Imperial German Merchandise Headdress Nr 2: Kugelhelme, Tschapkas, Busbies, Mützen, Schirmützen, Visor Caps, Shakos, and their covers, Cap Tallies,  Wappens (33)

Der Rittmeister Militaria, LLC. Imperial German Merchandise Headdress Nr 2: Kugelhelme, Tschapkas, Busbies, Mützen, Schirmützen, Visor Caps, Tschakos, and their covers, Cap Tallies, Wappens. Updated on 1 January 2017 Contact us @:kgreenfield@derrittmeister.com

Click here for Links to our Merchandise & Content Pages. This is just a sample of the wide variety of high quality items that we offer in our ever changing inventory!

 

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Jim Turinetti has published some new reference works about Imperial German Period Headdresses.  In addition to his original Field Guide to Imperial German (1888-1914) Headgear and a 2013 edition of his excellent Imperial German Headgear Pricing Guide, Jim now offers a collecting guide for 1914 German Army headgear, a book on the Grenadiermützen (mitres), another about Imperial German Army mützen (soft caps), a more extensive book concerning the Kaiser's Hussars in WW I, and a study of the Imperial German Army's Reserve/Landwehr Kreuz (cross).  Check out all seven (7) of Jim's books on our IMPERIAL GERMAN HEADDRESS NR. 3 MERCHANDISE PAGE (click here to see).

 

 

 

 

Please click here to see our other Headwear Merchandise Page,
Imperial German Headdress Nr 1: Pickelhauben, Pickelhauben Covers and Chinstraps.

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Please click here to visit our newest Headdress Merchandise Page,
Imperial German Headdress Nr 3: Reference Materials,

Guides, Cd's and DvD's

Jim Turinetti just completed a Photo Calendar for 2017 - Mar 2018, with numerous photos of headgear and soldiers wearing these various items. [See the ad below].
The calendar is
$15.00.  Postage in the USA is $2.50, for a grand total of $17.50.    [Customers outside the USA: please write to Jim for postage costs].
Jim accepts PAYPAL (JTurinetti@woh.rr.com) or a check on a US bank
      (mail to: Jim Turinetti, 1835 Langview Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324).
The calendar makes a great gift for Christmas for you or someone you know.

 

German spiked helmets (pickelhauben) and Imperial Germany's other headdresses are our specialty! We have some of the best sources from Germany and around the world.  99.9% of our helmets are personally selected by me during our frequent buying trips to Europe and throughout North America. As you will see, we concentrate on officers-level pieces, One-Year-Volunteers, NCO's, smaller states within the Empire, and the German military's more elite regiments and formations. We tend not to offer the more common enlisted men's headdresses from the larger Kingdoms, simply because they are far-easier-to-find.  I prefer the "thrill" of  hunting for hard-to-find items. On each trip I look at HUNDREDS of helmets before I select the few good enough to bring back. Each helmet must score high in CONDITION (excellent condition is crucial in Imperial German headdress collectibles). It also must rank high in AUTHENTICITY before it makes its long journey back to the U.S. [While authenticity is important in all areas of collecting, it is essential when collecting pickelhauben or any other  Imperial German headdress form.) Many "put-together" helmets lurk out there. What started out as a Prussian officer's or enlisted man's helmet can quickly morph into another state's officer's helmet demanding 20 times its starting price! If you are looking for a common enlisted man's pickelhauben, partial helmets, or fixer-uppers, that is NOT what we do. If you are searching for the BEST HIGH-QUALITY PICKELHAUBEN AND OTHER IMPERIAL GERMAN HEADDRESS, please look closely at the helmets and other headgear offered below.

 

 

As you peruse our helmets and other forms of headdress, you will note the term "One-Year-Volunteer" (OYV). An OYV enlisted in the army under a different program from ordinary recruits, whose terms were for two years. An OYV's term of enlistment was for one year, followed by two years in the reserves. Following completion of that term, he was often promoted to a Leutnant der Reserve. These young men came from upper middle class families. In return for the government accepting their enlistment as an OYV, the COMPLETE cost of outfitting and maintaining the individual (including payment for quarters and provisions)  was borne by his family. The German Army permitted a great deal of latitude in pickelhauben style when it came to non-issued helmets. An OYV was allowed to wear very high-quality headdress quite similar to that of an officer's. This was because he was expected to PAY for whatever he wore, hence the flexibility! He was allowed to have many of an officer's helmet's details, but not all of them. For example, some of the primary differences between most officers' vs. enlisted men's/NCO's helmets were in the area of wappens, officers stars, kokarden, and spikes. As you study an OYV helmet, you will find them very similar to many officers' helmets from the same regiment. An OYV helmet is actually quite scarce. As a variant it is quite desirable and collectible. They are, in my opinion, one of the best bargains (and one of the best kept secrets) on the market. They are a great value and, in terms of quality and collectibility, a true cut above an enlisted man's or an NCO's piece. Please consider some of these marvelous helmets, busbies, etc. when we offer them from time to time. I have come to appreciate and seek them out over the years. I recommend them to you as an excellent value with a very high level of quality (at considerably less expense). As a rule, I usually find they have been maintained in excellent condition. This is always a plus when we consider adding items to our respective collections.

