Hannover Offizier

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vonkluck14
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Hannover Offizier

Post by vonkluck14 » Wed May 22, 2013 2:41 pm

Gents,

This is my latest acquisition: an officer's helmet from one of the Hannoverian regiments that carry the 'Waterloo' bandeau.

The lacquer on the front and rear visors is in near mint condition. That on the skull itself is slightly cracked here and there, while the skull is slightly pressed in on the back left side close to the spike base. I consulted Brian, and he advised to leave it as it is, as such a slight damage is not unusual. From now on the helmet will rest on a wooden base that supports the interior, so it will not get any worse.

I carefully cleaned the wappen and the brass parts slightly (thanks Brian for the suggestion to use "Hagerty", this stuff really works!), without damaging the gilt or lossing the patina look. I'm pleased that the 'Waterloo' bandeau still has it's letters filled in with the original black paint!

On the leather the name "Weilbach" is hand written, but that ofcourse could be added in later years.

What do you think of it?

Best regards,

Marcel

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RON
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by RON » Wed May 22, 2013 2:44 pm

Very nice! I like how it cleaned up too! :bravo:
Cheers!
Ronny

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by Westfront » Wed May 22, 2013 4:04 pm

Nice helmet good job with the cleaning :thumb up: .

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by Chlodovech » Wed May 22, 2013 4:17 pm

Good one :bravo: I like the patina.
Could you describe how you cleaned it - I have a job to do on a gilded adler.
Sincerely,
Pierre

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by poniatowski » Wed May 22, 2013 4:33 pm

How do I like it? :-k :-k I think it's super! Yes, nice patina and the marks from the ueberzug show that it had a good service life as well. Also, if your wooden form for it allows the top inside of the helmet to rest on it, then the dents, which I agree are minor and not detractive, may straighten out over the years. One never knows!

:D Ron
I really do need to know more about this....

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vonkluck14
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by vonkluck14 » Wed May 22, 2013 4:34 pm

Hi Pierre,

Hagerty silver polish can be applied with a soft tooth brush and washed off with water. You can use a soft cloth to remove the stains after applying the paste with the brush and some water. Make sure to support the wappen from behind with your other hand, and do not put too much pressure on the breakable parts such as the crown and the sceptre!

Succes

Marcel
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poniatowski
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by poniatowski » Wed May 22, 2013 4:37 pm

Dare I mention Tony's method of cleaning gilt wappen?

I can tell you guys, however... It sounds absolutely insane, but works. Although... I don't know if I would do it with this wappen, due to the paint on the bandeau.

:D Ron
I really do need to know more about this....

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by Glennj » Wed May 22, 2013 4:50 pm

Marcel,

is the hand-written name definitely Weilbach? I can find no Prussian officer of that name.

Regards
Glenn

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by Chip Minx » Wed May 22, 2013 6:04 pm

Is that another name written inside the leather skull?

Chip
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by badener » Wed May 22, 2013 8:18 pm

I like it. I like it! :D
It must be a Bavarian. They always smell the worst!

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by vonkluck14 » Thu May 23, 2013 1:21 am

I'm pretty sure it's "Weilbach", and yes there are three more letters in front of the rear name but I cannot make anything sensible out of them..

Glenn, where do you do your research for the lists of regiments, is there an easy to access data base?
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by Spiker » Thu May 23, 2013 1:47 am

Great looking helmet . good job! :thumb up:
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by Adler » Thu May 23, 2013 3:11 am

A fine helmet it is!

Adler

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by vonkluck14 » Thu May 23, 2013 5:10 am

Thanks for your comments gentlemen!

Ron, what was Tony's cleaning method of gilt wappen again??

Marcel
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by poniatowski » Thu May 23, 2013 8:14 am

I'll pm you. :) Tony never really posted the technique here for some obvious reasons once you find out a bit about it, but I'll gladly share with anybody interested.

Ron
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by Spiker » Thu May 23, 2013 10:04 am

poniatowski wrote:I'll pm you. :) Tony never really posted the technique here for some obvious reasons once you find out a bit about it, but I'll gladly share with anybody interested.

