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Pickelhaube information please.

Article about: I have a Pickelhaube which has been in the family since the end of WW1 apparently bought back by my Grandfathers Uncle from the Somme. I’ve often wondered why it is so small. It’s manufa

  1. #11
    MAP
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    Nice piece of family history! I would not touch the shell or attempt any drastic repairs. IMHO, it is too far "gone" for any repairs and they won't match the rest of the condition of the Haub. That includes polishing the lacquer.

    Some people do restore haubes (resewing loose stitching/visors, repairing cracked /missing lacquer, replacing pins, metal hardware, Wappens, etc). But the work and cost for yours would be prohibitive. Plus given the shrinkage I don't think it would look good. That said, adding replacement original kokardens would be a good idea. And maybe a repro chinstrap (try to age it). You could be tempted to try to find an original front brim (people do sell all sorts of loose parts) but again it will probably not match or fit properly

    As noted, some collectors with Haubs in otherwise very good condition will polish the lacquer and even repair chips and cracks. But often this is done on higher value Haubs. Haven't ever seen it done on a basic war time Enlisted Haub.

    I also agree that it is missing the Landwehr /reservist cross on the front. When this was lost will never be known but if lost in battle, it is part of the history and adds to the story

    It might be a good idea to purchase a proper stand and stretcher. I highly recommend Skip Greenwade (see link below). But given the very small size ( people were smaller back then so not uncommon) it would be important to ensure you measure the inside of the shell. I have a tiny Haub and Skip needed to make a special extra small stretcher for me. A properly fit stretcher will help support the shell and keep its shape


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    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

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  3. #12

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    MAP many thanks for this information. I shall contact Skip to see if he can make a stand for me. As you say, I think I’d rather keep in in its current genuine state.

  4. #13
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    Quote by Tinhatman View Post
    MAP many thanks for this information. I shall contact Skip to see if he can make a stand for me. As you say, I think I’d rather keep in in its current genuine state.
    I have well over a dozen of his stands and plan on purchasing many more.

    Just be sure you correctly measure the inside of the shell. Skip can probably help with guidance. While a little wonky, your haub is not badly deformed so the stretcher should be able to get it back to it's near original oval shape.

    You can find similar hat stretchers / stands on ebay and the internet. Probably cheaper too. But Skip can provide the service ensuring a proper fit that these other bulk sellers can't.
    "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)

  5. #14
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    Hi Tinhatman

    If you look on eBay there are often original pickelhaube parts for sale, there are a couple of French dealers who disassemble picklehaubes and sell the bits (personally I think this is sacrilegious). You could measure the size of the front visor you need and look for one on eBay. In the alternative, I have a few front visors myself if you're interested. You'll need to get some "waxtwin" saddler's or shoemaker's thread and if you clean out and reuse the old holes you could repair and reattach a front peak.
    As for reshaping the skull, you could use leather (shoe) stretcher spray and place the sprayed helmet on a wooden hat block for a couple of days to take the proper shape. I know I'll attract the attention of purists here but in fairness a good restoration job will preserve it for another 100 years.
    It's also missing the 1 year reservist/landwehr cross from the centre of the wappen. Repros are available if you want to tart it up a bit. You might even be lucky enough to find an original cross online if you search patiently.

    Adrian

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