the same vein as not being quick to dismiss a helmet as fake, we should not be quick to accept a helmet as genuine because it merely appears so, or because it is listed as genuine in a book.
This is where lot number research can come in handy. It gives a snapshot of production and can raise certain questions such as,
-if Pocher and Champagne SS decals are so few on SE/hkp helmets because they were used only to supplement base SE factory SS helmet production, (RE: base SS helmet production being ET decals on ET helmets, Q decals on Quist helmets: the vast majority of observed examples from these factories),
-then what is 'base SS helmet production' for the SE helmet factory? What SS decal do vast numbers of SE/hkp helmets have?
The answer seems to be; there is no such thing as base SS helmet factory production for the SE factory. It doesn't seem to exist.
Where is this missing mass of SE SS helmet factory production? You know, the numerous examples in various states of wear produced between 1936-1943, the same as what is seen on ET, Q and EF helmets?
As far as SE SS helmets, they do exist, and I am 100% confident in saying so. Period photos have proved so. As far as the one that slipped through my fingers that was on Kelly's site, if it is ever offered for sale again, and the price is right, I will be quick to grab it.
Brian with all due respect, any dealer written COA is worthless as they have inherent and critical conflicts of interest as said dealers and do not financially indemnify the collector they have charged for that piece of paper with their opinion written on it.
And I beg to disagree, most advanced collectors I speak with believe as do I the M45 is nothing more than a random M42 factory defect and not a purpose built ventless helmet. Wouldn't it be more like you say above; "surely more would exist"?
In any case unless there is critical new information I do not wish to reopen the debate on M"45" helmets but I respectfully disagree, there is no proof they existed and a COA by Ken N doesn't magically make them so as if by royal decree.
My 'facts' are the over 12,000 observed examples that reveal certain patterns of production. Where are the numerous examples of SE SS helmets interspersed with Heer, Luftwaffe, Field Police, M35/M40/M42 helmets in the lists as are seen with ET/Quist/ EF M42 helmets? Have the SS helmet collectors/authors ever asked themselves that question? Or is it because since they appear original then it is assumed that they must be so?