 

 

33-325 19th CENTURY MUSEUM COPY OF ATHENIAN ADMIRAL’S BRONZE HELMET. This is an interesting item that I acquired a number of years ago. Does it have anything to do with Imperial German militaria? No. Is it interesting and unique? YES!! As a historian, all historical periods interest me. Although I specialize in the Imperial German Period, I am fascinated by the Greeks and Romans. Both civilizations contributed greatly to military history, particularly from the standpoint of weapons, formations, and tactics. Who can resist the stories about Sparta’s King Leonidas, Macedonia’s Alexander the Great, or Rome’s Julius Caesar?
The helmet was constructed during the 19th Century and may have been on display in a European museum. Since it was intended for a Greek admiral, its original may very well have been Athenian. [Athens commanded the largest fleet among the various Greek city-states (fighting against the Persians at sea at the same time as King Leonidas and his Greek allies fought at Thermopylae) although some other smaller city-states (including Sparta) had warships]. The helmet is made of bronze, which was extensively used by the Greeks. Shaped in the classic manner, the helmet covers the full head. A long extension decorates its top, sloping downward to become a gorgeous swan. The helmet’s front section has a cutout for the wearer’s eyes and nose, while offering protection from a slashing sword blow. An intricate, fan-like design decorates the forehead section just above the cutout. A very elaborate leaf and branch design extends out from the forehead section to decorate the helmet’s sides.
The helmet lacks any type of liner, meaning that it would rest directly on its wearer’s head. The original helmet probably had some sort of liner or protection device to keep it from resting its full weight directly on the head. Since the copy was intended as a display item, a liner would not have been necessary. [Please note that the helmet weighs a VERY hefty 10 pounds and 9 ounces]!

 

I have had the pleasure and honor of owning this stunning piece of history. This is an opportunity to add this stunning museum copy to YOUR collection. $5,495.00 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anhalt-Dessau

 

Baden

 

Artillerie

 

33-141 OFFICER KUGELHELM - FUßARTILLERIE- REGIMENT Nr 14 - BADEN. Baden was the Imperial German Empire’s largest Grand Duchy. Before WW I, her population was not all that much smaller than the Kingdom of Württemberg, (the smallest of the four kingdoms). For her size, her military was also quite impressive. She fielded a wide variety of regiments, with especially fine Artillerie Regiments. Prior to WW I's big troop build-up (and the actual war), Baden fielded a total of five Feldartillerie-(Field Artillery) Regiments (Nr’s 14, 30, 50, 66, and 76) and one Fußartillerie-(Foot Artillery)-Regiment (Nr 14). The smaller number of Fußartillerie versus Feldartillerie Regiments was consistent throughout the German Army. Fußartillerie-Regiments were a later development, which limited their numbers. For this reason, Fußartillerie kugelhelme are much more difficult-to-find than Feldartillerie, AND much more expensive.
We are offering an officer's kugelhelm for Baden’s ONLY foot artillery regiment, Badisches Fußartillerie-Regiment Nr 14. The regiment was founded in 1893. It was garrisoned at Straßburg i.E. and assigned to the XIV. Armeekorps. The helmet presents a generally pleasing leather body. Some cracking and spidering appear at many points on the body. Some curling also shows on both the rear visor's halves. While I generally prefer the body to be a bit fitter, it is still an acceptable piece. As it is such an unusual helmet, I could NOT pass on it. All of the kugelhelm’s furniture is gilt. The wappen is particularly handsome. You have probably been wondering how we determine if a kugelhelm is for a field or foot artillery regiment? It is all in the chin scales. The more commonly-seen field artillery regiments have domed, or arched scales. A foot artillery helmet has flat scales. It is the subtle and ONLY difference between the helmets! Attached is a fine pair of kokarden for Baden and the Reich. I have always been fond of the Baden-style state kokarden. They are similar to those used by Württemberg, Saxony, and Hesse-Darmstadt.
Inside the helmet is a well used, complete leather sweatband and silk liner. The silk liner is without some of the typical shredding that we often see, but is quite soiled. Peeking under the silk liner, we can see all of the original hardware. Also enclosed with the helmet is an officer’s style storage case. You will rarely see a helmet like this, only having been used by a single regiment.
Very few officers’ helmets were produced, as the regiment was only in existence from 1893 through 1918. It definitely is a prewar helmet! $4,295.00

 

 

 

 

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Dragoner

 

 

33-318 DRAGONER-REGIMENT Nr 22 OFFICER'S SCHIRMÜTZE - BADEN. This is a prewar Dragoner-Regiment Nr 22 officer’s schirmütze from the Grand Duchy of Baden. The Grand Duchy had a total of three Dragoner-Regiments: 1. Badisches Leib-Dragoner-Regiment Nr 20, 2. Badisches-Dragoner-Regiment Nr 21, and 3. Badisches Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Karl Nr 22. They were founded in 1803, 1850, and 1850, respectively. Dragoner-Regiment Nr 22 was garrisoned in Mülhausen i.E, while 1. Badisches Leib-Dragoner-Regiment Nr 20 resided in Karlsruhe and 2. Badisches-Dragoner-Regiment Nr 21 was in Bruchsal-Schwetzingen. All three of the regiments were assigned to the XVI. Armeekorps, as were all of Baden’s regiments.
The cap’s main body is made of dark-blue wool. A wide black velvet trim band measuring 1 ¼” in width encircles the cap’s base. A line of narrow white piping trims the velvet band at its top, while narrow red piping decorates its bottom. Another thin red piping line encircles the schirmütze’s top. The black band differentiates Dragoner-Regiment Nr 22 from her sister regiments.
The cap dates from around 1900, approximately three years after the state’s and Reich’s kokarden first jointly appeared on headdresses. It sports a small short visor, with Baden and the Reich’s correct kokarden appearing in the black band’s center. Its exterior condition is quite pleasing, with minimal mothing (harder and harder to find in more-than-100-year-old wool items). The mothing I DO detect is limited to very minor moth tracking, NOT fully bloomed moth nips. The cap’s exterior is a VERY clean.
Inside the cap is a lightly-used, brown, leather sweatband that sports an impression of its manufacturer’s name. It also displays a complete silk liner that shows a bit more wear, i.e., signs of aging and soiling from the officer’s hair. More importantly, the (complete) liner exhibits NO shredding. The liner also displays a stamp from its manufacturer. [I believe the cap was produced at a military effects shop in neighboring Württemberg]. The stamp displays two crowned, royal lions holding a device between them emblazoned with the entwined initials "C" and "W," as well as the words "Fabrik-Marke" (Factory-Mark).  The words "Formenschönheit" (Beauty) and "Dauernastigkeit" (Durability) appear in the lower part of the design below.

