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M1 Helmet relic BIG RED ONE


MathieuBelgique1944
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MathieuBelgique1944
35 minutes ago, David D said:

Relic helmets with painted insignia still command a pretty high price. After all it’s a unit marked helmet from the actual battlefield said unit fought at. If it can be faked it will be. I’ve seen plenty of fairly convincing “dug” airborne helmets being sold at a premium that were concluded fake etc. im sure you could find some old threads here about them. 

This is also a oxalic cleaned M2 helmet with remnants of a anti gas yellow camo. This one was found close to a 82nd dropzone

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FT.Monmouth1943

I’m personally shocked at how many people think this 1st ID helmet is good. First of all, 1st ID helmets are very desirable, and ground dug ones do command high prices, so there is definitely an incentive to fake them.

As for the helmet shown, to my eyes, a lot of the paint is in pitted areas of the shell that should have NO paint from the insignia. It almost looks like the 1 was kind of just rubbed in. Notice that almost all of it is either inside rust pits (which is a huge red flag) or in between what is left of the cork finish. If this was an actual painted insignia, I would expect at least some more of it to be on top of it. Also, if this much of the 1 is left, where is the black outline of the shield? And as for your friends engineer helmet, I see nothing wrong with it personally. None of the areas you circled look like painted insignia inside pitting.
I’m curious what others have to say about this piece, but personally I would stay very far away from it.

Attached is a picture of the insignia with some problem areas. Note that on the left is a large area that is painted INSIDE pitting on the helmet. 
At the end of the day, we can only point out so much that is wrong with this piece, but if you are set on believing that it is real, than it’s futile for us to convince you otherwise.

 

- Jakob

 

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MathieuBelgique1944
1 hour ago, FT.Monmouth1943 said:

I’m personally shocked at how many people think this 1st ID helmet is good. First of all, 1st ID helmets are very desirable, and ground dug ones do command high prices, so there is definitely an incentive to fake them.

As for the helmet shown, to my eyes, a lot of the paint is in pitted areas of the shell that should have NO paint from the insignia. It almost looks like the 1 was kind of just rubbed in. Notice that almost all of it is either inside rust pits (which is a huge red flag) or in between what is left of the cork finish. If this was an actual painted insignia, I would expect at least some more of it to be on top of it. Also, if this much of the 1 is left, where is the black outline of the shield? And as for your friends engineer helmet, I see nothing wrong with it personally. None of the areas you circled look like painted insignia inside pitting.
I’m curious what others have to say about this piece, but personally I would stay very far away from it.

Attached is a picture of the insignia with some problem areas. Note that on the left is a large area that is painted INSIDE pitting on the helmet. 
At the end of the day, we can only point out so much that is wrong with this piece, but if you are set on believing that it is real, than it’s futile for us to convince you otherwise.

 

- Jakob

 

8B129409-8259-4835-9A33-7904C228DD15.jpeg.4bd91679c390d2b8709a500302e6cfd5.jpeg

Like I said earlier this pitting which contains paint is nothing strange after an oxalic acid bath. Like the relic guy told the pitting starts when you let the helmet dry and then put it in an oxalic bath. The relic guy told me he preserves his helmets directly which results into no pitting. It doesnt look like paint that was brushed in to me. After the ' black outline ' you actually lost me. There were alot of different variants of isignias painted on helmets without outline even with a green background. Not all 1st ID helmets had a black outline and most were even done by the soldiers themselves. The engineer helmet also shows paint in the pitting as attached in the pictures. Perhaps this is because it is a double layer of paint

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MathieuBelgique1944
7 minutes ago, Justin said:

Seems like you're pretty confident in it's originality, so not sure why you asked for opinions.

 

Maybe just enjoy it since you like it? 

Im waiting for opinions from actual relic hunters that found m1 helmets with isignia themselves. Two European relic hunters already told me it looks good. As I showed the other helmet also shows signs of white/yellow/ blue paint in some of the pitting. Items on this forum get flagged fake too fast without even a proper explanation mostly by people that only base things out of textbooks and if it is a little different they already deem it fake. I have been told it isnt impossible to have some particles of paint in the pitting. It also seem the pitting has no rust and it had a oxalic acid bath. Some of the pitting also has olive drab in it.

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On 11/28/2021 at 6:30 AM, MathieuBelgique1944 said:

What a nonsense. I have found relic helmets myself and put them in oxalic acid and they also have some paint in some of the pitting. Im looking for serious opinions how it is faked since i see literally no marks of it being faked. 

 

Ok, you wanted opinions, you got mine and I will repeat it: this helmet is fake. Contrary to your previous statement, relics, especially 1st ID and not just A/B, draw considerably high prices. So, you don't like my opinion, that's fine. You have the right to be wrong.

