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Cammo ww1 helmet question


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I noticed your camo helmet and dug into my own collection. As it turns out, I have one in the same colors and design for the HQ Company of the 39th Inf Reg (4th Div) and I think that have seen at least one other similar 4th Division camo. So it appears there was some guy in the 39th Inf or some German sign painter who did a bunch of these. Dave

Dave, about a year ago, there was a guy selling another one very similar to mine on eBay. It came from the same part of Maine as the one I bought from an estate there many many years ago. I went after it trying to bring these two brothers together but lost it when I went cheap on my snipe. pinch.gif So, we now know that there are at least four done in this style out there.

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I'm really enjoying this thread. Since I was born with a WWI helmet (on my butt for some reason think.gif ) thought I'd add my two cents. I would believe just about anything when it comes to the doughboy and his creativeness, but I need to see the evidence. So far the evidence I've seen points to helmets being painted post-Armistice. That's when he had lots of time to paint helmets and pound on shell casings. But...I'm sure there is someone out there who has photos of camo helmts being worn in the trench. As far as spending my hard earned cash, If there is no provenance or I don't feel comfortable with the seller, I don't buy it.

Here's a photo of a one doughboy wearing his camo pot on the ship going home and one of my favorite camo lids. Thanks again for all the great input on this thread.



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A couple years ago I put together a collage of bits and pieces from photos of painted WWI helmets and also of a WWI air aircraft model. There really is a distinctive palette.



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(heck, anybody that collects the stuff knows 90% of 'em are size 36 jackets w/ 6 7/8" hats.)


yup, but I think I once saw a table of sizes and that was roughly the typical at the time. They then ran into problems overseas as the "correct" size was too small wo wear sweater and stuch under, and they quickly ran out of larger sizes, and had ot change the standard tarif.


I am starting a new thread on helmets painted pre-11 Nov

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Well, having collected off and on for eons, I agree with Chris' statement. I'd see tons of AEF helmets, all unpainted. The only painted one that I had was my Grandfathers 3rd Division one. It was done on the ship coming home. Over the years, I've picked some up, mostly at barn sales and the like. But, that being said, I haven't seen one in a couple of years that I'd consider good. I'm afraid that AEF helmets are headed down the same road as WW2 ones.





I have collected WW1 militaria actively since 1976. From 1976 to 1984, I was unable to find a single example of a painted helmet. Talking to other collectors, I knew they existed, but they certainly were not common, nor easily available.


At the time, I subscribed to Steffan's, Manion's, and Flayderman's catalogs, and actively attended gun shows around Florida where there was a strong retired veteran population.


As you note, today, unpainted ones are harder to find than painted ones.


In my opinion, the overwhelming majority of painted helmets on the market today have been painted within the last 20 years. No doubt some are good, but how--short of very expensive chemical analysis--do you tell 1919 from 1991?


For these reasons, these days, I usually avoid painted helmets. Unless they come "righteous" with a complete named group, or are cheap and covered with dust and not sold at a very high premium because of the paint.



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  • 10 years later...

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