 

Ultimately, this delightful schirmütze is in excellent condition and ready for your collection! $395.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bavaria

 

 

Artillerie (Spike and/or Kugelhelm)

 

 

33-214 ONE-YEAR-VOLUNTEER KUGELHELM - BAVARIA. This is a lovely Bavarian Artillerie Regiment One Year-Volunteer’s kugelhelm. The helmet’s leather body is well formed and in good shape. It shows some of the normal leather imperfections expected of a one-hundred-plus-years-old helmet, which are not extreme. [You may judge this yourself from the photographs we are attaching to the description]. All of the hardware is gilt, including the wappen, chin scales, trim, and etc. The wappen is officers style example with an open crown. Its kugel unscrews from a base that itself is loose (it WILL rotate if you happen to move it). It is all secure and makes NO difference whatsoever when on display. The Bavarian state kokarde is more an NCO’s style. The helmet’s back strap is a bit loose and shows a minimal amount of raising from its body.

Inside the helmet is a well-used leather sweatband, and a rust-colored silk liner that shows some staining from wear. All of the original hardware is present. No extra holes appear, so we are sure that it IS an original Bavarian kugelhelm. (Please remember that it is a pre WW I helmet, with typical prewar quality. Even though it boasts a kugel (which was not adopted until 1916 for Bavaria’s artillery), the helmet itself is prewar. 

 

 

This helmet is not in "star" condition, but it is more than satisfactory and priced quite reasonably. $1,695.00

 

 

 

 

 

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Ulanen

 

 

Schirmützen & Mützen

 

 

33-274 PRE 1897 ENLISTED INFANTERIE MAN’S MÜTZE - BAVARIA. This is a pre 1897 Bavarian Infanterie Regiment enlisted man’s mütze in good condition. [Remember, prior to 1897 all headdresses featured the state’s kokarde ONLY, not the Reich’s kokarde. It was only in 1897 that the Reich’s kokarde was introduced and added to most headdresses. The Reich's kokarde definitely was added to all visor caps]. The mütze’s primary color is dark-blue. It boasts a wide red trim band, measuring 2" in width, circling the mütze’s base. A thin red piping band encircles the visor cap’s top. We see the single state’s kokarde in the large red trim band’s center. It is sewn into place. The cap’s exterior is astounding. I can see no evidence of any mothing, which is amazing for a one-hundred-plus-year-old wool item. Turning to the interior, we see a simple cotton liner that displays some miscellaneous stamps. Overall, this is a tiptop enlisted man’s mütze. $395.00 mgSept16

 

 

 

 

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Braunschweig

 

Hesse-Darmstadt

 

 

Artillerie

 

Schirmützen & Mützen

 

 

33-111 ENLISTED MAN'S ARTILLERIE REGIMENT MÜTZE WITH ORIGINAL STORAGE BOX - HESSE-DARMSTADT. This is a privately-purchased, non depot-issued enlisted man’s mütze from a Hesse-Darmstadt Artillerie-Regiment. After the four Imperial German Kingdoms’ Armies (Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria, and Württemberg), the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt had one of Germany’s largest military contingents. Among the many regiments they fielded were two artillerie regiments: Großherzogl. Artilleriekorps. 1. Großherzogl. Hessisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 25, and 2. Großherzogl. Hessisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 61. [Interestingly, Großherzogl. Artilleriekorps. 1. Großherzogl. Hessisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 25 was one of the oldest German Army Artillerie-Regiments. Only one Prussian, one Saxon, and two Württemberg regiments were older]. Also, the regiment’s Inhaber was Prinz Heinrich von Preußen, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s younger brother.
Our mütze is of the highest quality. It comes from the workshops of P. H. Lorz, located in the capital city of Darmstadt. They were the official providers to Hesse-Darmstadt’s Royal House and the Grand Duke. Both of the aforementioned regiments were garrisoned in Darmstadt, so a man from either regiment could have owned this mütze. The mütze’s basic body color is dark-blue. It sports a wide black trim band, measuring 1 ⅛," accented above and below by thin bands of red piping. Another band of red piping encircles the mütze’s top. The German Reich's kokarde and Hesse-Darmstadt’s state kokarde both are firmly in place. The mütze’s exterior condition is very near mint. Inside the mütze is a very lightly-used leather sweatband. The leather is fresh and supple, with no sweat staining. A red silk liner is present. The maker’s name, P. H. Lorz, and address are embossed on it. A paper tag is in place advising that the mütze is a size 54 ½. The mütze is stored in a circular carton, which is why it has remained in such spectacular condition. Again, the manufacturer’s name appears on a label on the carton’s front.
This is an amazing mütze, in stone-mint condition. The example cannot be upgraded. You will be very pleased with its condition.
$995.00

 

 

 

 

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Kaiserliche Marine & SeeBataillon

 

Tschakos

 

 

33-175 NCO'S TSCHAKO - SEEBATAILLON. This is a wonderful example of an NCO’s tschako for the Seebataillon. The Seebataillon was to the Kaiserliche Marine as the U.S. Marine Corps (U.S.M.C.) is to the U.S. Navy. The troops were responsible for security aboard larger naval vessels and for security at German embassies overseas. The Seebataillon also played a large role in supplying ground troops for Germany’s colonies. Seebataillon Nr III served an especially important role in China. Prior to the buildup leading to WW I, only three Seebataillone existed. Seebataillon Nr I and Nr II were joined by other later-raised units to serve as Marine-Infanterie and Marine-Artillerie units in Flanders.
The tschako sports the typical shape for an NCO in the Seebataillon. The leather body is quite pleasing, overall. It reveals some light spidering (cracking), and a gouge or two. [We will show it in the photographs that accompany the description]. The Seebataillon’s wappen serves as the helmet’s central theme. It also sports a handsome set of gilt chin scales. A red, black and white feldzeichen (field badge) is attached directly over the wappen. Further examination of the tschako shows it has no kokarde, which is 100% correct. As the Seebataillon was a national organization, it would not display any state’s kokarde. Furthermore, as the feldzeichen sports Germany’s national colors (red, black and white), a kokarde would be redundant.

