National Guard State of New York Private Purchase Helmet


Well-known member
I picked this up at the Baltimore Antique Arms Show and have to say it is a nice score.

This helmet is doeskin, a favored option for private purchase officer's helmets. It has been whitened at some point, which has created a texture on the doeskin. Unlike other sun/pith helmets the liner lacks spacers too to provide for ventilation - hence why I would really consider this more of a dress helmet than a sun helmet. This would be hot to wear for extended periods of times and the liner band does show some staining.

I don't believe this is a made up helmet either. This is the same basic shape of the Ridabock & Company/Baker & McKenney style helmets. The construction and the liner band, which is of higher quality leather, suggest this was a military helmet as opposed to a fraternal helmet - such as Off Fellowes or similar group. Those helmets tend to have low quality liners and materials such as buckram and calico were used for the bodies of those fraternal helmets rather than cork. This helmet is heavy cork covered in the doeskin. All in all a nice piece I think.

The badge on the front indicates the New York State National Guard, 23rd Infantry Regiment - which was active from 1863 to 1957. It began as the 23rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment before becoming the 106th Infantry Regiment in World War I.