JKK, no worries my friend, only curious to what you saw and I couldnt. =)
Not talking about you specifically JKK but -- The problem with "SS" is someone could hammer a skull or paint runes on an upside down colander and guys will ask if it's real. It seems that when it comes to skulls and runes common sense goes out the window and wishful thinking takes over a logical mind.
If I may give some friendly advice. Best if looking for qualified opinions to get as many detailed photos of the item in question from the seller vs 1 bad one and ask "what do I have here?" Vs the ever popular "is this SS?". Thankfully you avoided the death trap statement "and what's it worth".....
Were you wondering if it was an SS because it was black?
Doug, I can see how that goes. In coins, it's like when someone posts a worn but bright shiny coin, and can't see that it has been brutally cleaned, thus a big buzzkill and nothing to be excited about. Which, if my tone sounded like I was, then I didn't write well. And I know that for collectible forum regulars, they see enough unwarranted excitement over nothing that it gets tedious. Maybe a wild guess gets mistaken for that gaga excitement everyone's tired of. Very understandable. I see it from their side because I've been in the same position: no one likes to have to break disappointing news, over and over. In my case, I'm not disappointed, since I didn't get my hopes up. I'm delighted, because I've learned a lot.
Oh, how I do wish I could get more and better photos. Most of what my friend has sent me pics of, I have identified on my own by research. As it is, there was travel involved, and for various reasons, this was as well as he could do on the photos given his own level of knowledge, and it's not practical to make another trip. (Had I been there, I'd have shot pics of this helmet from each side and the inside.) So, we have what we have, bad as it is. Given that limited resource, I try not to waste people's time here, mostly by doing all that I can on my own. Before I researched this helmet, for example, I knew what a German WWII helmet looked like, but I didn't know one version was called an M1940. In the collection there was some of what has been identified as SS WWII camouflage battle dress pattern (though not authenticated as original; wasn't possible from the pics), so it was possible the collector had more such things. Yeah, the color made me wonder, but also the fact that it looked repainted meant it could be anything. I don't know all the different helmet models and possible variants, nor how they're told apart.
That was a good example of why I wish I'd been along with my friend. He looked at the uniforms and thought 'bunch of different camo'. I looked at it and the SS pattern rang a bell. If I'd been present, I'd have taken that one off the rack and shot about ten pics including the tags, closeups of stitching, and other minutiae I would think would be relevant to authentication.
And yes, I could just post the pic and say 'what's this?' To me, that would have seemed lazy ("here, please do everything for me, I can't be bothered"), so I wanted to show I'd at least tried on my own before asking. Plus, I enjoyed it; I like this stuff. I'm kind of pleased that I seem to have gotten the model right, and the same about repainting, even if the SS possibility was an impossibility. Knowing that it's probably an old Czech fire helmet issued from WWII salvaged ordinary M1940s is excellent to learn. The forum's knowledge has impressed me. And I can see why the pic quality and angle is so frustrating: people want to help more, and aren't able to. So I appreciate everyone's patience with my best efforts to help a friend of thirty years, and everything I'm learning, even knowing that with decent pics, it could be so much more.
And Samir, believe me, odds of me seeing something you did not are, well...let's just say rare.
No worries, I was asking the black question because SS helmets in M40 model were not painted parade black. The M40 was made well after they stopped the practice in late 39 of the large rallies and requirement of black parade helmets. The black helmets were repainted and reissued for combat purposes ergo, not black. So the purpose of my asking the black question was to identify what sort of information you require to educate yourself on the subject matter, therefore be better prepared the next time you see a black German helmet.
As for the query, to me asking "what do I have here" is infinitely better than the tried and true "Is this an SS". I have seen the most useless junk posted and queried on if it's an SS. Best IMO to keep it simple and explain your not a helmet collector and was wondering what you have here, and the same answer would be forthcoming without exposing yourself to the endless SS vein of wishful thinking and head up the ass-ness, that happens with anything that "might" be SS.
As I said, thank the good lord that you didn't utter "and what's it worth". Which by the way is ok to ask but let's determine what it is first, with more than 1 bad photo first. ;-)
Yeah, in my mind, 'what's it worth' is a pretty speculative question when we can't see the item well. Again I go back to coins: if there's a US Morgan dollar where we can't see the date or anything but the general condition, much less the mint mark (because only one pic, of the obverse), could be $30, could be $3000, thus the question is useless.
I'll work on wording, and also make sure not to say the S-word in vain, since it seems to be a "Look at me, I'm a fool" question. Every forum has those; it's the norm. At one place I frequent, the standard LAMIAF question on the Washington (state) forum is basically a long list of wanting a place to live with a view of the mountains and sea, lots of jobs, affordable houses, great schools, no traffic, short commutes and other aspects of Nirvana. And we all just try not to be too rough on them, because this is the tenth one this week. Thanks for taking some time to help me understand how best to seek information.
NO worries JKK and thanks for playing along and understanding. Many dont understand the point and feel attacked which is/was not the case. We are all here to learn. :-)
Cheers and happy helmet hunting.