[REFERENCE/RESEARCH NOTE: The last interesting piece of information comes from Jim Turinetti, our resident headdress expert. We call on Jim quite often for headdress details’ clarification. I often say (and not in total jest) that he has forgotten more about Imperial German headdresses than I will ever know. We also remind you about Jim’s wonderful publications, which we feature on our website. We receive NO compensation from Jim and the TOTAL proceeds from the sale of his books go to him. We offer them because I believe they are the best on the market for what they do, regardless of price. Jim’s scholarship is unquestionable. Considering the many hours he has spent in research, he is not in this for the money but for the love of the hobby. I urge you to support Jim while helping yourself to a better understanding of headdress and related  items. Check out all seven (7) of Jim's books on our IMPERIAL GERMAN HEADDRESS NR. 3 MERCHANDISE PAGE, (click here to see).].

Inside the tschako is a well used but complete leather sweatband, and a complete silk liner. All of this further indicates it is an NCO’s tschako. HOWEVER, a curious thing is written on the silk liner, "Ltn. Hunitz." Perhaps this NCO was promoted to officer status and never upgraded his tschako or bought a newer one and relegated this tschako to secondary use. At any rate, it is a lovely tschako. It would make an excellent addition to any collection. $4,495.00

 

 

 

 

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Zweispitz

 

 

13-875 GROßADMIRAL HANS von KOESTER’S PERSONAL EFFECTS GROUP - INCLUDING EPAULETTES/FORE AND AFT CAP/ETC. I first offered this group over a decade ago. The fellow who has owned it since then recently changed his area of interest, so I was thrilled to take it back in trade. (Items like this just do NOT become available often). Hans von Koester was one of six Imperial Period men (five Germans and one Swede) appointed as a Großadmiral. The rank was created in 1901, with Kaiser Wilhelm II (naturally) appointing himself the first rank holder. King Oskar II of Sweden was granted the same rank that year as a ceremonial gesture. Listed below are the six men who held the rank from 1901 until the empire’s end in 1918.

1901 - Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859–1941)
1901 - King Oskar II of Sweden (1829–1907)
28 June 1905 - Hans von Koester (1844–1928)
4 September 1909 - HRH Prinz Heinrich of Prussia (1862–1929)
27 January 1911 - Alfred von Tirpitz (1849–1930)
*
[*Promoted on an Honorary Basis without Patent]

31 May 1918 - Henning von Holtzendorff (1853–1919)

The first two recipients were ceremonial appointments rather than direct commands. The third appointee, Hans von Koester, was the first "operational" admiral to receive the rank. He was promoted to Großadmiral in 1905 as a reward for his long service. He actually retired the following year (1906). The next to receive the rank was Prinz Heinrich, (one of whose tunics and officer’s summer schirmütze we are proud to offer). Heinrich held direct command in the Kaiserliche Marine and was a royal, so his appointment was not an à la Suite promotion. Heinrich was the second officer with a naval background to achieve the rank. Alfred von Tirpitz was the third.
*[PLEASE NOTE: von Tirpitz’s promotion must be viewed with an "asterisk." His promotion was WITHOUT patent. That is, he was a Großadmiral in title, but his rank was more like that of an à la Suite (an honorary appointment for royalty ONLY). This somewhat confusing situation was evident on two different von Tirpitz shoulder boards we have offered in the past. Instead of a Großadmiral’s crossed batons, those boards displayed FOUR pips, which indicated the equivalent of a Generaloberst in the rank of Generalfeldmarschall. The latter was a rank often used by royals in the Imperial German Army, and officially WAS an à la Suite position. Prior to the institution of Großadmiral, the Imperial German Navy’s highest rank was a full Admiral, who wore TWO pips. The Navy had no equivalent to the Imperial German Army’s Generaloberst, who displayed THREE pips. The Navy simply skipped the rank! The number of shoulder board pips displayed on the four admirals’ ranks was as follows: a Konteradmiral wore NO pips; a Vizeadmiral displayed ONE pip; an Admiral boasted TWO pips; and a Großadmiral had NO pips, but instead displayed crossed batons].
The final man to achieve the rank was Henning von Holtzendorff. He assumed Alfred von Tirpitz’s role, and also did not exercise direct command after his promotion. In fact, he retired before the war’s end due to health problems (he died in 1919). Von Holtzendorff was replaced by Admiral Reinhard Scheer (the High Seas Fleet commander at 1916's Battle of Jutland/Skagerrak). Scheer was responsible for running the Navy, but was NOT awarded a Großadmiral’s rank.
The following small group of Großadmiral Hans von Koester’s personal effects is absolutely marvelous.

PAIR OF GROßADMIRAL’S EPAULETTES. I have seen some superb shoulder boards and epaulettes over the years, including those from the Kaiser. Nothing, however, has ever touched the sublime beauty of these truly magnificent specimens. Their centers are made of gold silk! Wool or felt is normally used for background material, not silk. Each center is highlighted by a pair of crossed batons. The batons’ artistry sets them apart from any Army Generalfeldmarschall’s batons. Army batons usually are made of silver, rather than the exquisite enamel used by the Navy. These display four different colors: gold, white, red, and black. Neither epaulette displays any damage whatsoever to these magnificent batons. A massive silver eagle grasping a fouled anchor in its claws overlays each baton set. Just below a small gilt naval button on the epaulette’s tongue is a silver Kaiser Crown. The tongue also displays red and black piping on a white background. The use of red, black, and white (the national colors) indicates that the Kaiserliche Marine was under the Reich’s authority, not the Kingdom of Prussia’s.
More gold design work extends out from the silk field on which the batons and eagles are mounted. Massive gold ringlets flow down majestically around their edges. (They must have looked amazing when worn on the dress uniform)! The epaulettes’ undersides are covered in navy-blue wool, another sure sign that they are correct for the Kaiserliche Marine. A sliding brass clip arrangement allows them to be slipped onto the tunic.
Looking at these epaulettes and their superb condition, one would be hard pressed to believe they are more than one-hundred-years-old.

