Wappen and spike painted brass color

Maple Creek

Here's one that I found recently. The front plate and spike were painted brass color. This looks to have been period done. Has people seen this before? Opinions? Have we had discussion of pickelhauben with brass painted hardware? I briefly owned a M15 EM Prussian pickelhaube that had similar brass painted hardware, so maybe this was something done occasionally during the WWI period.

The chinstrap is something I made from vintage leather and original hardware. The kokarden are replacements - one original and one reproduction (what I had in my parts drawer).

It has unit stamp on the rear visor. I read somewhere that unit markings on felt helmets are unusual. I don't know if that's true.


  • Prussian M15 Ersatz.jpg
    Prussian M15 Ersatz.jpg
    584.6 KB · Views: 31
  • Prussian M15 Ersatz-12.jpg
    Prussian M15 Ersatz-12.jpg
    680.9 KB · Views: 31
  • Prussian M15 Ersatz-9.jpg
    Prussian M15 Ersatz-9.jpg
    966.5 KB · Views: 32
  • Prussian M15 Ersatz-11.jpg
    Prussian M15 Ersatz-11.jpg
    522.6 KB · Views: 31
  • Prussian M15 Ersatz-3.jpg
    Prussian M15 Ersatz-3.jpg
    512.1 KB · Views: 29
  • Prussian M15 Ersatz-7.jpg
    Prussian M15 Ersatz-7.jpg
    822.3 KB · Views: 29
  • Prussian M15 Ersatz-14.jpg
    Prussian M15 Ersatz-14.jpg
    818.2 KB · Views: 30
  • Prussian M15 Ersatz-16.jpg
    Prussian M15 Ersatz-16.jpg
    1,015.9 KB · Views: 30

Maple Creek

Hi Jonas and Brian,
Thanks. My thought about it is that this was a period-done thing. Maybe is was something done at a unit level to give all the pickelhauben a uniform appearance if some had grey and some brass fittings. The other possibility is that it could be something done by a doughboy or perhaps by somebody in the cottage industry of souvenir making that emerged after the armistice. A third possibility is that it could be a collector done thing, but this would have to have been done a considerable time ago. At any rate, I think it's an interesting variation.
Mark D.


Active member
Hi Mark,
We sometimes see some, posted on French forums. We agree that this is post-war excitement, a souvenir trophy.


Well-known member
During the war brass gave way to grey metal .
Zinc for officers and steel for the EMs.
The zinc was plated brass for officers.
So painting over steel was most assuredly done post war.

Maple Creek

Hi "Pickelhauben," I'm looking forward to seeing your helmet with grey painted brass parts. That's another oddball thing. I wonder why somebody would have done that.

I'm inclined to accept the theory that painting grey trimmed helmets brass color may have been a thing done post-armistice for the doughboy souvenir trade. I don't think it follows, however, that because brass trim was used on EM helmets in 1914, grey trim starting in 1915 and some officers helmets had zinc components, that this means that helmets with painted brass trim were "most assuredly" done post war. It seems like there is some missing logic in that argument. A polite challenge for discussion purposes...

If brass trim painted grey were an occasional period done thing, I think this would reinforce my first idea, that painting trim - brass or grey - may have been done for uniformity within a unit so that all helmets within a company, for example, would either be brass color or grey. The other helmet that I had like this was from a train unit, so it was issued to somebody behind the front lines where brass trimmed pickelhaubes may have been more acceptable.

Mark D.