BAVARIA – PICKELHAUBE – RESERVE OFFICER – LEIB-INFANTERIE-REGIMENT
High-quality Leib-Infanterie-Regiment Reserve Officer’s spiked helmet from the Kingdom of Bavaria’s most elite infantry regiment. Each of Imperial Germany’s four kingdoms, as well as many of its Grand Duchies and Duchies had a regiment that was often their oldest and/or part of their ruler’s private guard, as was the case with Bavaria’s Leib-Infanterie-Regiment. The latter was founded in 1814 during Maximilian Joseph I of Bavaria’s reign. It was garrisoned in the capital city of Munich, and assigned to the I. Bavarian Armeekorps.
The helmet boasts a lovely leather body. Its front visor is squared, as was the case for all Bavarian Infanterie and Kavallerie pickelhauben. A few blemishes show on the exterior, including some areas of cracking, but nothing major. The crown has settled a bit where the cruciform is attached, which is quite common for Bavarian helmets due, in part, to the cruciform’s size and weight. The primary difference between the Leib-Infanterie-Regiment’s pickelhaube and all other Bavarian Infanterie Regiments is that all its fittings (with the exception of the gold-toned Reserve Officer’s Cross) are silver-toned. The latter include the wappen, chin scales (flat, as is correct for the Infanterie), cruciform, front/rear visor trims, officers’ stars, and the extra-tall fluted spike. The spike is massive. It is one of the tallest that I have ever seen on ANY pickelhaube. It is large even by Saxon standards, which are among the tallest of all pickelhauben spikes. Finally, the helmet’s exterior displays the correct Bavarian and Reich’s kokarden.
The interior sports a well-worn brown leather sweatband that is attached to an equally well used, rust-toned, silk liner. The latter reveals signs of perspiration and even hair oil from the wearer’s head. NO double holes appear under the silk liner, although a couple of the helmet’s original washers are missing. The helmet’s size, 57 ½, has been penciled-in. Anything above a 56 is on the large side. Helmets running from 55 to 56 would be considered medium. Many helmets from the WW I-era range from 53 to 54, and would be classified as small.
This is a pleasing, original spiked helmet that has not been altered. It is also bargain-priced.
This is a consignment item.
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]