Other Ranks Issue Helmet ID
The idea is to click on a link.
I am looking at M1897 type Helmets.
The development of Pickelhaube over time is in another
section. The identification guide below is just a broad
generalization. One thing that makes this hobby so
much fun is that it has so many nuances. The following
example is a sample only. There are MANY
variations on a theme. I'm just building a
generalization out of popular demand.
There are many color charts of
landes cockades. This is just one. I have an
entire article on the so called "NCO
I plan another full article on the landes cockades.
There were two styles of cockades. Serrated and
Non-serrated. In addition there were little
holes and big holes. Small holes were for use with
with chinscales on screw post rosettes. "Big
Holes" handled M91 posts.
Serrated (pointy things all around)
Little Hole for
use with with chin scales on screw post rosettes
Big Hole for Knopf 91
Sometimes an OR cockade for a Knopf
had a "slot" cut in it
like the one below:
or Chin Strap
Two basic styles convex and flat.
Sometimes it is REAL hard to tell. Chin scales were made
by alternating 2 and 3 finger links with a leather strap
on the inside. the chin scales fastened in the
front and there was a buckle on the leather. Chin scales
were capped by the rosettes. Width of scales 13mm
in front and 23mm in back for flat scales. Width
of scales 14mm in front and 26mm in back for convex
scales. If no rosette you have an OR set of chin scales
to fit the M91 post like the one below. Each half of the
chin scale was were 16.8 CM long. M91 posts used a
leather chin strap with a metal fastener instead of chin
scales in 1891 and beyond. Mounted troops did not
even adopt the M91 until 1894. Chinscales were used by
mounted troops and Guard units. Straps were only used
during field maneuvers.
The cockades changed
to accommodate the larger M91 posts. However, a Canadian
collector made an absolutely brilliant discovery that
the thickness of the hooks and posts also varied. He
showed conclusively that chin scales were 3mm thick as
were mounted "field use" straps. Posts were
longer to fit these, Infantry strap hooks were only 1.5
mm thick. Thus you can pay close attention when cockades
"wobble" when they shouldn't ... perhaps they
have the wrong thickness of hook. This discovery was
shared at the forum at www.pickelhaubes.com
Always good to learn from other collectors.
All balls are not equal. Similar to
spikes they ranged greatly in size. The official regulation
size was 4.5CM but like spikes no one listened to the regulation.
The biggest difference in balls, spikes, and trichters is thread
match. There are at least three different thread sizes. Tops
and bottoms had to match and the DOV catalog warned buyers that
spike base had to be provided if they didn't make the helmet
if you wanted a ball or trichter.
There are two kinds of pearl rings.
Old style which were discontinued officially for many
units in the 1895 pattern OR helmet. OR pickelhauben are
often called "NCO pearl rings" in error. Every
OR had them up until 1887 and some unit types retained
the old style pearl ring right to the end. It is
possibly an NCO but more probably an OR. If you have a
48mm cockade with a silver ring it could well be a
Feldwebel. The Officer or private purchase pearl
ring was the egg and dart variety.
Supposedly 430mm long and 14 mm wide. Most
had vent sliders as pictured but artillery ones in 1903 and
some later did not.
The 1903 Bekleidungsordnung is
clear about no ventilation but I do not know when or if
Next 4 pictures with permission from the Bellars
The helmets were, by regulation, supposed
to be 1050 mm-1250mm high.
Most issue shells were marked. This was not
uniform but often contain maker
marks and depot marks.
OR Spikes were shorter and squatter
than their officer counterparts. All Spikes are not
equal. They ranged greatly in size. The official
regulation size was 6 cm. If the regiment wore a
parade plume the top of the spike would unscrew. If no
parade plume most enlisted issue spikes would not
unscrew. The biggest difference in balls, spikes,
and trichters is thread match. There are at least three
different thread sizes. Tops and bottoms had to match.
Notice there are no two rings at the base of the spike.
This is an officer standard for round spikes. Lack
of these rings means not commissioned. There were
also different types of fluted spikes.
There are multiple types of these.
The two basic styles are round plates and cruciform
bases. Round bases are simple. Round with four
domed studs attaching the helmet to the shell. Cruciform
bases have two different styles based around the front
leg. Hessian cruciform bases have equal length
legs. Bavarian Cruciform bases have a shorter front leg.
Long legs 70mm short leg 40 mm.
Those not commissioned normally had "dome
studs" in place of the star studs. Fähnrich often
used dome studs as a way of marking their helmets as "not
quite officer yet.)
The Model 1895 helmet increased the
number of vent holes in the spike base from 2 to 5.
The brass colored trim is supposed to be
between 380-400 mm wide and 8mm thick for issued OR helmets
(top photo). This is significantly thicker than private
purchase trims (bottom photo).
These were stuck through holes on
the visor trim through thru visor.
Lots of wappen obviously.
Below is a short diagram of different types. In
General Officer Wappen are "pierced" That
means the crown on the eagle is voided and has holes in
it. There are exceptions like Mecklenburg-Strelitz but
it is a rule of thumb. A Voided crown does not
mean commissioned officer. It means privately purchased
higher quality plate.