Asian Filz

Ersatz Felt/Filz Pickelhauben

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Post by joerookery » Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:32 am

A couple of years ago, George Anderson had the find of SOS. This year he had a couple walk in at a gun show. I am posting these pictures for George he would like your comments. I will be at the gun show.... :?

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Post by keoki7 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:50 pm

Thnaks so much for posting this for me Joe. The east Asian was actually an internet buy. The Tsapka was the walk-in.

The East Asian helps to dress up an S-98 bayonet that I have that is also marked to the East Asian Expeditionary Force.
Geo

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Post by pointystuff » Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:14 pm

Wow. :eek:
That's impressive.
Regards,
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Post by reservist1 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:37 pm

George: An exceptionally scarce East Asian Expeditionary Forces officer's helmet. There is a photo of an orfficer wearing the same helmet on page 18 of The German Army in the First world War Uniforms and Equipment 1914 to 1918 by Juergen Kraus.

If the helmet were mine I would remove the Prussian kokarde and search in earnest for a pair of gilt plated enlisted style private purchase chinscales.

Great find, congratulatuions.

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Post by Robert » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:38 am

Now thats a rare helmet congratulations!

Concerning the cocarde, I would be interested in when the state plates and cocardes were used at all. I have a cardbord backed photo that shows this helmet with prussian line eagle and appearently both cocardes. I never figured out when the state plate (and state cocarde) was used instead of the empires eagle (without state cocarde). It seems other state plates were never used though on the east asia helmets?

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Post by keoki7 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:00 am

This helmet has a number of interesting features but most bizarre of all is the method in which the plate is attached. I will send Joe some photos.
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Post by joerookery » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:25 pm

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Post by J.LeBrasseur » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:31 pm

That is very cool, thanks for sharing!
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Post by joerookery » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:52 pm

search in earnest for a pair of gilt plated enlisted style private purchase chinscales.
My goodness this has been an interesting helmet! I really encourage everyone to go to the reference that R1 gave us. It shows a lot of different things. I actually have a catalog from Wunderlich, but it appears to be after 1901, and there is nothing in it about this kind of helmet, nor about the parts of it.

I have been working an article that has a lot about this catalog in it. This find however gives you pause. R1 can you explain further your idea about private purchase chin scales? Clearly the picture has chin scales attached to the M91 posts. The spike looks officer like, but there are issue marks on the back visor. There could be a lot of explanations of this and I don't know that we will ever get it completely right, but I would like to your thoughts.
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Post by reservist1 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:20 pm

Joe: See Imperial German Military Officers' Helmets & Head Dress 1871-1918 by Thomas N.G. Stubbs, pages 489 and 493-496. The cited pages provide a description of the East Asian Expeditionary Forces officer helmet as well as photos of officer and enlisted versions.

As for the chinscales, the officer chinscales have 3 rivets on the rear end pieces in the same configuration as standard enlisted chinscales. Look closely at the photo of the officer on page 18 of the Kraus book, the rivets on the chinscales are visible.

The metal fitings on the officer helmet were gilt. The only gilt finished chinscales for M91 side lugs in production at the time the helmet was adopted (1900) would have been enlisted private purchase scales.

Given the unique configuration of the East Asian helmets, and the very small number of officer helmets that would have been required, it is quite possible that any needed officer helmets were assembled from government owned issue stocks and made available for sale to officers needing the East Asian helmet. We should also keep in mind that when the new helmet was adopted in 1900 the East Asian Expeditionary Corps had already been in China for a number of years. To supply personnel on duty in China it would have been necesary to ship the new helmets to China. Officers in China would have had no means to acquire a "private purchase" officer helmet. It is logical that a number of the helmets shipped by the government to the expeditionary force would have been in officer configuration for issue/sale to those needing the officer helmet.

One question which remains about the officer helmet is the configuration of the national kokarde. When the helmets were introduced the only kokardes for M91 side lugs would have been enlisted or senior NCO. The question is; did the officer helmet use a standard senior NCO kokarde or a senior NCO kokarde with an officer style 3 banded ring replacing the senior NCO style ring?

