BACKGROUND: Development of the pickelhaube may be traced back to the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV who initiated the original design and introduced it for wear by most of the Prussian line Infantry regiments on October 23RD 1842. The pickelhaube became a visual symbol of Prussia's military might and underwent numerous modifications starting in 1860 and continuing right up until 1915. The demise of the pickelhaube began in the fields of WWI as a result of increased head wounds suffered by the German troops which were mainly caused by grenade and shell fragments. As a result of the increased head wounds and the development of the first "modern" steel helmets by the French army in early 1915 and by the British army later that year the German army began tests for their own steel helmet at the Kummersdorf Proving Grounds in November, and in the field in December 1915. An acceptable pattern was developed and approved and production of the new steel helmets began at the Eisen-und Hüttenwerke, AG Thale/Harz, in the spring of 1916. After the introduction of the M16 helmet the pickelhaube was relegated for wear only on ceremonial occasions.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality blackened lacquered leather construction pickelhaube with gilted brass metal fittings. The pickelhaube features a rounded body and crown with stitched on, extended, squared corner, front and rounded rear visors. The forward edge of the front visor is trimmed in gilted brass which is secured in position by two dome headed studs. Visor is now loose, but is held in position by the studs. Helmet plate features a crowned rampant lion with oak-leaf cluster at its feet and a stag with a laurel leaf cluster at its feet, flanking the Württemberg State coat-of-arms with Imperial crown to top and embossed scripted banner to bottom. Banner is scripted, "Furchtlos und Trew", (Fearless and True). Reserve cross has been removed as can be seen by the two holes in the front of the wappen. Helmet plate is attached by two screw posts which extend into interior through corresponding holes to pickelhaube front and are secured in place by two small nuts. The top crown of the pickelhaube has the distinctive Württemberg clover-leaf spike bass and officers spike. Three of the original four officers stars are intact. The pickelhaube has a multi-piece, convexed, tapered, gilted brass chinscales and original single kokarden. Sweatband is complete, but torn. Helmet is a bit miss-shaped at the back and some of the laquer is flaking off. Not a mint helmet, but displays fine on a shelf.

GRADE *** 1/2                             PRICE $800.00

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