PRUSSIA – PICKELHAUBE – OFFICER – MILITARY ADMINISTRATION.
This is a very fine example of an officer’s pickelhaube for a member of the Prussian Army’s Military Administration. The spiked helmet’s leather body finish is quite handsome. Some settling appears where the cruciform is attached at the helmet’s top. This happens occasionally due to the cruciform, spike, and et cetera’s weight settling into the leather body. Most collectors do not consider this a major problem, but, I wanted to mention it. It is depicted in greater detail in our attached photos.
The pickelhaube has a squared visor. At first glance, one might think it comes from a Dragoner-Regiment. I made this mistake until I was recently advised by a very experienced researcher from the U.K. that such was NOT the case. [We send our sincere thanks to GJ for the correction]! I also mistakenly identified the pickelhaube as being for a Dragoner-Regiment’s veterinarian. We always strive to give you a correct description. In many ways, the correction reveals that our helmet is even MORE desirable to collectors.
The broad category of “Military Administration” contains several different specialties to which this helmet could belong. Our expert identified several possible positions, which we have listed below.
*Technical Official from the War Ministry
*Military Intendance Official
*Military Justice Official
*Official of the General Staff
*Military Construction Official
*Senior Technical Official of the Military Institute
Typically, these positions were NOT at the Regimental level. If they were for the General Staff, these officials were assigned to duties in Berlin. The other functions might also have been in Berlin, although some might have been employed at the Armeekorps level prior to the beginning of WW I (when the latter was the highest military formation within the Imperial German Army.
All of the furniture is silver with the exception of the four gilt officers’ stars. The helmet has a high-caliber wappen with a luscious, frosted finish. An official’s small, gilt, eagle has been attached to the wappen. The other silvered furniture is exquisitely appealing, with superb chin scales (all the leather behind the chin scales is present), cruciform, pearl ring, and a sharp-looking spike. The officer’s state and Reich’s kokarden are present as well. Inside, a leather sweatband shows moderate use. It also boasts a light-green silk liner in splendid condition. All the original hardware is present under that liner, with NO double holes where the wappen is attached.
This is a seldom-seen variety of pickelhaube in fine original condition.
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].