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 Post subject: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:53 am 
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Greetings all, thanks for adding me to the group!

I am a sad case (grin), an example of the deplorable fact that fortunes come, and just as easily go again. Twice (during the 1980's and in the early 2000's) I had a collection of Pickelhaubes, the first time several dozens and the second time about ten or so... and both times when woe befel me I had to sell the collections again.

No complaints - I had a good run while it lasted but now, as an old age pensioner, I can hardly feed myself and my three cats, so the days of buying collectors pieces have gone.

But still... the virus persists! Once gripped by the pickles or pickled by the grips, it never goes away again! So, with some money I received for my 72nd birthday, I decided to present myself with a replica. Just for the looks of it, to have something to dream away with.

There's an awful lot of crap in the replica field, and the least crappy I found was a Prussian Mannschaft 1895, which doesn't have too many glaring faults and aberrations. It's one of the things sold by hessenantik.de and hessenantique.com which happen to be the same firm in different lingos.

Yes, I know... it was a LONG way down but hey: I'm happy!

The most irritating error in these helmets is the position of the Knopf 91 on both sides: far too low. As you can see in the pics, this was easily solved, withing twenty minutes. Two new holes, and the Knöpfe and the Kokardes are in the correct height, while the old holes remain nicely hidden underneath the bottom half of the Kokardes. Yes, lack of money promotes creativity (grin)!

There are some other objections of course, like the ventilation slide being too low on the back spine, and the Wappen lacking detail. The first doesn't really bother me, and the second has been partly improved by slightly roughing up the elevated parts of the Wappen with a scourer, which increases the contrast between the higher and the lower parts, creating an illusion of more depth and detail.

However, the bloody thing of course looks new... too new. There are methods to artifcially age the whole helmet a bit, both the metal and the leather parts. But... I dunno how to do that. Like most of us I have always concentrated on IMproving the original pieces in my collection... not on UNimproving some oriental replica.

I'd be much obliged if anybody here can give me a couple of tips to make my replica look at least a little bit aged. Thanks in advance!

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Jaap Verduijn
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 Post subject: Re: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:14 pm 
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I hope I may be so bold as to post an off-topic reply. In the period of my second Pickelhaube collection, that was during let's say up to 2008 or 2009, I was a very regular visitor to Tony's site http://www.kaisersbunker.com which taught me many things that during my first collection in the 1980's I wasn't able to research. I was among the many many friends of Tony's dog Kaiser, who was always very cooperative in posing for pictures that were clearly taken with lots of love, and added greatly to the attractiveness of the site.

After I sold my collection I didn't torture myself by looking at Pickelhaube sites anymore, until about three weeks ago when I decided to get myself an affordable replica. Again my interest was raised, so I returned to Kaiser's Bunker where I sadly read that Kaiser is no longer among us. Tony, if you read this: of course your site was and is of great help to me, but additionally your dear sweet friend Kaiser was a long distance friend of mine too. Having buried many pets myself I know far too well how it feels - maybe it will help you just a little bit that Kaiser is missed by me (and many others) as well!

I'm glad to see that it is still "his place". And Kaiser: if on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge you run into a great big hovawart dog who (sometimes) listens to the name Sheffield, place say "hello" to him from me! Good to have known you, even if it was only via the internet!

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Jaap Verduijn
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Favourite quote: "Ninety percent of everything is bullshit".


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 Post subject: Re: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:07 pm 
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I don't know what the experts will say, but I like what you have purchased and it will provide a good reminder and place-holder for your future collection (I believe that you will collect again, even if it may be meager). Take care.

BTW, I love your favorite quotation.

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 Post subject: Re: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:39 pm 
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Thanks for your encouraging words, Neil! Weird as it may sound, I kind of like pottering about with this replica :D ! I had a very happy time with my two collections, but in a sense it's a relief not to have tens of thousands of guilders (later on euros) worth locked up in my collection room (grin), but starting out with a fake thing trying to make it look as good as possible. It's a bit like buying a helmet for an Einjährige Freiwilliger and pimping it up :D

It's a pity I don't have many pictures left of my old collections, and the ones I found are mainly of the wrong kind, i.e. other kinds of military headdress... just one (Saxon) Pickelhaube and one (Belgian) tschapka in the pics. On the right of one of the pics you see the results of another hobby I had: some trophies of target shooting and action shooting.

Anyway, we're all a bit odd, and maybe y'all still enjoy these pics from my younger, wilder and richer years.

Cheers, mate!


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Jaap Verduijn
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Favourite quote: "Ninety percent of everything is bullshit".


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 Post subject: Re: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:00 am 
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The Wappen on this replica was, as expected, of such a low standard that it couldn't be seen above earth - only inside a deep pit and then with a good pair of binoculars. So I buggered it up with a scourer, which turned the elevated parts of the Wappen into a slightly lighter shade (kinda "turned a lighter shade of pale" with my everlasting thanks to Procol Harum). It's an old trick of the make-up artist: to make things, like the ridge of a nose, stand out they make it light, while the background parts are somewhat darker. Result, in this case: there is a slight suggestion of the Wappen being more detailed than it actually is.