GROßADMIRAL’S UNIFORM CUFFS. Imperial German Navy Admiräle uniforms displayed gold bullion stripes that indicated the man’s rank. Daily-use tunics did NOT display shoulder boards, so rank was determined by the number of stripes on the cuffs. In a Großadmiral’s case, FOUR stripes designated his rank. Each of these stripes measures 9/16" in width. In addition to the rank stripes, a single wide band of gold bullion is present that measures 1 15/16" in width. Its bullion displays a wonderful patina, with gentle toning. Each cuff normally had a bullion Kaiser Crown attached, as well. Only one of them is present, and is NOT attached to the cuff. [We will show this in our photographs]. Each cuff is wrapped very neatly in some very old tissue paper. Both are most attractive.

FORE & AFT CAP (ZWEISPITZ) BELONGING TO ADMIRAL HANS von KOESTER. Naval officers wore two types of headdresses. First, for regular duty, was the schirmütze (visor cap). Second, for more formal occasions, and often worn with a Gala Naval Uniform, was the zweispitz (fore and aft cap). [Naval officers actually had three types of uniforms: daily wear, dress, and high-dress (Gala). Many officers did not even have a Gala uniform unless they were of higher rank or were extremely wealthy]. In the USA, we more frequently associate fore and aft caps with naval headdresses from the 18th and early 19th Centuries. In the Kaiserliche Marine, an Admiral’s zweispitz was different from the other officers’ headdresses. Von Koester’s zweispitz is significantly and magnificently more elaborate.
The zweispitz’s body is covered with close-cropped very fine fur, perhaps seal. In addition to the golden coil that extends from the gilt navy button on the cap’s right side, the other huge difference is a 2 ½"bullion band that runs the length of the cap’s two sides. Each of the cap’s ends sports multiple silver bullion ringlets. Beneath the top row of silver ringlets is another row that is interspersed with silver, red, and black ringlets. The cap’s right side boasts a large and very elegant silk Reich's kokarde.
Turning to the interior, we see a very high-quality, light-brown leather sweatband. It is 100% complete and in excellent condition. If we look closely, in a place or two we can see some very slight sweat stains from where von Koester actually wore it! The white silk liner is flawless and in superb condition. His name, "von Koester," is embossed in gold on the white silk liner.

STORAGE CASE FOR ALL ITEMS LISTED ABOVE. This is a large storage case that measures 8 1/4" x 9" x 18." The case was used to store the epaulettes and zweispitz when not in use. It has a handle on the top that made it convenient for use when traveling. On the case’s front is a small plaque that measures 1 3/16" x 3 ½" and bears his name: "von Koester." When I originally bought the group many years ago, the case’s top half was separated from its bottom half. The hinges and screws that secured them had pulled loose. When I bought the group back, I decided to address the problem. Normally, I prefer to avoid restoration, but in this case I felt it was in order. So we inserted new screws in the original hinges and the case operates as it did more than one-hundred-years ago. The original key is attached to the handle!
Inside the case we see that the zweispitz is nestled at the bottom. Over it is a red silk platform. The platform performs two purposes. It separates the zweispitz from the contents at the case’s top. That is where the platform becomes the epaulettes’ storage stand. Each epaulette slides onto the platform and is secured. The tunic cuffs are folded in their tissue and laid at the top, which makes for a tidy package.

SILVER PRESENTATION PLATE FROM von KOESTER’S STAFF WHEN COMMANDER OF DER MARINE STATION den OSTSEE. This is an ultra-high-quality silver presentation plate. It measures 11" in diameter. The plate’s edges display very elaborate scrollwork accented with a floral motif. The following dedication is engraved  at the plate’s top: "Unserem Hochverehrten Stationschef Admiral H. Koester" (Our esteemed station-chief Admiral H. Koester). Another engraving is presented at the plate’s bottom: "Die Offiziere der Marinestation der Ostsee" (The officers of the Baltic Sea Marine Station). An admiral’s flag is in the plate’s center. Below that is the presentation’s date, 22 März 1897. The plate’s reverse is highly tarnished and bears the manufacturer’s hallmark, as well as one for .800 silver, and the initials "AP."
The Marinestation Ostsee was the Baltic Sea Naval Station located in Kiel. Von Koester held this post from 1889 to 1903. It should also be noted that he is recognized as an Admiral, rather than the lower rank of Vizeadmiral. It is interesting to note that von Koester received the promotion in 1897, the same year as the plate! The plate is in amazing condition for its age.  

COLOR POSTCARD AND DETAILED HISTORICAL INFORMATION OF HANS von KOESTER. We are including a period color postcard of Großadmiral Hans von Koester. We thought it important that you know what the man looked like. We also have some historical background on him that chronicles his long career.

 

 

 

 

Words cannot adequately describe the beauty, rarity, and historical importance of this group. If you are a collector of Kaiserliche Marine items, we have many other important items including Prinz Heinrich’s aforementioned group, an overcoat with shoulder boards for a Großadmiral, and numerous epaulettes for every officer rank up-to-and-including a Kapitän zur See. (Please browse our "NAVY" Merchandise Page to see them, click here to see). $29,995.00

 

 

 

 

 

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13-304 NAVY FREGATTENKAPITÄN'S "FORE AND AFT" CAP AND DRESS SHOULDER BOARDS WITH STORAGE BOX. This is a very fine example of a "fore & aft" cap (zweispitz) for an officer in the Kaiserliche Marine, along with his dress shoulder boards. It is the dress headdress for officers that was equivalent to a pickelhaube or busby, etc. for officers in the Imperial German Army. The storage box is an unusual shape so it can hold the cap in the bottom. The dress shoulder boards are placed on a special platform that fits over the cap, and are the first item one sees when opening the storage box. The exterior of the case has seen some extensive wear. It is in far less than perfect condition. However, it is this case that has protected the contents so well over the years. The "fore and aft" cap is in superb condition. All of its attachments and accouterments are in fine order. As we peek at the silk liner (which is also pristine), we see a gold embossed "P" displayed. On top of the case's specially designed platform are the dress shoulder boards for a Fregattenkapitän. This rank was  equivalent to a Commander (Lt. Col. in the U. S. Army, U. S. Marines, and U. S. Air Force) in the U.S. Navy.