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Post by b.loree » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:47 pm

Super rare and very unique! All I can say is wow!! I will be looking at my Stubbs book all over again. Brian
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Post by Lost Skeleton » Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:30 am

Congratulations, George, on a super find and an absolutely beautiful specimen. The unique officer spike appears also to have five vent holes.

The chinscales in the Kraus reference appear to be vaulted, which raises another question. Were vaulted scales the only type worn by Ostasiatischen Expeditionkorps? I don't own a copy of Stubbs, but there is an East Asian officer helmet pictured on page 146 of the old Johansson book with vaulted scales (identified by the author as "Imperial German Mounted Colonial Officer").

For those who are not familiar with the type, this Bavarian features privately purchased flat scales. They are gilt brass and thinner/ lighter than the chinscales issued to other ranks.

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The interior is worth a look as well:

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Post by joerookery » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:14 pm

Stubbs seems very good on this point . This idea seems quite logical.
Given the unique configuration of the East Asian helmets, and the very small number of officer helmets that would have been required, it is quite possible that any needed officer helmets were assembled from government owned issue stocks and made available for sale to officers needing the East Asian helmet. We should also keep in mind that when the new helmet was adopted in 1900 the East Asian Expeditionary Corps had already been in China for a number of years. To supply personnel on duty in China it would have been necesary to ship the new helmets to China. Officers in China would have had no means to acquire a "private purchase" officer helmet. It is logical that a number of the helmets shipped by the government to the expeditionary force would have been in officer configuration for issue/sale to those needing the officer helmet.
This also seems like a good point, but I might argue the size of the cockade as opposed to the rings.
One question which remains about the officer helmet is the configuration of the national kokarde. When the helmets were introduced the only kokardes for M91 side lugs would have been enlisted or senior NCO. The question is; did the officer helmet use a standard senior NCO kokarde or a senior NCO kokarde with an officer style 3 banded ring replacing the senior NCO style ring?
The only gilt finished chinscales for M91 side lugs in production at the time the helmet was adopted (1900) would have been enlisted private purchase scales.
This is where I have problems and we might be thinking the same thing but with different semantics. I am tripping over the words private purchase and chin scales. Wunderlich provided chin scales of the M91 model to a series of units- those same chin scales could also be purchased privately. I understand what Chas is saying about lighter but I look at those as extra light, as opposed to private purchase --. You could also get heavy private purchase ones. So maybe this is just semantics about private purchase, especially in this case where the lines blur.
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Post by reservist1 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:51 pm

Joe: Concerning the size of the kokarde, at the time of adoption of the East Asian helmet no officer size kokardes, that I am aware of, existed with a center hole designed to fit the M91 side lug. To make officer size kokardes for the M91 lug would have required the fabrication of dies and manufacture of a limited number of a special size kokarde. This would have made no economic sense given the very small number of kokardes needed coupled with the fact that the Model 1900 East Asian helmet was only authorized for wear in East Asia. It was not to be worn in Germany.

As for the privagte purchase chin scales, the key point to keep in mind is that the fittings on the East Asian Officer helmets were gilt plated. I am unaware of any issue chin scales (thick or thin, heavy or light) that were gilt plated. Therefore, the chinscales should have been of the gilt plated private purchase style Chas illustrated on his Bavarian helmet. The thin style chin scale is also important because the East Asian other ranks did not wear chin scales. The side lugs on the helmets are designed to accept the fittings for a leather chin strap. As such the standard issue "thick" chin scales will not fit the side lugs. The thin style private purchase chin scales will fit M91 side lugs designed for a chinstrap.

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Post by joerookery » Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:44 pm

As usual, I was about as clear as mud.
Concerning the size of the kokarde, at the time of adoption of the East Asian helmet no officer size kokardes, that I am aware of, existed with a center hole designed to fit the M91 side lug.
I totally agree. I was talking about Silver Rings.

And this is an example of what I was talking about with private purchase.
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All three types here, could have been purchased for issue. Conversely, all three types here could be used as private purchase. Price seems to be the determining factor. It seems as though some issue purchases were made at the higher grade as well as a lower grade. Though not conclusive yet it seems as if different materials (brass, aluminum bronze, tomback)could also be purchased at varying prices.
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Post by reservist1 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:19 pm

Joe: Is this catalog a list of Wunderlich products available for commercial sale to individual customers or does it reflect the contract prices that the government would have paid for quantity purchases of helmets built to issue specifications? From the descriptions it appears to me to be a commercial catalog.

