a family story


once uppon a time the great war. legend - of my family - tells about one french artillery officer -his name was Maurice.

End of august 1914 French army retreated in Lorraine after bitter defeat in Morhange and Sarrebourg Luneville was taken by german imperial army, they settled in the palace a clothing store. When french counterattack and retake Luneville, Maurice zas one of theù , he entered in palace and took as war trophy a prussian helmet. Maurcie survived the war; married and had a daughter - not at all interested in this strange object. Then he decides to give it to a little boy; his nephew. The little boy was very careful, he did not play with the helmet but put it in his wardrobe. He was looking at it from time to time and started also to collect a lot of other things as stamps , model cars , model trains , coins , ...

The little boy was my father. The helmet was stored almost 50 years in my father's wardrobe by my grand mother's house. When I was going to her I was looking at it sometimes whem my father allowed me , but touching only with the eyes.

One summer - during holidays, in the center of France, my parents passed in front of the window of an antique dealer. throw a distracted glance but notice a helmet has a point with a different plate. They entered , asked what is was - it should be a wurttemberg said the dealer - cheap 150 francs - my parents bought it and bring it back home and the one who was laying by my grandmother also. So my parent and I , I was teenager. started to look for litteracy to now more about this helmets , startef to buy some "gazette des uniformes" . In the time it was quite no documentation in french about pickels . Shortly after the beginning of our research was published Lacarde and then Lainé books. They would become my bedside books; the virus was innoculated. We - with my parents but in fact my mother was even more interested in as my father - started to go to local flea market , met there with some specialized dealers. We had the chance to live not far from Metz where it was 2 antics specialized in militaria - Hi Roland if you read me.

then I started working, and start to collect for my own, my father died; sister and brother wasnt interested in parent collectors I included them in my own collection. I sold some of their item; I am collecting normaly only officer , but always kept the "Uncle Maurice s" other rank prussian.

After helmets, getting alrealy a lot , started to collect shouderboards to go with, then swords , and finaly when we bought house big enough uniforms. my wife has always been understanding enough never to ask me the price of my purchases.

I had chance by working long time aboard to earn money enough to fullfil - not quite I am still looking for something missing like everybody - my teenager s dreems. the danger with collecting it that its never ended.

But is better to lose yourself in your passion than to lose your passion.


Rurik, that is a great story. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

My wife doesn't ask about prices now, but when I complain about the cost of something she will say ' I'm sure it's cheaper than a helmet'. She's usually right, and I have to shut up

I like your last sentence!

A story I love very much. Real collectors who love their helmets and are not looking for the money they could earn from them


Staff member
An excellent story! Thank you for taking the time to post here for us. Your last statement is very true....what is life without our passions? It makes having to work, sort of ok. :)


New member
Thanks for your family story and the start of collecting interest.

Mine was similar in that my father, a WWII European vet, brought home some war trophies. My interests run the gamut of German to US.

I'll join with the others in agreement on your statement of passion.



Well-known member
How about photos of those first helmets and what has happened since then ?
I like your story . Someway what we collect returns us in our minds to when we
were young .
Steve McFarland