WÜRTTEMBERG – PICKELHAUBE – INFANTERIE – RESERVE OFFICER. Today we share with you a spiked helmet for a reserve officer in a Württemberg line-infantry regiment. It sports a very high quality leather body in above-average condition. It has a few minor flaws, but no major issues. As is correct for Württemberg helmets, the front visor is squared (similar to those found on its next-door neighbor Bavaria’s helmets). As with Bavarian pickelhauben, it displays a large cruciform rather than Prussia’s smaller style. The larger cruciform causes some settling to the helmet’s crown, which is perfectly normal in a helmet that is more than one-hundred-years-old.
All of its fittings are gilt, including the wappen, chin scales (flat), cruciform, officers’ stars, spike, and trim. The reserve officer’s cross is silver-toned for contrast. The correct state and Reich’s kokarden are in place.
The pickelhaube’s interior is equally handsome. The light-brown leather sweatband is in place and has seen mild use. The silk liner is an unusual brown silk. All of the original hardware appears underneath the silk liner. Furthermore, no double holes are present. This is a fine helmet that would make a worthy addition to your collection.
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].