Prussian Pioneer Ersatz Felt Helme


Staff member
This helmet/post relates to a filz helme recently purchased by one of our European members and like his, it has some unique characteristics.

I have owned this helmet for 20+years and have never cleaned the fittings. Consequently the nickel silver now has a greenish patina to it.

No metal spine, instead a feldgrau cloth strip stitched up the back!

On the inside, a leather renforcement strip which extends right up under the spike support disc.


Again, maker,size and date label still present after all these decades.


Staff member
I always thought that the above helmet had this cloth and leather spine arrangement due to a "period repair" now I am not so sure after seeing the other helmet which is now in Belgium. The rear visor on mine did split along the original stitch line for the liner and this split does appear to have been glued together but new stitching was put in the shell rim slightly above the old split.


One last comment for our newer collectors...note the black corded string woven through the liner fingers, in my experience this is a typical characteristic of the filz helmets. The leather pickelhauben use a leather thong to link the fingers together.


Well-known member
Oooh a Pioneer felt .

Very nice !!

I tride to get on this post yesterday but was locked out.

I will be enjoying this new felt post .


New member
OMG, that's really a super helmet in my opinion. To me it seems that it was produced this way... SUPERB!

Adler 1


Active member
Thats a pretty rare helmet
One for on the wish list
What i do not understand is how can a single strip of felt and leather make sure to reinforce the helmet the same way as a spine would do
The strip of felt they used on this helmet looks very soft to me
Could it be possible that they used another sort of material to reinforce the spine and that the felt and leather is some sort of pocket that holds the spine in place.....
Just thinking out loud 🤔🤔🤔

On the other hand ,one strip on the outside one strip on the inside makes it still stiffer than it would be spineless
Hmmm questions questions.....👨‍🎓👨‍🎓👨‍🎓



Active member
Wonderful and stunning ersatz helmet. Congrats.
I had the opportunity to see other pickelhaubes produced by the Berthold Lissner company without the back metal reinforcement. They had a strip of skin externally that went from the circular base of the spike, revolved around the neckguard and ended near the inner liner. From there continued a double reinforcement stitching with a zigzag pattern.
In your spike helmet the strip of leather is present inside, while outside the strip of grey-green cloth would have no function. From a production point of view, perhaps a strip of felt, a production waste, would have been more appropriate. In my opinion, the feldgrau fabric strip is a repair.
But it could also be that the company has tried various solutions for this particular ersatz.
Hi All,

I thought I would jump into that rather old post from Brian about his interesting felt ersatz with an unusual fitz rear spin.

I have identified another one, this time going for sale next week in the UK.

It would be nice to hear what you have to say about it... Although I never had one of those, I think the helmet is fine. The rear fitz spin is different from Brian’s helmet but it does not look at odd with the rest of the piece. What puzzles me most is the fact that the leather liner seems to have been restitched all around. The second stitching is clearly visible over the first. Interesting to note here is that Brian’s helmet also shows a second set of stitching. The other thing that is strange is the inner support plate which does not have the usual air-vent hole. That might explain the three air-vent holes in the rear spin.

The helmt appears to be a re-work, most probably a period one, but a re-work still. Also note the mis-matched chinstrap grommets - one is green, the other one is the standard version.

I am considering bidding although the starting price is already high if you take into account the 29% commission payable on top #-o

Any further comments are welcome




Alex- interesting helmet, I like it and think it looks good.

I have been looking at a lot of these helmets in this auction for the last week, trying to justify pricing, and as you stated the extra 29% commission kills it for me, many of the starting prices are already high etc. IMO. Some nice helmets in this auction for sure.

Good luck if you go for it, I think it would be a nice addition to collection.



Staff member
It does look good to me as well. One thing that I have never seen though is a solid spike support hole to allow air flow from the spike vents. Very unusual.


Well-known member

I have a similar helmet with the leather strip "back spine", that came out of a large WW1 US 5th Division Officer trunk grouping that I bought in MN a couple of years ago. I took some pics of it, but they didn't turn out very good. I will try to shoot better pics of it and post them this weekend.

Best Regards,



Well-known member
ww1czechlegion said:

I have a similar helmet with the leather strip "back spine", that came out of a large WW1 US 5th Division Officer trunk grouping that I bought in MN a couple of years ago. I took some pics of it, but they didn't turn out very good. I will try to shoot better pics of it and post them this weekend.

Best Regards,


Thanks Alan.

I for one would like to see it.


Well-known member
Hi Guys,

Here's some photos of the helmet I bought a few years ago along with a bunch of other items in a large WW1 5th Division Officer Uniform trunk grouping from MN.

My apologies for the photos not being of very good quality.

The helmet has splits to the felt edge of the helmet, and the combination of the felt being of the thin variety on this helmet make for it being hard to shoot. Add to all of that with the weird thick leather back spine that pushes up against the spike base, further deforming the shape of the helmet. I need to figure out how to get this helmet back into shape for display.

The officer who brought this home was R. Kelty or Keltey. You'll notice his name on the old paper label tied to one of the chinstrap side post mounts.

The kokarden were missing from the helmet when I acquired it. And the chinstrap has gray steel mounts on it, fitted onto a brass trimmed helmet.

I don't recall any nice "Berthold Lissner Guben" paper manufacturer's label being inside this helmet, unfortunately, like is inside Bob's very nice helmet.

Best Regards,








Well-known member
Kelty calls the helmet a "Prussian Guard Field Helmet, Meusse-Argonne, 1918" on the old handwritten paper tag tied to the helmet.

Again, my apologies that the photos are not of very good quality here that I took.

Best Wishes,






Well-known member
Counting the helmets shown here, and the one on the C & T auction, I've only seen 4-of these type of felt helmets. One of the four helmets is not photo'd here. It was almost entirely eaten up by moths, which I saw a photo of several years ago. I think that I may have saved the photo, and at the time I believe that I may have sent Brian a copy of it via email, but that's been several years ago. I'll have to search to see if I still have that old photo of the moth eaten example of this type of helmet. I seem to recall it also had a leather back spine on the outside of the helmet like my example has.

The back right view visor near the "G.P." shows signs of a field cover being worn on my helmet at one time.

Sadly the 3-short splits on this thin felt body helmet are right up near the front visor area, and make it hard for the helmet to retain its shape.

Best Regards,

Thank you Alan for the photos (which are actually fine) and the explanation. Interesting to see how the leather backing is so off-centre from the highest point, where it meets with the split-pin. Also interesting to see that the inner metal support spike is of the normal type - ie. with a hole, not like the one offered by the auctioneers.

I requested some additional pictures of the helmet from C&T. Here they are


Sorry.... here we go :)


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