BADEN – PICKELHAUBE – OFFICER – IDENTIFIED ARTILLERIE REGIMENT MEDICAL. If you read the title for this item, you are probably scratching your head. How can one have an Artillerie Regiment pickelhaube, shouldn’t it be a kugelhelm? [We should note, however, that Bavaria’s Artillerie Regiments did not convert to kugelhelme from pickelhauben until about 1913, and had delayed converting pickelhauben until about 1886 – the last German state to do so. This helmet is a different exception, and the facts behind it are even more obscure than the Bavarian situation, as you will learn].
This pickelhaube is for a doctor, a veterinarian who served in the 4. Badisches Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr 66. The regiment was raised in 1899 and garrisoned at Lahr. Like all Baden regiments, it was attached to the XIV. Armeekorps. Its leather body is in average condition with some areas of distress, especially on the right side. All of the helmet’s furniture is gilt, including the wappen, chin scales, spike, trim, officer stars, and so on. Its chin scales reveal why this artillery officer is wearing a pickelhaube! An Infanterie pickelhaube’s chin scales are flat. The chin scales on THIS helmet are vaulted, like those on Kavallerie helmets. The helmet’s original owner was a veterinarian (needed for cavalry units’ and field artillery units’ horses), so his chin scales were vaulted. It is also an identified helmet. Tucked into the silk liner we find a calling card for one Dr. Siebert that also identifies the regiment. The exterior’s final details are the correct officer State and Reich’s kokarden. [PLEASE NOTE: the State kokarde is a different pattern/ design than those found on Prussian helmets. Its more elegant pattern is seen on helmets from Baden, Württemberg, Hesse, and Saxony].
The pickelhaube’s interior features a well-used brown leather sweatband. Its silk liner is beige in color and in less than pristine condition. It exhibits shredding/running similar to what one might find in a silk stocking. All of the original hardware is in place under the silk liner, with NO double holes where the wappen is attached.
This is a 100% original pickelhaube. Although it is not quite in the condition that we prefer to offer, it remains a very unusual and scarce helmet.
At Der Rittmeister Militaria, we strive to bring you the best in spiked helmets, or pickelhauben (plural for pickelhaube), one of Imperial German Militaria’s most interesting areas for collecting. While ORIGINALITY and AUTHENTICITY are of prime importance, please do not forget Der Rittmeister’s commitment to CONDITION and QUALITY. In this regard, we take special pride in offering you spiked helmets whose condition is at least well above average, if not excellent. I examine hundreds of pickelhauben to find the very few that fulfill all four criteria mentioned above. Upon receiving their new treasure, collectors who have purchased one of our pickelhauben often exclaim that their helmet looks even better than the photos we had displayed on our website. [We do use a high-quality digital camera to photograph our items and upgrade cameras every two years, but enough with the Der Rittmeister Militaria commercial]! Just remember, dear friends, Der Rittmeister’s Four Critical Criteria for collecting pickelhauben: ORIGINALITY, AUTHENTICITY, CONDITION, and QUALITY.
The pickelhaube was designed in 1842 by Prussia’s König Frederick William IV for use in the Prussian Infanterie. [The Prussian king might have copied similar helmets adopted by Russia’s military during the same time period. It is not clear whether this was a case of imitation, parallel invention, or if both were based on Napoleonic cuirassiers’ helmets]. The helmet style was soon adopted by Germany’s other states and kingdoms during the mid-19th Century, with Bavaria being the final principality to implement it in 1886. [The Bavarians always seemed to go their own way! Interestingly, Bavaria was also the last to authorize kugelhelme for their Artillerie Regiments in 1913]. In addition to Russia, spiked helmets were adopted by many Latin American countries. They were even worn by the USA’s armed forces from the 1880’s until around 1910.
We also remind all pickelhaube enthusiasts about our good friend Jim Turinetti’s excellent reference books on the subject (click here to see DRM’s Imperial German Headdress Page Nr 3), available as spiral-bound paperbacks or on CD. You cannot go wrong with them. I can safely state that Jim is the USA’s foremost authority on pickelhauben. Please support him. Dollar for dollar, these books are the best on the market, and reward you with an immeasurable return in value! [Remember, Jim receives any and ALL the profits from his works, Der Rittmeister Militaria just promotes them to help educate the collecting community].