Ron
:o :confused2: OOoo , sounds dangerous
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by Glennj » Thu May 23, 2013 12:28 pm

Marcel,
Glenn, where do you do your research for the lists of regiments, is there an easy to access data base?
Their is no database of Regiments but in the first instance I consult the published army lists (Ranglisten) which list all Prussian regular and reserve/Landwehr officers up to 1914. The Ehrenrangliste published after the war lists all regulars from 1914 to 1918. A check through the Militär-Wochenblätter 1914-1918 did not turn up any Prussian infantry reserve officer of that name either.

Regards
Glenn

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by joerookery » Thu May 23, 2013 7:19 pm

Glenn, where do you do your research for the lists of regiments, is there an easy to access data base?


After Glenn mentored me with limited success on pictures, I can assure you that none of this is easy. Without his baseline knowledge there would be an incredibly bad experience. Glenn is a master.
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by stuka f » Fri May 24, 2013 3:53 am

Love it!
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Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
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cheers
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by edwin » Fri May 24, 2013 10:18 am

Nice find and thanks for sharing!

Best regards,

Edwin

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J.LeBrasseur
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by J.LeBrasseur » Fri May 24, 2013 9:19 pm

Super Nice!

James
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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by b.loree » Sat May 25, 2013 12:31 pm

Tony's mystery method?........Easy Off Oven Cleaner to remove tarnish. I have used it many times on OR and officer wappen. You must spray it on over a sink wearing a rubber glove on the hand holding the wappen. Care must be taken.... spray and use your soft tooth brush to work the surface. Do this for 60 seconds or so then wash off the chemical and observe your results. Repeat as desired until you get the results you want. Watch gilded areas to make sure they are not being removed and be extra careful on officer gilded wappen. On this Waterloo officer wappen, I would not use it for fear of removing the black paint in the letters. Sometimes, the brass turns a sort of pink colour due to the chemical reaction, I always finish off with Hagerty Silver Foam paste again using water and a soft tooth brush to remove this. The paste builds up into a brown foam when mixed with water on your tooth brush. It gets down into the fine details of the wappen.
Basically, I use the oven cleaner to get heavy tarnish off then go at it with the Hagerty paste. If the tarnish is relatively "light" I just use the Hagerty.
Regarding spikes, spines and other fittings.....you could begin with Brasso to remove heavy tarnish and then finish using a cloth polishing wheel with jewelers rouge. I use the wheel and rouge to clean chin scales, but you must be careful how you apply the scales to the spinning polishing wheel. You can also use a dremel tool with polishing bit and rouge for tight spots. Cleaning chin scales takes a lot of time and hand work. You can never really get under each scale to completely clean the one it overlaps. However, brown tarnished brass still looks a lot better when cleaned up. As a last comment..... this tarnish has taken 100+ years to build up. I would recommend cleaning a piece only once while you own it. Excessive repeated cleaning will damage the fittings. If you can live with the level of tarnish that is on your fittings, then leave them alone. Just as with the slight depression in Marcels' great Waterloo helme, it wasn't major so leave it alone. It is quite hard to wet and block small dips like this in a helmet. You may go through the entire process and the depression comes right back. Worst case scenario, some finish flakes off the area!
Regarding restitching, there is only one restitch in a helmet because of the delicacy of the small bits of leather between the stitch holes. These take a beating when you clean out the old thread and again when you restitch with new thread. Friction is your enemy here!!
One last thing......for Gods sake, DO NOT glue visors back on! I have run into this several times I believe done mostly by older collectors back in the early days of collecting. This glue mess can be removed and fixed but takes time. The glue trick can be hard to spot so check your visors gentlemen! Here is what to look for.....on the outside look along the stitch line and make sure that you see thread in every hole. If thread is missing from large sections then what is holding the visor on? Excessive black shoe polish applied along the stitch line is also a red flag. Lastly, flip the helmet over and examine the area where the visor meets the shell. Pull the shell back from the visor gently and look for dried glue. Sometimes you will see threads of glue between the shell and visor. Smell the area, if recently glued then you will smell the glue! Last, when in doubt, leave it alone or spend the money and send it to someone like me who has worked on dozens of different helmets. Do not take it down to your local shoe repair guy! Do not screw up a piece of History trying to save a few bucks! Here endeth the lesson and I will now climb down from my soap box.
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by poniatowski » Sat May 25, 2013 3:22 pm

