Model 1871 Prussian Dragoon Officer with Issue

SkipperJohn

Active member
I have had this Prussian Dragoon for several years. It is in pretty good condition, but has been polished by a previous owner. I have cleaned it, but I have never attempted a complete removal of the old polish:

qrYTnt3.jpg


The helmet is pre-1880 and has only one Kokarde. There is no Kokarde on the left side. The spike is the short, stubby type common for 1867 and 1871 Model helmets:

kYIttXv.jpg


The liner is the square tongue type used by officers prior to 1880:

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The liner shows extensive wear. It is still pliable, but the leather has broken down and it crumbles easily if care is not taken when handling it. The helmet shell is "puckered" where the crucifix spike base is attached. I doubt that the spike base has ever been removed.

The rear spine is the officer/private purchase type without the two studs:

TxpKbKt.jpg


The Wappen is the dragoon type for officers:

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It had been suggested that this helmet was built from a Beamter helmet and that the Dragoon Wappen was added; however the screw posts are only 62mm apart and there are no extra holes. The screw posts on Beamter Wappens are substantially farther apart. One nut has been replaced with a modern alternative:

svgFc8C.jpg


The Wappen is highly detailed. It has a period repair to the crown. Apparently the crown broke off and it was soldered back on. The solder is typical for the period --- sloppily done:

IlJ5IqM.jpg


The Kokarde is a twin ring officer type:

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Here is the issue:
The spike does not unscrew. By 1914 all Dragoon Regiments were authorized to wear a Trichter. I do not know when the Dragoon Regiments were awarded the Trichter. I always thought that the parade plume was similar to a battle honor awarded to a unit after it had proven itself worthy. Since this helmet is pre-1880 I thought that it probably belonged to one of the dragoon regiments formed in 1866: Dragoon Regt's 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, or 15.

Regardless, the helmet does display well:

pHqwL74.jpg


I am open to all opinions or ideas on why the spike does not unscrew. Perhaps it is a Diensthelm and purchased for field use only???

John
 

Tony without Kaiser

Departed
Staff member
It had been suggested that this helmet was built from a Beamter helmet and that the Dragoon Wappen was added;

How could anyone possibly know that? I would love to hear the 'reasoning' behind it being a Beamte from anyone telling you that. Of the two, the Beamte is far less common ironically... Regardless, as we discussed in another thread, a Prussian Adler is not going to fit in those holes. Only a Dragoner.

Due to the spike not being removable? Those hideous Haarbusche things were only authorized for Dragoner officers after 1896.

I have owned two Garde officer helmets with spike tops that are not removable. As you know John, with the width of the holes, it's Garde or it's not. So I don't have an explanation and I don't need one.
 
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b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
That is a beautiful old beast! Very cool that Tony was able to dispel any silly comments made by would be critics.
 

911car

Well-known member
That is a beautiful old beast! Very cool that Tony was able to dispel any silly comments made by would be critics.
Ah ah! You were counting without me, Brian... just kidding; I always rely 150% on Tony's exceptional erudition, but here... as far as I know, Dragoner wore the Haarbusch from the time they were given Pickelhauben. Tony does not like Haarbusche, I don't like them either. This must be the reason...
Of course, I totally agree with Tony that spiked helmets from Haarbush wearing regiments are found occasionally with non-detachable spikes. I have at least three such examples, one from a GR4 officer helmet ("1626" scroll).
 

Tony without Kaiser

Departed
Staff member
Botched it this time. Fail.

My ‘knowledge’ is only based on references. In this case, Herr, U, Nguyen, U. (2006) The German Cavalry from 1871 to 1914 Verlag Militaria, Vienna p.325 and I misread it. I got it wrong. Sorry John.

Bruno is correct of course. Dragoner had always worn horse hair. In 1896 officers were given Buffalo hair.

Like Bruno I still vote not uncommon for an officer to wear a service helmet in the field and keep the nice one at home. I also have a Garde officer, non removable spike top, and I am the 1st collector to own it.
 

SkipperJohn

Active member
Thank you for your input. I'm going to say it's good and probably served as a Diensthelm. I did the same thing. I had uniform items that were used in garrison and those that were set aside for inspection only.

John
 

SkipperJohn

Active member
Ah ah! You were counting without me, Brian... just kidding; I always rely 150% on Tony's exceptional erudition, but here... as far as I know, Dragoner wore the Haarbusch from the time they were given Pickelhauben. Tony does not like Haarbusche, I don't like them either. This must be the reason...
Of course, I totally agree with Tony that spiked helmets from Haarbush wearing regiments are found occasionally with non-detachable spikes. I have at least three such examples, one from a GR4 officer helmet ("1626" scroll).
So the Trichter was not an award, per se, but just randomly given to certain units?
Dragoner Regiments 9 through 15 were not formed until 1866. The first time they would have had the opportunity to distinguish themselves in battle would have been the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. They were just given a Trichter when they were formed?
I really need to get a better understanding, and a good reference, for this parade plume thing.

John
 

911car

Well-known member
The Pickelhaube was born in 1842 and Dragoner adopted it immediately. The Haarbusch appeared in 1843 and all Dragoner regiments were given the Trichter and plume, same for new regiments from their creation, including those formed in 1866. I never heard that Haarbusch attribution was an award, but it is a good question. Only a minority of infantry regiments bore it, and they were often more prestigious. What was the criterion to receive the Haarbusch?
 

911car

Well-known member
I counted. Out of 193 infantry regiments in 1914, including Garde, only 39 wore a Haarbusch.
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
My apologies Bruno for not recognizing your extensive Pickelhaube expertise! 😊. I should have known that you would have an answer here. It was a pleasure to meet you and Amy at the SOS and hopefully, we can do that again.
 
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