 

It is a very handsome ensemble for discerning Navy collectors! $2,895.00

 

 

 

 

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13-529 RESERVE NAVY OFFICER FORE AND AFT CAP IN THE ORIGINAL STORAGE BOX. The fore and aft cap (zweispitz) was the dress headdress for officers in the Kaiserliche Marine. These are never easy to come by. German naval reserve officers were more limited before WW I. Moreover, the Navy was a smaller service, with a lower number of officers. What I really like about this cap is its silk kokarde, the gilt intertwined rope, and the officer’s button with its reserve cross. The cap’s exterior is in excellent condition. As we examine the cap’s interior, we find that the leather sweatband and the silk liner are in equally fine condition. The fore and aft cap comes in its original storage box. The boxes are very difficult-to-find as well. This is a wonderful presentation, and a must for a Navy collection. $2,295.00

 

 

 

 

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13-916 NAVY ZWEISPITZ TRIM FABRIC ROLL. The zweispitz is the Navy’s version of a "dress" headdress. This is a roll of material that was used to trim the zweispitz. It appears to be made of cotton, but could be a hard silk. It has designs stitched into it. The end piece identifies it as being made in Germany. While its original use was for the zweispitz, you might discover another use for it.  The roll of material measures 4 ½" diameter. It has a great deal of material on it, so much that it would be very difficult to measure. If you cannot use it for its original reason, you might find a new purpose for it. $125.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Navy Schirmützen & Mützen

 

 

33-277 PRE WW I SEEBATAILLON OFFICER’S SCHIRMÜTZE. Today, we are offering a very rare schirmütze. Not only is it rare, but it is in amazing condition. The Seebataillon was a relatively small, elite force. It was formed in 1852 to fill the same role as the British Royal Marines and the United States Marine Corps, i.e., acting as a shipboard security force. Historically, (for example, on British ships during 1805's Battle of Trafalgar) Marines were tasked with positioning themselves in the ship’s rigging and raining fire down on the opposing vessel’s sailors. If the action involved ship-to-ship fighting, they were the first wave, leading their fellow sailors. (Naval warfare eventually evolved so that ships faced off from great distances and simply lobbed shells at one another). Marines also enforced security onboard ship, such as standing guard at the ship captain’s door. In addition, the U.S. Marines and the Seebataillon provided security forces for overseas embassies and legations. [The latter became especially important for Germany as she began an overseas expansion under Kaiser Wilhelm II, against Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s wishes. (Von Bismarck was sacked two years after Wilhelm II assumed the throne)].
Thus, the Seebataillon grew in importance. In 1886, two years before Kaiser Wilhelm I’s death, the entire Seebataillon comprised a mere two half-Bataillone based in Wilhelmshaven and Kiel, Germany’s two naval bases. Soon after Wilhelm II’s 1888 ascension to the German throne, the half-Bataillone were elevated to full Bataillon status. Seebataillon Nr I was established in Kiel, while Seebataillon Nr II was garrisoned at Wilhelmshaven. With German expansion finally well underway in 1897, Seebataillon Nr III was posted to China, and contingents were based at Tsingtao and Kiautschou to protect German interests. [Men from Seebataillon Nr III were fully involved in the 1900-1901 Boxer Rebellion].
By the time WW I began, additional Seebataillone (at least three) were established for use in Belgium, particularly in Flanders. In time, these men and their supporting artillery became known as Marine-Infanterie. Marine-Infanterie eventually expanded to include multiple Marine-Divisions. These troops (who never saw a ship) fought in Flanders as sailors in the trenches along with their army brothers.
Today’s offering is a pre WW I, pre feldgrau officer’s schirmütze. The visor cap’s primary color is dark-blue. It sports a wide white trim band that measures approximately 1 ½"in height. Two very narrow white piping bands also encircle the cap. The first sits directly above the wide white band, while the other is at the cap’s top. The schirmütze sports a single Reich’s kokarde in the wide white trim band’s center. [The Seebataillon, like the Kaiserliche Marine itself, was a national unit. It was NOT composed of contingents from the various German states, so its caps lacked states’ kokarden ]. A fine black leather visor completes the exterior.
The interior features an ultra-high-quality leather sweatband. Embossed on the sweatband are the words "Elegant Style," with what appears to be a stylized wagon or cart. The large front wheel encloses a daisy, while the smaller back wheel encloses the word "Style." "Elegant" sports an oversized "E" emblazoned behind the front wheel. The wagon is carrying what looks like a load of holly leaves and berries. The schirmütze has a watermarked, white silk liner. While no owner’s identification is present, a white silk liner is often an indication of either royalty or nobility.
This fine schirmütze’s condition is near mint. I see one small moth nip toward the cap’s rear blue portion. It is so small that I went over the cap three times before I found it. I would say that it is no more than 1/16" in diameter. It will prove impossible to upgrade, and looks as though we grabbed it through a time warp! If you are looking for the best, you need look no further. $3,495.00

 

 

 

 

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13-981 ENLISTED II SEEFLIEGER=ABTEILUNG. II. SAILOR’S MÜTZE IN ORIGINAL STORAGE CARTON. This is a top-quality mütze for an enlisted Kaiserliche Marine sailor assigned to .II Seeflieger=Abteilung II. The Kaiserliche Marine had two completely different aviation arms. The older of the two was for seaplanes sporting attached floats that enabled them to land in the water. These planes came in both single-seater and two-seater configurations. Later in the war, Marine Jastas were formed that primarily fought over land in Flanders alongside their Army Jasta counterparts. The latter group’s mützen sported fine, dark-blue wool exteriors, as can be seen on our offering today. I can only find one small moth nip on it.
A silver-embossed .II Seeflieger=Abteilung II. cap tally is tied in the correct manner, allowing its twin tails to extend down from the mütze’s reverse. Inside the mütze we see that it has a well used, brown, leather sweatband. The cap definitely was worn. The mütze’s front has been folded down, and some separation is apparent where it was attached to the cap. The cap’s silk liner is in very fine condition.
The mütze comes in the original cardboard carton produced by its military effects firm, Aug. (August) Geiger. The company was well known for producing all sorts of naval officers, NCO’s, and enlisted men’s items. They had locations in Kiel (two), Wilhelmshaven, and Kiel-Wik. The carton measures 11" in diameter and is 3" tall. The carton is complete, but in fragile condition. Although the carton is not in the best condition, it has done its job of protecting the mütze. You are paying for condition as well as rarity.
$1,095.00    

