Eagle top metal helmets have captured the imagination of
all collectors. The first thing some folks say is
"that is a Garde du Corps helmet." Well
there were two regiments that wore eagle tops for
parade. In addition to the Garde du Corps there
was the Garde Cuirassier Regiment. This helmet is from
the later. There were two styles of these helmets. This
is the earlier model called 1867 or "stepped
visor" helmet. The later 1889 model had a rounded
front visor. Officer helmets had stepped visors and some
think that 1867 models continued in use for some NCO
ranks right up until the war.
The eagle was used for parades only, a normal spike
used on most occasions. There were 4 holes in the
shell for the spike and the eagle was held on with a
The eagle which is made of German silver, has an oval
base and a silver crown for enlisted soldiers.
This eagle has a brass colored crown making one think
along with the 1867 model that perhaps it belonged to an
NCO. The order of the black eagle is quite crude.
Two additional anomalies. The rear of the
helmet has a raised spine. Many fakes are made
without this reinforcing detail. The wappen has
the date 1860 on it. Seems like the reason is that
it was the authorization date. Odd.