As you see my old cat Joeno likes it too :D

And now for something completely different. Fifty years from now nobody will know, or even be aware of, the difference between the real thing and a fake. Which, me being the honest child old mother Verduijn brought me up to be, made me take an indelible marker and write in big letters "REPLICA" on the inside.

If I bore y'all with my yabber about an almost worthless replica, just tell me and I will try to shut up. TRY to, mind (grin)!

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Jaap Verduijn
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 Post subject: Re: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:00 pm 
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Hi Jaap,
welcome to this Forum....I‘m sorry to read that you lost your collection twice. I admire your strong attitude to handle it and maybe this Replica is the start of a new collection, I would wish it for you :wink:
Your idea to highlight this replica as something what it is, is also a very honorable idea Thumps up :bravo:

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 Post subject: Re: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:13 pm 
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Thank you Sandy, much appreciated! Oh, well... fortunes come and go - as the old folk song says: "I have known times hard, and I've known them easy" :D

A friend of the family bought a few pieces of my second collection, he probably won't mind if I take some pictures of what's now his, and post them here, for good old times sake. I'll contact him

Yes, I think marking replicas as replicas is the decent thing to do. There's already so much fake being sold for "real" that I don't want to possibly add even one single example to the sad range! It's very easy to cheat the average enthusiastic newcomer who wants to start a collection.

I truly hope that things will tyake a turn, that eventually I might be able to buy some real stuff again, even if it's only one or to. After all, one doesn't need more than two to have a collection :D

Be well!

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Jaap Verduijn
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 Post subject: Re: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:46 pm 
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Hey Jaap; welcome back. I've been a lurker here since before I finally joined back in 2008. I still mainly just read posts, but I throw the occasional comment out there, so I know where you are coming from!

I remember the late 70s and 1980s, and I had a heck of a time figuring stuff out with these helmets. I had Rankin's book and I was really happy when Bowman's books came out. Beyond those, there was only word of mouth among collectors or books written in european languages.

I really like the variety in your photos. It's a shame you lost your collection.

Bryan.


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 Post subject: Re: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:50 am 
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Hi Bryan, thanks for the welcome! Yes, in the eighties there was so little available in the form of books, and the internet was still pottering about in diapers.

Along with my collections I also sold my books, there's only one I have left: Stubbs. I bought it in 2004, not knowing that only a few years later all my Pickelhaubes (and most of my books about them) would be gone to other homes. For some reason I couldn't part with Stubbs, which is kind of strange: although of course I did have officer's Pickelhaubes, I always was much more interested in the Mannschaft stuff. Do you know that experience of "feeling closer" to the original wearer when there are stamps inside, and often even the handwritten name of the bloke who wore it? It seems to bring history to life in a stronger way than the (to me) relatively impersonal officer's helmets. But hey... I'm a bit weird - if you don't believe me ask my family (grin)!

Aye, the collections are gone now... but the memory of having had some good, interesting stuff still lingers!

Be well!

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Jaap Verduijn
Pensioned writer, editor, journalist.
Favourite quote: "Ninety percent of everything is bullshit".


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 Post subject: Re: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:22 am 
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I know what you mean Jaap. Enlisted helmets have a lot of variety and odd-ball features that can be found. The M-95 conversion thread recently posted is a good example. My favorites are ersatz helmets.

S/F

Bryan.


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 Post subject: Re: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:44 pm 
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Welcome Jaap, great to have you here with us. In my top days I had 53 pickelhauben plus other Canadian WW1 CEF militaria. I now have 25 hats due to a divorce 10 years ago. I have always made a profit when it came time to sell so that helps. A big part of collecting is the treasure hunt and I have no doubt that if you keep up with that, you will find an original helmet at a reasonable price. In the meantime, enjoy your replica and continue to be active here on the forum. :thumb up:

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 Post subject: Re: Reduced to faking a fake
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:14 am 
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Thanks for the welcome, Brian! Oh dear, so you've known similar situations, where one has to say goodbye to beautiful stuff. My problem in both cases was that I had to sell quickly so there was some profit and some loss - I guess both times I kinda broke even.

I never had a collection as large as yours, the first one was about 35 pieces and the second collection 10, maybe 12. I also collected lots of Dutch stuff and some other nationalities (like the Belgian tschapka and the French dragoon in one of my pics), but I must admit that selling the Pickelhaubes was worse than parting with the other things.

It's good to be among like-minded people again! I'll keep y'all posted about my renewed explorations in the WOP (World Of Pickelhaubes)!

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Favourite quote: "Ninety percent of everything is bullshit".


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