Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

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Maple Creek
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Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by Maple Creek » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:38 pm

Here's an amazing, out-of-the-woodwork thing that has been offered to me. It was brought home from Europe by the seller's father who was a WWII vet. Although the seller has little idea of what it is (offered as a "WWI officer's helmet), she has an inflated idea of what its worth. I'm trying to offer her the best reasonable price without over-paying.

I'm still waiting on better pictures, but from the verbal description, it is complete with full set of chinscales, liner and other components, including the spike, but no storage box. All in very good condition without significant damage.

I'm thinking around $3,800. Does that sound about right?

Mark D.
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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by Maple Creek » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:37 pm

I noodled around on the internet and found some comparables. Now I'm thinking this is a $2400 helmet. I haven't really been paying attention to prices, but it seems like values are down sharply. Due to the decline of the Euro I presume.

I might have to let this one go. The seller thinks its worth a gazillion dollars. Still, it's a cool thing to find out-of-the-woodwork, no?

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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by J.LeBrasseur » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:14 pm

Just my opinion going off the 1 pic, but I think both those prices are high

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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by ww1czechlegion » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:42 pm

It is a neat helmet that is hard to find. Some folks are inevitably going to fuss and question the reservist cross on the Griffin with it having the motto on the banner below. I personally think they probably did this (thrifty Germans?), but I also realize that some collectors don't like to see them set up like this w/the motto and the reservist cross together on a front plate. Just my 2-cents worth opinion, even knowing the helmet has never been in collector hands or messed with since being brought back from WW2.

A good judgement about the condition of the rest of the finish on the helmet obviously can't be made from the one photo that you have been provided for the helmet.

That being said, I agree with James, and have also personally witnessed that market prices have dropped considerably on quite a range of helmets. I recall that a really super nice condition Baden reserve officer helmet closer to the 1914 era didn't break the $2,000 mark last year on eBay. It was a beauty, and did not have any condition problems with the exterior surface finish on the helmet body.

It would be hard for me to swallow in giving it up if I was in your shoes and walk away from it, being that it hasn't been in collector hands before. But the daughter might find that she is going to "pound salt" with it on eBay if she goes that market in trying to sell it with what she "believes" it is worth. She'll find out the hard way that it won't bring what she believes it is worth on eBay, especially in this current economic world situation. Many buyers from Europe had enjoyed being able to buy helmets at a 25-35% discount for several years time, up until the past couple of months, because of the disparity in the exchange between the US Dollar and the Euro. I strongly believe that the old wide disparity that no longer exists at this current time had driven prices artificially higher for US sellers when they sold to European buyers on eBay. No offense intended to anyone in the EU, it is just a simple mathematical and economic fact. And remember that the Ruble has dropped considerably as well, taking many of those folks out of the buying market as well. With the current situation of a strong dollar the effect has been two-fold: it has leveled the playing field amongst US & European buyers, but it has also brought down the price of helmets and other collectible items because of the current strength of the dollar, because the Euro based buyers aren't willing to pay as much as they had been when the dollar was at 1.36 to 1.50 per Euro, compared to an amazing 1.056 dollars per Euro as of today's writing. So much for my economics 101 in a nutshell.

Best Regard,

Alan

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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by Maple Creek » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:04 am

Hi James and Allan, Thanks for this feedback/advice. As I said, I haven't been paying attention to the values of pickelhaubes and it was a bit of a shock to realize that prices have tumbled so much. The same thing is happening with steel helmets (my main interest), so I shouldn't have been surprised.

It's a great time to buy if you're buying in dollars. Not so good if you're trying to raise cash by selling.

As much as I'd like to have an untouched Baden dragoon officer's helmet on my desk, it's not a must-have item for me, so I may well have to let this one go.

