This is a fine example of a Dragoner-Regiment officer’s pickelhaube from the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt. The Grand Duchy fielded two Dragoner-Regiments. These two regiments were Garde-Dragoner-Regiment (1. Großherzogl.) Nr 23 and Leib-Husaren-Regiment (2. Großherzogl.) Nr 24. The former regiment was founded in 1790, and the latter in 1859. Both were garrisoned in the capital city of Darmstadt, and assigned to the XVIII. Armeekorps. The helmet is correct for either of the two regiments.
The helmet’s body is in very good condition, generally. It is made of fiberglass. I see one chip on the right side. Also, a patch is missing near the Reich’s kokarde. [We will show these in the photographs that accompany the description]. Some settling shows in the cruciform area. Unlike most other Dragoner helmets, the front visor is rounded rather than squared. All of the furniture is silver. I am especially drawn to the luscious chin scales and wappen. [Please take a moment to look closely at the wappen’s photograph. Its detailing is incredible]. Both the officer’s state and Reich’s kokarden are present. The cruciform and the short, fluted spike are also worth mentioning. The Hessian kokarde is a work of art. Inside the helmet is a fine leather sweatband that shows mild use. A name, “Otto Neumann,” appears on the sweatband, which may well be that of the original owner. It sports a complete green silk liner in very fine condition. All of the original hardware is in place under the silk liner. No double holes show where the wappen is attached.
Hessen helmets always seem to be a bit more difficult-to-find, although I do not know why. I am always quite pleased when I find a Hessen helmet. I am especially pleased to find a Hessen spiked helmet rather than an Infanterie example. This relates to scarcity, of course. A Hessen Dragoner helmet certainly is scarce.