Mr. Potato Head Guard Pickelhaube

Hello Pickelhaube friends!

Working on cataloging a client's collection, and as pretty as this one is, I don't like it. Out of obligation to the client, though, I thought I should seek a second opinion. I am not finding any unit for which helmet with a Guard eagle would have a fluted spike on a cruciform base. Stars are gilt, scales are silver. My diagnosis is that this is a Mr. Potato Head helmet - something that was collector-assembled because all of the parts fit together well, and it looks awesome, but has no basis in prescribed reality. I am second-guessing myself, though, since that Guard eagle has been on that helmet for a LONG time, sunk down into the finish on the leather. One side is properly attached; the other missing the nut and washer, but it does appear to be original to this helmet. Annoyingly, though, that is the same for the cruciform base, though the stars do not fit it well two of them barely make it through the leather on the interior and are without nuts or washers. So those are quite easy to label as collector-replaced... but the fluted spike matches this base beautifully and does not have the look or feel of something that was added on just for fun. I would be interested to hear what you all think.

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J.LeBrasseur

Administrator
Jeff- appears to be a possible Prussian Generals helmet, and possibly a wartime issue as all parts should be either all silver and or all Gold in color.

Hard to tell in pics, does it look like cruciform and spike had a gold wash at some time and faded, which is common with wartime zinc plated parts.

The fluted spike and cruciform base are correct for a Prussian general.

Not saying it is totally legit, but possible.

Can we See a picture of inside...

James
 

SkipperJohn

Well-known member
Here are a few examples I found on a quick search.
I do not know if any of them are original, but they may lead you to some of the answers.
Not all of them have every aspect of the helmet you have pictured, but they may help track it down.






John
 

911car

Well-known member
Jeff, it might be an authentic general helmet, but a wartime production with just a light wash of gold color that has completely disappeared from the spike and basis with time, as is often seen. On your pictures, the visor trim and chinscales look more gold than silver...
Does the liner also suggest a "cheap" production?
 
Eagle is definitely gilt finish; absolutely zero trace on the spike or base - in fact, removing the spike, the silver is even more pronounced where it was protected. Scales appear all original silver as well.

I sincerely appreciate you all taking a look and sharing your thoughts. I tend to view all of the nicer Imperial helmets as put-together pieces until proven otherwise. This fellow had some really special pieces in his collection that are 100% through-and-through.. and then he had a few fantastically dorked-up Frankenstein helmets as well.
 

911car

Well-known member
"Eagle is definitely gilt finish". Are you sure?
On a gilt general eagle plate, the star should be in silver colour. Here it looks like gold colour... as if all eagle plate fittings had been oxidized and turned yellowish...
 
"Eagle is definitely gilt finish". Are you sure?
On a gilt general eagle plate, the star should be in silver colour. Here it looks like gold colour... as if all eagle plate fittings had been oxidized and turned yellowish...
Well... I am quite happy to be wrong! To answer your question, I dismounted the eagle and looked on the reverse. You are quite right - this was originally silver. Doesn't quite show up in the cell phone snap the same way it looks in person, but in several areas there is a lot of silver wash and not a speck of gilt.

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911car

Well-known member
I am glad the mystery could be solved. You have here a doubtless Prussian General a la Suite helmet. From a collector's point of view, this yellow hue on the eagle is slightly ennoying though.
 
More annoying is the fact that after this gentleman passed, the collection was kept for several decades in a room where for part of the day some of the helmets were subjected to direct sunlight, and many of the Reichs cockades are very badly faded. Just a stroke of pure luck that they were not on the shelf on the other side of the room, where it would have been the state cockades subjected to that. Ultraviolet light is not our friend.
 
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