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Post by joerookery » Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:06 pm

R1
Is this catalog a list of Wunderlich products available for commercial sale to individual customers or does it reflect the contract prices that the government would have paid for quantity purchases of helmets built to issue specifications? From the descriptions it appears to me to be a commercial catalog.
A simple question that is not so easy to answer. I am not sure, as it does not appear to be neither fish nor foul. It is certainly aimed at those soldiers are not commissioned. It provides pricing options of individual purchases and bulk discounts for quantity purchases. The example below shows products available in quantities of 100, by the kilo, and for the Kammer.

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I am not sure that there was such a thing as contract pricing. I can find no mention of such a thing in the Rechnungordnung. What I really need is a contract and a War Ministry budget, broken down by Army Corps. I finally found the budget for 1888. The entire War Ministry consisted of one entry! I can tell you a lot about the Navy budget in that document, but not the Army
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Post by Lost Skeleton » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:07 pm

reservist1 wrote:The thin style chin scale is also important because the East Asian other ranks did not wear chin scales. The side lugs on the helmets are designed to accept the fittings for a leather chin strap. As such the standard issue "thick" chin scales will not fit the side lugs. The thin style private purchase chin scales will fit M91 side lugs designed for a chinstrap.
This illustration may help. At left is a O/R Brandenburg Dragoon; the Bavarian private purchase helmet is right. As one can see, only the Bavarian scales would fit Knopf 91 specifically measured for chinstrap use.

Image

I would argue the scales on my Bavarian would fit George's helmet; the Brandenburg scales would not.

Tony has described this in detail, but I haven't been able to find the bunker link.

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Post by chrispaulodale » Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:29 pm

Robert wrote:Concerning the cocarde, I would be interested in when the state plates and cocardes were used at all.
Hi Robert,
The original East Asian Expeditionary Corps Infantry of 1900 wore state plates and cockades. The cavalry, artillery and other branches wore Prussian plates and cockades.
On 9th Feburary 1901 these state insignia were officially replaced with imperial plates and cockades.
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Post by Robert » Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:44 pm

Chris,
thanks for the info. Now that you pointed it out, it seems quite clear that it must have been during the intervention because the state insignia were rather contrary to the concept of the colonies being under imperial government. So actually, finding such a helmet with Prussian insignia would be quite rare it seems. I remember only one specimen, it would have costed €2000 at the time.

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Post by chrispaulodale » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:24 pm

Hi Robert,

Yes, as you say the colonies in general were an imperial affair rather than individual state affairs. The East Asian Expeditionary Corps is an exception though, at least in its early formation, and of course China wasn't quite a colony.

The green grey felt helmet was introduced at the same time as the imperial regualtions in 1901. Previous state plates and cockades were on standard leather Picklehauben (and shakos), so I guess it would be difficult to prove if one was used in China or "only" by the regular army back in Germany.

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Post by joerookery » Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:18 pm

Robert's picture brought out a lot of questions. This helmet surfaced out of the Trawnik collection-it had originally come out of a very well-respected collection on the West Coast.
Image

It seems quite possible that this spike and bass were changed sometime after the helmet was originally constructed.
Image

The wappen is attached in a manner similar to George's.
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Image
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Post by Robert » Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:08 am

I have been wondering about the two basic types. On the one hand, the felt covered type and on the other hand the type with cloth covering. There are also two types of spike bases. One type has normal brads. It is also more slender while the other has an extra ring and no brads.

Where they both 1900 models for the expedition corps?

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Image

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Post by Lost Skeleton » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:10 am

joerookery wrote://This helmet surfaced out of the Trawnik collection...It seems quite possible that this spike and bass were changed sometime after the helmet was originally constructed.//
Hi Joe:

I certainly hope it doesn't reside in the Robinson collection now.

I gather the present configuration was intended to represent a Pionier Regiment. Three questions:

1. Silver Reserve cross?

2. Heat discoloration on the Wappen opposite the solder points of the split brads? In my opinion, this implies either an inexpert recent repair or major alteration of the Wappen.

