PARADE HELMET – PRUSSIA – OFFICER – GARDE DU CORPS WITH MASSIVE HOHENZOLLERN EAGLE.
Today we are offering an officer’s parade helmet (complete with its gorgeous Hohenzollern Eagle) from what may be the most legendary regiment in the Imperial Germany Army, the Regiment der Gardes du Corps (GdC).
The most distinctive parade headdresses in the Imperial Germany Army were the metal helmets worn by the Küraßier-Regiments. Küraßier-Regiments were considered heavy cavalry whose accouterments harkened back to the Napoleonic era. This included their küraßes, heavy metal breastplates for protection from lances and swords. Their helmets’ extended rear visors (lobster tails) also offered extra protection from sword slashes for their necks. However, as firearms replaced edged weapons on the battlefields, this protection was rendered inadequate, and the elaborate helmets were relegated showpieces in formal parades.
To begin, please remember that the body of an officer’s helmet was much lighter than troopers’ and NCO’s depot-issued helmets. An officer’s version usually was made of tombak, an expensive and considerably lighter metal that eased the load when the Parade Eagle was attached. [When one hefts an officer’s helmet then picks up one belonging to a trooper, the heaviness of the latter is amazing]! This helmet’s tombak body is gold-toned. The front and rear visors remain a fairly vivid shade of gold, while the rest of the helmet’s color has faded due to age and other factors. Some very small dings and dents are visible, but remain quite limited. The helmet’s wappen features a silver sunburst with a handsome, white, black, and gold enamel Garde Star in its center. The enamel has a bit of dirt on it, but no cracks or chips. The helmet’s large chin scales are gold, and the correct, oversized Küraßier’s State’s and Reich’s kokarden are in place.
The exterior’s final detail is the impressive officer’s Hohenzollern Eagle, which boasts a gold crown. The Eagle’s detailing is impressive, with its feathers clearly visible on its wings, body, and legs. Its talons firmly grip the base.
The helmet’s interior sports a well-used brown leather sweatband, which is attached to a complete, beige, ribbed-silk liner. The hardware (a large screw and winged nut) for attaching the Eagle is clearly visible under the silk liner.
While it is NOT a pristine example, this helmet presents a VERY good value. Top-of-the-line officer’s Garde du Corps helmets often sell for more than $30,000. I have heard of some going as high as $50,000 when purchased directly from the family. This is a consignment item that we are offering for a very reasonable price.