S019976 M17 SS Black ET64 Transitional of SS-Mann "Horst Hartmann".

Published p.134 The Helmet Decals of the Third Reich by Ken Niewiarowicz. This well known early black M17 SS Transitional was obtained by the distinguished SS helmet collector Darryl Pajot in 2000 or 2001 in North Carolina directly from the nephew of the American soldier who bought it back after the war, where it eventually resided for several years in the renowned SS helmet collection of Doug Buhler. This helmet has been described by Doug Buhler as one of the best black SS helmets known. It is an exceptional SS black transitional and one of three identical known examples, but by far, the top example. Prior to 1935, SS shields were often hand-painted and very sloppy as period photos show. As the commercial liner pads are stamped SS-Hauptquartiere Berlin, (plural - indicating all SS headquarters including Himmler's SS-Hauptampt) it strongly suggests that these were refurbished under a local contract to a Berlin company (not unit done) for all of SS HQ district Berlin so guards would display perfect helmets with perfect SS Runes shields. Supporting this theory, is that the helmet was disassembled, sprayed black inside and out (including the M17 steel band), had commercial (refurbished?) liner pads stamped for SS HQ district Berlin installed, and had painted SS Runes on white and Party Shield professionally applied. As the SS Runes are on white, this strongly indicates that they pre-date the SS Directive I A/O I No. 013 570 12 August 1935 from SS-Hauptamt which clearly directed that SS Runes shields would be silver. Therefore, It is highly possible that the 1935 CA Pocher SS Runes decal on silver is actually based on these painted shields. The wear and patina to the paint, liner, shields, and especially the outside edge and exposed steel, all suggest this helmet is untouched from the 1930s. Threads that hold on the pads are fragile and exhibit a heavy aging, indicating they have never being tampered with. Liner pads appear to be re-used Swedish pattern (Post WWI Swedish supplier?). Unusual, but the heavy leather residue in the liner band under the pads, and the very fragile stitching suggest they are completely original to the helmet since the helmet was reissued in the 1930s.
Named on the rear skirt to SS-Mann Horst Hartmann who joined the SS on 26.6.1932. Horst Hartmann was attached to the infamous F.b. Stab RuS (Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt-SS) (SS Race and Settlement Main Office) on 12.9.37 and then posted to the staff of SS-Hauptampt (The SS central command office - Himmler's HQ in Berlin) 1.9.1938 at Hotel Prinz Albrecht, Prinz Albrecht Strasse 9 Berlin. The helmet comes with several pages of professional research from Westmoreland Research on Horst Hartmann. Helmet was originally obtained in the 1950's from a U.S. vet in North Carolina. An opportunity to obtain an ultra rare early black SS transitional with such a distinguished pedigree often comes along only once in a lifetime. 

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