 

 

 

 

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13-986 SUMMER ENLISTED MARINE-FLIEGER-ABTEILUNG SAILOR’S MÜTZE.  This is a summer enlisted Marine-Flieger-Abteilung sailor’s mütze. Enlisted Kaiserliche Marine sailors wore two different-colored tops on their mützen during the year.  In the winter, they wore the navy blue tops that matched their dark-blue uniforms. In the summer, the sailors switched to white tops to match their white uniforms.  I am not sure why, but we see the summer white top mützen far less frequently.  Our offering today is made of heavy, white, cotton twill.  As it is white, it is more susceptible to staining and dirt.  That said, this white top does show signs of what I would call dirt and, perhaps, even a couple of oil spots.
The mütze’s center front features a Reich’s kokarde that is actually for an officer.  As you look at the mütze straight-on, you will note that it has the “saddle” effect so favored by cavalry regiments. A gold embossed cap tally attached to the mütze clearly reads “Marine-Flieger-Abteilung.” 
Inside the mütze is a high-quality, light-brown leather sweatband. The mütze does not have  a liner, so the cotton twill material appears on both the cap’s inside and outside.  It is a privately-purchased mütze that displays NO depot markings on its interior. If you look at the interior where the kokarde is attached, it looks as though a snap button appears on a tab where the kokarde is attached.  If you look closely at that tab, you will see the printed word “Kiel,” where one of the High Seas Fleet’s two major ports was based. the interior also displays the mütze's size, 56, in red.

 

 

 

 

It is a  high-quality mütze from one of the most elite units in the Imperial German Navy. $1,095.00

 

 

 

 

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Colonial & Tropical Helmets

 

 

Mecklenburg-Schwerin

 

 

Tschakos

 

 

Artillerie

Misc.

 

 

Oldenburg

 

 

Artillerie

 

 

Schirmützen & Mützen

 

 

33-286 FELDGRAU INFANTERIE-REGIMENT Nr 91/DRAGONER-REGIMENT Nr 19 NCO’S SCHIRMÜTZE - OLDENBURG. Today we are offering an NCO’s feldgrau schirmütze from either the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg’s Dragoner-Regiment Nr 19 or its Infanterie-Regiment Nr 91. Oldenburg was one of the German Empire’s smaller Grand Duchies. They fielded one Infanterie Regiment, one Kavallerie Regiment, and one Artillerie Bataillon. Our offering is a feldgrau schirmütze for either the Dragoon or Infantry Regiment. Based on the cap’s construction and quality, I would say it is an early-to-mid-war example. It features a wide red trim band that measures 1 ½." A single narrow red piping band encircles the top. It bears the Reich’s and Oldenburg’s state kokarden in its center, with the Oldenburg kokarde being lower. Limited moth tracking appears on the side in a few places, as well as some scattered moth tracking at the very top. Inside the cap is a brown leather sweatband. It also has a white cotton liner that has a very interesting Hohenzollern Eagle stamped in black against its white cotton background.  Overall, it is a high-quality schirmütze in very pleasing condition. $795.00

 

 

 

 

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Prussia

 

 

Artillerie

 

 

33-326 GENERAL OFFICER’S KUGELHELM - PRUSSIA. This is a first-time offering for us at Der Rittmeister Militaria. It is a Prussian General der Artillerie’s kugelhelm. It is a very rare helmet since the number of Generals der Artillerie was significantly less than Generals der Infanterie or Generals der Kavallerie. Even among the old-line units prior to WW I’s massive buildup, only about one-third were Artillerie Regiments.
Like a general officer’s pickelhaube, the helmet has a squared front visor. The black leather body is not quite as good as we prefer, with scattered cracking visible. [We have been treating the leather with extra leather conditioner to restore some moisture and prevent further issues]. Its exterior is attractively toned, however, with a fine patina. All of its furniture is gilt-toned. The chin scales, cruciform, officers’ stars, pearl ring, trim and kugel are all in very fine condition.
The helmet’s wappen is a piece of fine art. The Hohenzollern Eagle’s wings extend all the way to the kokarden’s center points on both sides.
A beautiful Garde Star adorns the center of the Eagle’s chest. In turn, the Star’s center displays a fantastic combination of multicolored enamel dominated by the black and gold Eagle emblematic of the House of Hohenzollern’s nobility. The Black Eagle is encircled by the Latin motto in "Suum Cuique" (To each according to his own merits). All of the multicolored enamel is in very fine condition.
The helmet’s interior is well used. The helmet was worn, and worn often. [Although a general would have had more than one helmet, one for parades and one for daily usage, i.e., when he was not wearing a schirmütze]. Both the leather sweatband and the silk liner show what is consistent with daily wear. The silk liner is complete but shows soiling where it met the general’s hair. No double holes show under the liner where the wappen is attached. Furthermore, all of the original hardware is in place.

