Colonel J's - Pickelhaube and Imperial German Musings
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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 wing nut. 

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. 

 

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