 

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More rust than helmet, with an embellished 1 painted on to sell something that without it would attract absolute 0 interest. 
 

I believe you have been given some good opinions on this Helmet, if it where me I would heed those opinions and take note. 
 

- Dean 

 

 

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Oddly enough, you posted this same helmet in October. I am guessing you ended up "pulling the trigger" without receiving any feedback at that time. This time you got feedback and may not like what you're hearing post purchase?

 

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The blue insignia helmet you show does not have the same type of paint in the pits nor the same rubbed down appearance.

It sounds as if the past use of oxalic acid was given as an excuse for every discrepancy seen. Pretty safe story as few collectors would use that method on their known authentic painted helmets.

BTW, hot rodders have used acids - molasses that creates an acid, citric acid, etc to remove rust from old 20s and 30s car parts with the same hope - to remove heavy rust while leaving the original paint. I've done it on model A body parts and it works well. On my parts I could clearly see two different paint jobs with perfect clarity that could not be seen before. However, the rusted metal turns gray and is rust free. the paint is visible only on undamaged metal that was stained over with some rust stain. It does not look at all like that M-1 though. That appears to have been rubbed down with some pigmented linseed oil or similar to add a green tint.

 

Dave

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I have been criticized for my comments on painted helmets in the past by several members who disagreed. I pretty much quit commenting. I respect others opinion even if we disagree but the road isn't always two-way. Others do have opinions based on experiences but sometimes years handling other similar helmets - also often of unknown origin. Others have known good helmets and experience but don't say much.

Here are pics of some 1920-30s painted metal cleaned with acid 3 years ago. It was then sprayed with a metal prep which precipitates a zinc oxide. This does render the intact metal a bit lighter but metal CAN be derusted and still look more like clean metal. These examples have been in my midwest US garage for 3 years and are still not rusted. The paint is quite evident and none of the pitting has any paint in it. This was NOT an M-1 helmet but is much more evidence of a similar treatment than most opinions offer so I tend to use such experiments in my personal opinions.

I base many of my opinions on things I have actually experimented with and feel it gives a better gut feeling. If something doesn't make sense there needs to be a good reason why which is why I assume you asked here for opinions of others with a 1ID painted and dug helmet.

I have yet to see a situation where deep pitting rust and originally applied paint are not mutually exclusive.

 

Before:

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After:

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Burning Hazard

Here is my summary of observations in the past few years.

 

It's a "darned if you do and darned if you don't" situation: if members approve all painted helmets then we are mocked for being gullible and unknowledgeable, if we are skeptical of painted helmets then we are mocked for being too dismissive. Good portion of helmet forum members quit or do not reply to any posts where a painted helmet is being asked if it's original or fake, especially when a 101st, Ranger, or D-Day helmet comes up.

 

Secondly, there is always a painted helmet posted here and being asked if its original; they seem to be almost exclusively 101st AB, D-bails, Ranger, or D-Day division that are considered grail items and sell for very high values if original. Rarely do you see any non-sexy division painted helmets found in barns here, where are all the 90th ID helmets? or how about 100th ID? Photo evidence shows that the 86th ID painted all their M1's with divisions insignia but I have only seen 2 originals in my life (I own one in poor condition that was repainted post-war). Yet, I have seen more 101st helmets than there were men in that division.  

 

Thirdly, many members are skeptical of a rare/desirable helmet being posted here by new or unknown forum members; few times we have seen people just seeking a stamp of approval for their forgery and the next day that fake helmet is on eBay selling for $7,999.00 with a statement saying "the forum experts all agree this original" - this ties in with my first point above. I have also seen new collectors who jumped the gun on a forgery and after realizing their mistake try to recoup the money, they will vehemently argue that their fake helmet is 100% real and will refuse to discuss its authenticity (commonly seen on eBay).

 

I'm not painting or accusing anyone here, just stating some observations.

 

Pat

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1 hour ago, Burning Hazard said:

...if members approve all painted helmets then we are mocked for being gullible and unknowledgeable, if we are skeptical of painted helmets then we are mocked for being too dismissive. Good portion of helmet forum members quit or do not reply to any posts where a painted helmet is being asked if it's original...

 

This is the absolute truth Pat. At one time(think 10 years ago) the USMF was the go to place for U.S. helmets. We had some of the most knowledgeable helmet collectors/authors in the world on here. However, as you stated, the constant attacks, doubts, accusations, lies, etc., drove 90% of them away. They now browse here but seldom, if ever, post or help collectors anymore. They now are part of private FB forums, or conventional private helmet forums. Others have returned to just their little circle of collector friends where they can discuss and enjoy collecting again. I don't blame a single one of them, why offer help when insults are the response?

