Revenge is sweet but not flattening?


New member
I dont know if this topic has been raised before but I think it's an important issue on the subject of plate collecting and it's one that's kind of bothered me for years.

It's this: Do you 'flatten' a pickelhaube wappen that you wish to display.....or not? I see quite a few that have been squashed down and it annoys me somewhat.
Personally I don't, and for two reasons: One is that the plate is designed to be viewed 'curved' - it's obvious when you look at a flattened example especially of an eagle, and it all looks wrong proportionally - ridiculous in fact. The original design took the curve of the helmet into account and this is how the plate is supposed to be viewed. The other reason I don't flatten is metal-fatigue. I think it's possible to break the happen by trying to flatten it. This is even more likely if you decide to re-install it on a helmet in the future or sell it to someone who wishes to do so. It would need to be reshaped and these things are fragile and can't stand too much of this kind of thing. You might even get a kink or a crease across the sword of an eagle wappen too, or some other distortion which looks awful.

So I say - nay, I beg you - refrain from this naughty practice. What do you think? [-X


Active member
I've never flattened any of mine. I do, however, have a couple that have been prior to my owning them. This is particularly true with Guard plates. I was had a chance to purchase a pair of candle holders, they were each made from two Guard plates soldered together with a US Civil War bayonet in between (this was to hold the candle).
I've never considered myself a Wappen collector (although I think I have more plates than helmets), I've just picked them up when I could. Its was a "just in case" type thing. It is also the same way I've ended up with a box of helmet parts.

Tony without Kaiser

Staff member
I'm a Wappen collector and have about a hundred and thirty of them in display cases. If I was offered a Wappen that had been flattened I wouldn't look twice at it. As far as I'm concerned it's been ruined. Same for dug examples. Not interested.


Staff member
I have a small collection of them and I am always looking. I would never ever consider flattening one of them, I regard them, as pieces of art. The detail, the gilding, the craftsmanship is amazing.


Active member
Tony, I generally feel the same way about dug items, except I do have a few dug pieces in my American Civil War collection. They either have to have a particular story attached to them or be a part I need to complete something. Example would I don't like to use reproduction chin straps, but will use original hardware with new leather to make a strap for a helmet. If need be I would use dug strap parts.

Dug ACW items I have,
US Smith pattern belt plate recovered from the Clump of Trees, Gettysburg, PA
US Artillery officer's uniform button recovered from the Clump of Trees, Gettysburg, PA
US Infantry privates soldier scales recovered from Falmouth VA (the entire company laid their dress coats out on the ground in company formation and the left them there, they were discovered in the late 1990's)
US bayonet, recovered from wall in Warrington PA (this is local to me), site of a farewell picnic for the 104th PA Volunteers as the marched off.
Drag for a US NCO sword scabbard. Over the years I acquired a small collection of sword parts in which was enough parts to assemble a complete NCO sword (all the parts from the same maker and had the same inspectors marks) except for the drag.

Sorry for posting too much Non-helmet, but ---

Tony without Kaiser

Staff member
Hi Steve,
Yes dug items can be fascinating especially with US Civil War. And I know a lot of guys collect Dug WW1 items but I just don't care for that when it comes to Wappen. T


Active member
On the other hand,.. saving a previously bent plate can benefit both you and the plate. The Wurttemburg plate I recently found to complete my Van der Heyden ersatz helm was not only flattened quite a bit but also liberally dripped with some vile coloured paint.

From the same dealer I also found this Saxon M15, again flattened quite severely this time, but in otherwise good condition.
DSCF9320.JPG The 'Ray' at 9 O clock was already strengthened with old solder so straightening that was a heart-stopper.

Turns out the dealer bought an old framed collection of all-flattened wappen, of which I got these two.

Some time ago I asked for advice on how to fix a broken wappen, now I know how - give it to my local genius who fixed this Dragoner from literally six pieces. Not perfect but, given it's previous condition, I will take what I can get.
DSCF9322 (2).JPG
Rear, with multiple solder points,..
DSCF9323 (2).JPG
Best regards,