There have been a few surprises in dealing with Matt's helmet and it's fittings. First off, this is a war time produced helmet, we knew that from the cloth liner which was poor quality and disintegrating, plus the use of steel screws on the wappen. We also knew that due to the "black" fittings that there was something unusual happening with them. As it turns out, "the black" has been caused by the oxidization of a wartime silver wash that was applied to the chin scales, spine and visor trim and spike base. Fortunately, the wappen is totally neusilber and cleaned up beautifully, as we all know much of the value in any helme lies with "die wappen". Some pictures as usual:
My instructions were to clean all fittings, even after I had emailed Matt about the different metals used in the fittings and the fact that removing the black oxidization, would reveal these metals. To his credit, he gave me permission to post these photos so that other collectors could learn from what we have discovered from this helmet. So here we have, a copper spike base, a brass neck and brass visor trim.
You can see the copper showing through, and the brass top and trim are obvious.
The wappen came disassembled which again is a new experience for me...but ok. Sorry for the "pink" colour in the pics. These were taken inside today because it was sunny outside. The wappen is NOT pink!! Note...no enamel under the motto, it may be missing but again perhaps a war time expedient???
The "stern" has multiple parts to it.
The star has many "tabs" of white metal which are folded back to hold the pieces together. The construction/assembly is very precise which led to me creating a problem....you can see that all the tabs have been folded inward, this was my mistake, I did this. However, by doing this, I separated the star burst from the central part of the wappen. I realised my mistake when the burst and central part came apart as seen in the first picture. Fortunately, I got things back together properly without breaking anything. Restoration, is a learning situation at all times and I learned from this wappen.
I am very pleased with how the wappen turned out. The little black adler is a bit off the vertical but after 100 years, I have to accept that.
The reverse side, you can see the main sets of white metal prongs which hold the star to the adler, it took some maneuvering to get these parts back together but it was a real pleasure to see the results!
Now, we move on to the chin scales which again show "war time" manufacture......the largest scale, the one closest to the helmet for some reason, is made of copper, all the rest, are convex brass on both halves of the scales. obviously, I have cleaned portions so you can see through the silver wash black oxidization.
Again the pink colouration is due to photographic problems on my part but I wanted to post an update today and the sun came out.
Before and after pictures of restoration projects
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