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9 hours ago, Burning Hazard said:

Here is my summary of observations in the past few years.

 

It's a "darned if you do and darned if you don't" situation: if members approve all painted helmets then we are mocked for being gullible and unknowledgeable, if we are skeptical of painted helmets then we are mocked for being too dismissive. Good portion of helmet forum members quit or do not reply to any posts where a painted helmet is being asked if it's original or fake, especially when a 101st, Ranger, or D-Day helmet comes up.

 

Secondly, there is always a painted helmet posted here and being asked if its original; they seem to be almost exclusively 101st AB, D-bails, Ranger, or D-Day division that are considered grail items and sell for very high values if original. Rarely do you see any non-sexy division painted helmets found in barns here, where are all the 90th ID helmets? or how about 100th ID? Photo evidence shows that the 86th ID painted all their M1's with divisions insignia but I have only seen 2 originals in my life (I own one in poor condition that was repainted post-war). Yet, I have seen more 101st helmets than there were men in that division.  

 

Thirdly, many members are skeptical of a rare/desirable helmet being posted here by new or unknown forum members; few times we have seen people just seeking a stamp of approval for their forgery and the next day that fake helmet is on eBay selling for $7,999.00 with a statement saying "the forum experts all agree this original" - this ties in with my first point above. I have also seen new collectors who jumped the gun on a forgery and after realizing their mistake try to recoup the money, they will vehemently argue that their fake helmet is 100% real and will refuse to discuss its authenticity (commonly seen on eBay).

 

I'm not painting or accusing anyone here, just stating some observations.

 

Pat

I know I showed my rump here a couple times. Took stock of how dumb I was acting and apologized. 

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MathieuBelgique1944
12 hours ago, Bugme said:

Just doing a follow-up. Mathieubelgique1944, did you end up purchasing this helmet?

 

It came from my friend who also owns the engineer helmet and knows the person who found it. He sold this helmet and a few others to pay for his girlfriends new shop but he already told me he wants to buy it back soon for more money. So i guess its all good

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I would let your friend keep buying such helmets. If you are personally interested in dug helmets - and there is a cool factor to them, I would either dig them myself or buy them prior to being cleaned with acid. Once a dealer/seller messes with them in any way it opens the door to a temptation to enhance them for a better sale.

I believe the best way to learn is to examine only known authentic items BUT the market is so saturated with repros, fakes, and enhanced items that this is all but impossible.

The paint vs the rust damage on this one just doesn't make sense so maybe there's that to learn from.

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MathieuBelgique1944
43 minutes ago, dmar836 said:

I would let your friend keep buying such helmets. If you are personally interested in dug helmets - and there is a cool factor to them, I would either dig them myself or buy them prior to being cleaned with acid. Once a dealer/seller messes with them in any way it opens the door to a temptation to enhance them for a better sale.

I believe the best way to learn is to examine only known authentic items BUT the market is so saturated with repros, fakes, and enhanced items that this is all but impossible.

The paint vs the rust damage on this one just doesn't make sense so maybe there's that to learn from.

He has alot of dug helmets including airborne ones. This one does have an actual 2 paint olive drab which was used during the sicily invasion as well and is sometimes seen on helmets used in the Italian theater. He knows the person that found it and says its all good so I guess he buys it back soon and I look for another helmet. Here some other helmets from him including a rangers helmet he found himself.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/1/2021 at 4:20 PM, Bugme said:

 

This is the absolute truth Pat. At one time(think 10 years ago) the USMF was the go to place for U.S. helmets. We had some of the most knowledgeable helmet collectors/authors in the world on here. However, as you stated, the constant attacks, doubts, accusations, lies, etc., drove 90% of them away. They now browse here but seldom, if ever, post or help collectors anymore. They now are part of private FB forums, or conventional private helmet forums. Others have returned to just their little circle of collector friends where they can discuss and enjoy collecting again. I don't blame a single one of them, why offer help when insults are the response?

 

Thank you very much Pat and Bugme for your insights. Your comments were a kind of eye opener for me. My personal impression was that there has been less discussion here on the helmet forum compared to when I joined and now I understand the (or one?) reason why. And while I perfectly get that it is (at least) annoying getting attacked for sharing experience by users disappointed with the feedback received I have to say that this is a big loss for less experienced collectors around here like me. Reference books are for sure a helpful resource but the most I've learned about US helmets definitely comes from following discussions here on the forum where I get detailed examples from experts sharing their knowledge. I only wish people wouldn't ask for assessment when only interested in confirmation or would at least remain polite and appreciate feedback, even when in disagreement.

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