Best Regards,

Mark
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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by b.loree » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:57 am

Then there is the Canadian situation where it now costs an extra 30 cents to buy a US dollar at the bank. Aprox 2 years ago we were at par but that is not really good for the CN economy. Our governments like our dollar below Uncle Sams' to encourage US buyers to import our products and resources. We are their biggest customer and they are ours. The Canadian economy especially in the western provinces (Alberta) is being hit hard by the decline in oil prices. The cheaper gas is good....97/litre but thousands have lost their jobs in the "oil patch". For me, this year, I am going to be looking for items to sell on Ebay and make the 30% on the dollar. The problem is Ebay and Paypal. Ebay fees include the cost of postage for the item. What does Ebay have to do with my buyers postage cost?? Secondly, this creeping Ebay policy of prepaid import duties is ridiculous. I will not bid on anything which has that attached to the listing. Third, Paypal will not transfer US funds to my US$ bank account. They force me to convert it to CN$. End of rant...... :x
Nice helmet but if you are dealing with a seller who has an unrealistic value in her head, you have to walk away.
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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by Maple Creek » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:48 pm

Hi Brian et al, I made a very reasonable offer, but the owner decided not to sell. It was an exciting thing to find, but it's value is not infinite!

Oil patch folks are hurting on this side of the border as well.

Yes, eBay keeps claiming a larger pound of flesh from their customers. I noticed the fees on postage too. What the f***/heck?

If you're selling stuff, let your pickelhaubes.com pals have first crack! Good luck with your sales.

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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by Maple Creek » Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:28 pm

After a long wait the owner of the Baden dragoon helmet decided to accept my offer. Apparently nobody was willing to pay four times what it is worth - surprise, surprise!

I'm really happy to have this one on my desk. It has an early style liner, so would date from before 1897 I gather. At some point somebody mounted a Prussian NCO kokarde on helmet, which I removed. I think this may have been done early post-WWII by somebody assembling things for the GI souvenir trade. A couple other things souvenirs associated with the estate showed similar signs of crude assembly of parts (a medal with wrong ribbon and SS dagger with NSKK sheath). It had been on there a long time. Other than that, the helmet looks to be in it's original state.

One state kokarde on the wearer's right would have been correct for an earlier piece.
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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by b.loree » Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:55 pm

Very nice! It's great that you got it after a bit of a wait. Congrats!
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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by badener » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:19 pm

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

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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by kaiser » Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:44 am

patience pays off as the say
that is indeed a very nice one a specially with is parade plume
that's a big eye catcher to look at

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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by Adler » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:49 am

Your patience payed off! Excelent haube!

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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by Maple Creek » Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:39 am

Thanks. It's fun to have something like this that hasn't been in a real collection before. I decided to leave it as is and not attempt to polish it. I like the overall patina.

In hand, I see that I was wrong about it being an 1871 model. More like an 1891 maybe.

There is a very similar helmet on the Der Rittmeister website, but for a one-year volunteer. Here's Ken's excellent description of that piece:

04-628 Pre 1897 One-Year-Volunteer's Dragoner-Regiment Pickelhaube - Baden. This is a fine example of an officer's pickelhaube that was produced prior to 1897 for Dragoner-Regiment Nr 20, Nr 21, and Nr 22. The Grand Duchy of Baden, located just west of modern-day Stuttgart, fielded a total of three Dragoner-Regiments. These included 1. Badisches Leib-Dragoner-Regiment Nr 20, 2. Badisches Dragoner-Regiment Nr 21, and 3. Badisches Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Karl Nr 22. The regiments was raised in 1803, the other two in 1850. They were garrisoned in Karlsruhe (the capital), Bruchsal-Schwetzingen, and Mülhausen i.E. All three regiments were attached to the XIV. Armeekorps. (ALL Baden regiments were part of the XIV. Armeekorps, since the Armeekorps had been established along geographic boundaries within Germany prior to WW I). These three regiments comprised Baden’s entire Kavallerie contingent. [Unlike some other states that fielded Küraßier, Dragoner, Ulanen, or Husaren Regiments, Baden focused on Dragoner-Regiments only].
Our offering today is a very fine OYV’s pickelhaube from a Dragoner-Regiment. The helmet’s leather body has a squared-off front visor rather than a rounded one. All Dragoner helmets throughout Germany had squared visors. Only Württemberg and Bavaria used the squared visor for regiments other than the Dragoner. The other use for a helmet with a squared front visor was as general officers’ pickelhauben.
The leather body of this spiked helmet is generally pleasing. The leather is in great shape. We see some minor cracking from age. We also see a bit of settling at the top in the area where the cruciform is attached. This is another sign of aging. We are dealing with a helmet that is most certainly more than one-hundred years-old. In fact, I would say that the helmet dates from the 1890-1897 period, for a reason I will explain further in the description.
The helmet’s furniture, including the wappen, cruciform, spike, and trim, is silver. It is a very high-quality silver. I cannot go so far as to say it is .800 silver, but it is a high-grade material, whatever it may be. It has a marvelous patina, with a certain special quality about it. The chin scales and the officer’s stars are gilt-toned, in the only deviation from the silver theme. Returning to the wappen, as high as is its quality, it is not for an officer. As a part of the OYV program, it was mandatory that at least one of the pickelhaube’s features be of NCO/enlisted man’s quality. This man choose the wappen. He elected that the helmet’s entire balance, including the cruciform, stars, and kokarde, be officer’s level. So you are dealing with an officer’s quality pickelhaube, with that one exception. Many a collector would not even notice that the wappen’s crown is closed instead of open, as is the officer’s crown on a wappen.
The pickelhaube’s final feature, on the left side (from the wearer’s perspective) is a Baden officer’s kokarde. It is the helmet’s only kokarde, indicating that the helmet was manufactured and worn prior to 1897. [Prior to 1897, a reich’s kokarde was not used, just one for the state. Post 1897, the reich’s kokarde appeared on the left side, and the state’s kokarde was shifted to the right, hence my estimate that the helmet was manufactured in the 1890-1897 period. In fact, I place it closer to 1897 than 1890, again for a reason I will share later]. The kokarde has Baden’s national colors of red and gold. The Baden-style pattern was shared by only a few states including Saxony, Württemberg, and Hesse-Darmstadt. I find the pattern to be very elegant. I am always pleased to find a helmet with this type of kokarde.
The interior sports a handsome, leather sweatband. We see a brown silk liner that, while complete, is in a bit rougher condition than I prefer. Some tears and runs appear in the silk, and it has come loose from the leather sweatband to which it originally was attached. Under the silk liner, all of the original hardware is in place. In a previous paragraph I said that I felt the helmet had been produced fairly close to 1897. My reason is that officer’s helmets from pre 1890 did not use silk liners. They instead used the same liner as did NCO/enlisted men’s helmets. The use of silk liners for privately-purchased helmets (silk liners were NOT used on depot-issued helmets) appeared closer to 1897. It was just an attractive addition to a privately-purchased helmet and often was used on officer’s, OYV’s, and NCO’s helmets. When we look at the wappen’s attachment we see, because it did not belong to an officer, it was attached with a leather thong rather than a screw and nut.
As I said, good quality is one of the reasons that I often am attracted to a One-Year-Volunteer’s helmet, which this helmet certainly possesses. Another reason is cost. A similar helmet to a FULL officer, whose only difference from ours was the wappen’s open rather than closed crown, cost two thousand more. At first glance, only the experienced eye can even tell it is not an officer’s helmet. The fellow who bought this helmet more than one-hundred-ten years ago knew good quality and was not afraid to pay for it. Anyone who examines this helmet closely will see its true value.


The link: http://www.derrittmeister.com/headdress1.htm#pickeltop

Mark D.

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Re: Baden DR M1871 Officer's - value?

Post by ww1czechlegion » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:45 pm

Good for you Mark, Congratulations! :D :thumb up:

It's nice to see that the seller came to their senses. And it's great that your patience paid off in acquiring this beauty! =D> :bravo:

Best Regards,

Alan

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