Hey Brian,

Thanks for the good advice. I didn't want to mention except in p.m.'s because of its potential to damage helmets with the chemicals. I used a cotton swab, rather than a toothbrush, which is just a personal preference and it worked fine on all of the trim that I tried it on. Also, the helmet I used it on had light tarnish, so rinsing it off right away worked well. It all depends, I suppose.
As an art metals teacher, I've seen kids dent 18 gage brass on a buffing wheel if it got caught and went flying. One must use EXTREME care if using a regular size (five or so inch) buffing wheel on chin scales or other trim and not allow it to catch the edges at all. I don't know if you agree Brian, but a stitched buff, rather than a loose is much better IMHO. However, the only thing I've ever used a buffing wheel on was a pitted M15 Kuerassier helmet body, never chin scales or other fittings.
Once again, as always, the amount of cleaning is a personal preference an sometimes less is more. (?)

:D Ron
I really do need to know more about this....

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by b.loree » Sat May 25, 2013 5:00 pm

Hey Ron, yes a stitched 5 inch buffing wheel always. Again, as you said but to also reinforce.... EXTREME CARE with the oven cleaner and buffing wheel. Using the buff, you have to watch the angle at which the piece you are cleaning meets the "spinning" wheel. If you catch an edge, which is all part of the learning curve, that piece just goes flying off into your room. Nothing like being down on hands and knees in your basement trying to find a brass spike base brad. Amazing the number of spiders living under your work bench! For safety too, always wear protective glasses, and an old short sleeve shirt. Sleeves can get caught in the wheel plus fine particles of the rouge sprays up at you as you are cleaning the piece. The dremel tool is slower but safer than the buff wheel.
Brass visor trim is always taken off the helmet before buffing. I have done it in situ but this is not for the faint of heart and you could rip the visor off the helmet or damage the finish. Spikes tend to spin in your hands when applied to the wheel. The cone is easy but the neck is difficult to reach and only parts of the surface of the base are accessible.
Regarding, spike base pins, I always heat up the prongs with a torch to anneal the metal (softens the brass) so that they do not break when bent back into position. This naturally blackens the dome of the split brad, so off to the buffing wheel for cleaning before being put back on. Thanks for the comments Ron, I wish you were closer as I am sure that you could teach me a great deal about working with metals.
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by poniatowski » Sat May 25, 2013 8:12 pm

Brian, from what I've seen of your work, you're already an expert. Great advice as well.

Here are some things I've seen over the years by unattentive students: Sleeves blackened by rouge when not rolled up; long hair near the wheel, Until the SHOUT from the teacher makes the kid jump fifteen feet away from it before tieing their hair back. Fortunately, I've never had a student injured by a wheel, hair being the biggest problem, other 'entaglements' would just bind and stop the wheel. Of course, reminding them to put on safety glasses, or hold a piece correctly, not over-rouge the wheel, etc. Of course, these are fifteen to eighteen year olds, so their learning curve is a bit steeper than an adult's usually is.

My question for you is this: Is the solder in the spike base brads hard solder or does it melt into a puddle as you anneal (Lead / Tin solder)? I've not removed a 'pinned' on base for many years and fortunately never had a brad break without annealing. Also, what type of torch do you use for annealing? Propane or Asceteline? (sorry about misspellings)

:D Ron
I really do need to know more about this....

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Re: Hannover Offizier

Post by b.loree » Sat May 25, 2013 8:55 pm

Hi Ron: It must be some kind of hard solder because, it does not melt under heat strong enough to turn the brass prongs red. The torch is your hardware store variety propane type. I am going to post some close up pics of spike base brads (underside) so we can see how they are fastened. It definitely had to be some sort of mechanized process because of the millions that were produced.
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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