3. M15 officer spike and base on a helmet circa 1900-01?

For what it's worth, :thumbsdown:

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Post by Lost Skeleton » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:18 am

A fourth question occurred to me: leather reinforcement panels beneath the chinscale Rossetten. When was the last time anyone saw that on an officer helmet? To my knowledge, these appear solely on helmets originally equipped with Knopfen 91.

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Post by joerookery » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:55 am

I certainly hope it doesn't reside in the Robinson collection now.
No it doesn't but it is the kind of thing that excites me.
1. Silver Reserve cross?
Not correct, but also not unheard of.


In my opinion, this implies either an inexpert recent repair or major alteration of the Wappen.
I don't know. I doubt that this wappen has been off recently and I don't know what kind of alteration had to be done to make this a three point connection.
3. M15 officer spike and base on a helmet circa 1900-01?
This had to be added later. So was this a 1901 helmet that was resurrected and changed for the 1915 application? Is it some sort of Frankenstein helmet? it certainly follows the pattern of some conversions that had the new Spike base and the old rosettes.
A fourth question occurred to me: leather reinforcement panels beneath the chinscale Rossetten. When was the last time anyone saw that on an officer helmet? To my knowledge, these appear solely on helmets originally equipped with Knopfen 91. [/img]
This one does have M91 posts but is an officers helmet.
Image

Thank you for your thoughts on this one -- it certainly is not standard!
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Post by Lost Skeleton » Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:48 pm

I must have left my brain on the pillow this morning. :oops: Joe, you're absolutely right about the the reinforcement panels being present on M15 regulation officer helmets.

Based upon what I've seen of Randy's helmet, I would conclude "Frankenhaube." However, a complete takedown would be necessary to prove the point.

What I would specifically look for would be the size and nature of the hole(s) in the helmet shell for the spike base and rosettes. I would also want to see the reverse of the Wappenadler. I would argue the shell was prepped, as was George's helmet, for the colonial eagle, and someone altered the current Prussian eagle to fit those holes/slits.

I regard any original Wappenadler with prongs to represent the lowest quality private purchase option. Furthermore, these are generally very thin stampings that usually appear on Vulkanfiber helmets. Soldered posts or brads of the period should never display burn marks like that.

Rather than speculating, I'm surprised Randy hasn't already disassembled the helmet to satisfy his own curiosity. I certainly would.

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Post by randy trawnik » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:43 pm

Dear Joe, Chas, et. al.
I asked Joe to post the photos of the Asian Filzhaube conversion to help stimulate the exchange of ideas. This unusual helmet came from the family of a well known and now deceased west coast collector. I had been friends with the gentleman for many years. He obtained the helmet in the 1960's. The helmet is unique. What is it? I don't know. I have removed the spike and there are no extra holes in the body. The chinscales are original but I can see where the legs of the rosette now are, at one time M91 lugs were mounted. As per you query, I have not taken the front plate off the helmet as it is affixed with "splinte". Nothing would be worse that to break these fragile legs just to satisfy my desire to look behind the plate. The officer sweat leather and silk are original. "Frankenhaube"?? Possibly. There is also the possibility that it was converted as an ersatz piece and then worn under a field cover. It has been a great conversation piece among my collector friends. I do have in my collection a M1895/fireman conversion/re-issue in M1915 - Prussian Infantry EM helmet that belonged to one of my family members. I obtained it in 1962 from the son of the guy who wore it. My family member wore it faithfully doing his duty guarding the foreign civilian detainment camp at Ruhleben (near Berlin). Anyone now looking at the helmet would immediately say it is a "frankenhaube" and a fake fireman come spiked helmet. See, we can never be SURE about anything.
Respectfully submitted,
Randy Trawnik

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Post by J.LeBrasseur » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:30 am

Randy-

thanks for the information, I find the helmet very interesting! I also think it is pretty cool and would put it on my shelf for sure.

James
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Post by keoki7 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:07 pm

Tomorrow I am off to the SOS and the O.A. Pickel is going with me. I don't plan to bring it home. Contact me by email if you are interested. My email is [email protected]. The starting price will be $4000 but my hope is to find a new owner for it while there so if need be the price will fall as the calendar turns. I will hold it for any who respond in the order in which I hear from them.
Geo

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