Couple of other little snippets about why this helmet will stay in the family....
My fathers family was German/Danish. I've never dug back, but that much I know.
My mothers family however, was all German- with a name like Krautscheid it's hard not to get that. During WWII my mother had direct relatives that were active in the service of the US and Germany. Literally cousins from the family that were on either side.
My wifes family came to the US prior to WWII from Germany. Their original family name was Riedelberg, but they shortened it to Riedel when they got to the US. She is full German.
Out of family heritage, and for reasons that we just happened to like the name, we named our little boy Wolfgang.
I feel very fortunate that this piece of family history made it through until I was in a position to actually value it for what it is, which is not the monetary value. I can't believe that as a kid I had it on my bookshelf and just thought it was "neat".
I think you can see why I wouldn't sell it. This is a really big talking point both family wise and history wise.
Nalu, there is no need to provide any authentication certificate as such , but if you intend to insure it im not sure of the US requirements for that purpose, however once you recieve a reasonable quotation for the helmet , use that as a starting price for insurance purposes, remember it is a family heirloom and one that would not be easy to replace therefore i would expect only a monetary recompense would be forthcoming, and i would estimate that this could range anywhere between $5000 to $15000 or maybe more, this is all subject to the buyers market at the time, it would be advisable to get a range of prices from auction houses militaria fairs and the internet that would match the condition of your helmet, plus any provenance of the history and location as to where it was found as this could help to prove what SS division would have been in that area at that time, whatever you do , dont try to clean it in any shape or form, but i would take photos of it annually, especially the interior to determine if the decay progresses, this would also help to preserve its history for the future, and dont store or display in an area of high humidity or heat, this can have an adverse effect on the interior, unfortunately or fortunately depending how you look at it, you have become the curator of a very desirable piece of history and one that doesnt present itself very often, i wish you good fortune and hope the other items in your family are just as exciting
Thank you all again for the great information.
OK- another question. I guess I never considered this helmet that valuable because of naivete. What makes it valuable to collectors? I do understand that the SS was the elite, so that puts a certain rarity to these, but weren't there a LOT of these produced? Is it that these particular helmets are all in collections already and just don't move that much anymore?
They are worth money as few made it home the ones that did have been butchered and played with or changed hands 50 times, I'm 53 and I remember my Dad a Pacific infantry veteran just giving my brother and I some Japanese stuff we just played with and plain lost...He could have cared less...Now He is gone and all his WW2 belongings....The Helmets are often faked so to see a real one is rare. I have seen maybe less than 10 in my life that you knew were vet bringbacks...Very rare and very nice
Partly, but remember that a vast quantity of steel helmets of all types were destroyed to help the allies of all nations in their steel manufacturers, as well as various munitions etc, most of the SS type of equipment and such like fell to the russians, therfore ones that are foundvin collections now were vet bring backs and more recently relic finds in countries that werent open to the west, every now and then family estates will sell their fathers or grandfathers bring backs and will contain very nice examples such as yours, DougB, a member of this forum has a very large and exceptional collection of SS steel that he has collected over many years of hardwork and toil and there are a few more members who have large collections of this type of helmet, P.S Doug , if you are reading this i hope i get a free helmet for praising your collection, nudge, nudge, wink wink.
You know as far as the strap, Looks very much like a gas mask can strap etc,,, I could see a guy in the heat of things making a homemade fix for his bothersome leather one...Maybe even more common than we know