 

This is a 100% original helmet. Had it been a regular officer’s kugelhelm, I might have passed it up due to the leather body issues. However, since it was offered at a VERY reasonable price, I am passing the savings along to you! [These helmets’ are so scarce, one in the condition that we prefer would cost at least $15,000, instead of the following more reasonable rate]! $9,995.00 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-131 ARTILLERIE RESERVE OFFICER'S KUGELHELM WITH "FRW" WAPPEN - PRUSSIA. This is a reserve officer’s kugelhelm. It is correct for either Feldartillerie-Regiment Prinz August von Preußen (1. Litthauisches) Nr 1, 1. Pommersches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 2, Feldartillerie-Regiment General Feldzügmeister (1. Brandenburgisches) Nr 3, or Feldartillerie-Regiment von Peucker (1. Schlesisches) Nr 6. Only these four regiments wore this wappen-style. In 1. Pommersches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 2, Batterie Nr 1 wore a "Colberg. 1807" bandeau. Batterie Nr 6 from Feldartillerie-Regiment General Feldzügmeister (1. Brandenburgisches) Nr 3 also wore the "Colberg. 1807" bandeau. The explanation for the difference is quite simple. The four regiments were the Prussian Army’s oldest.
I bought this kugelhelm for a number of reasons. The first and most obvious reason is its wappen, as I explained above. The second is the helmet’s fiber body. This was still a novel substance early in the 20th Century, and I doubt it was an inexpensive option. The advantage of fiber is that it is a forerunner of fiberglass and that it delivers an incredible, high-gloss finish and is quite strong. Even after hours of diligent polishing, the more common (and less-expensive) leather helmets lack a fiber helmet's mirror-like luster. In many ways a fiber helmet resembles patent leather, which is still used in formal wear shoes today. So, our helmet displays a very high level of gloss. A downside to fiber is that, like fiberglass, it can crack. Generally speaking, the cracking of fiber is not as severe as a leather helmet that cracks as it dries out. An elliptical circular crack extends from the wappen back to the rear trim on the helmet’s left side. The crack is not wide. It is more of a stress fracture. The wappen is beautifully frosted gilt. All of the helmet’s furniture is gilt, with the exception of the silver reserve officer’s cross. The reserve cross sits below the king’s cypher. As is correct for reserve officers helmets, the slogan "Für Gott un Vaterland" appears on the cross rather than on the eagle. The reserve officer’s cross also displays the date 1813. The rest of the furniture is in prime condition. Both the officer and Reich’s kokarden are present and in lovely condition. The helmet’s interior is especially interesting. The leather sweatband is of supreme quality. It has the rarely-seen high stitching embellishing the interior.
The liner is green silk. It is a much different style of material than we generally see in helmets. The usual silk is a thicker, heavier weave. This silk is almost paper-thin. One clearly can see the watermark in it. Some sections of the silk liner are missing. It has substantial tearing. I still like this liner however, because we just do not see them very often. All of the original hardware is intact. The size, "57," is penciled in.

It is a remarkable kugelhelm that was worn by one of the Prussian Army’s oldest artillery regiments. $6,395.00

 

 

 

 

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33-130 IDENTIFIED M-1867 ENLISTED MAN'S KUGELHELM - PRUSSIA. This is an M-1867 enlisted man’s kugelhelm that was correct for one of the three following Feldartillerie-Regiments (FAR): Feldartillerie-Regiment Prinz August von Preußen (1.Litthauisches) Nr 1, 1. Pommersches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 2 (excluding Batterie Nr 1), or Feldartillerie-Regiment General Feldzügmeister (1. Brandenburgisches) Nr 3 (excluding Batterie Nr 6). It is the earliest kugelhelm we have ever offered. FAR Nr 1 was founded in 1772. It was garrisoned at Gumbinnen-Insterburg, where it was attached to the I. ArmeeKorps. FAR Nr 2 was founded in 1808. It was garrisoned at Kolberg-Belgard, where it was assigned to the II. ArmeeKorps. FAR Nr 3 was founded in 1816. It was garrisoned at Brandenburg a. H., where it was attached to the III. ArmeeKorps. It is almost a certainty that the kugelhelm was used in the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, in which all these regiments served.
The helmet’s leather body is in very fine condition, especially when one considers it is 130-years-old. I have seen countless pickelhauben and kugelhelme produced during the 1900 to 1914 period that do not even approach the splendid condition of this helmet. All of its furniture is gilt. It boasts a marvelous set of chin scales. Please note the wappen, which is quite different from all other FAR wappens. The front, and especially the rear, visor is longer than those on M-1897 helmets. The shape is a bit different as well, although it remains close to what the helmets’ final incarnation. A single Prussian kokarde appears on the helmet’s right side. It is correct for the era.
Inside the helmet is an absolutely complete leather interior. All of the tongues are present. The original sizing cord and all of the original hardware are attendant. A paper label identifies the owner as "Kanonier Wilke I." His Waffen Number (Nr 60) also appears on the tag. The rear visor displays the depot markings "9.B. I." 

It is a charming early helmet that would make a fine addition to any collection and could contrast the differences in kugelhelme over a thirty-year-period. $3,995.00

 

 

 

 

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33-238 IDENTIFIED ONE-YEAR-VOLUNTEER'S KUGELHELM WITH PARADE BUSH - PRUSSIA. This is a very handsome Garde-Fußartillerie-Regiment One-Year-Volunteer’s (OYV) kugelhelm. Foot artillery regiments (rather than field artillery regiments) developed later in the German Army. Its first regiment was created in 1864. The Garde-Fußartillerie-Regiment was founded in 1865 and garrisoned in Spandau. The regiment was assigned to the Gardekorps.
The helmet’s leather body is in very good condition and shows minimal wear. It exhibits one small spot where a loss of leather can be noted. Its furniture is all gilt, with the exception of the silver-toned Garde Star. The state and Reich’s kokarden both are present, so it is a post 1897 helmet. The trichter is attached to a pearl ring, which may indicate an OYV’s helmet. A very full white, horsehair, parade bush is attached to the trichter.
As we look at the helmet’s interior, we immediately can tell it is privately-purchased. It has no depot marks. It does possess a normal enlisted man/NCO’s leather liner. The liner is intact, with the exception of the leather sizing thong. It displays the multiple leather tongue arrangement.  In the interior is a label that lists the size as "58." Furthermore, the tag identifies its original owner. The following words are written on the tag:

 

"Graumann
Einjährig=Freiwilliger
8. Batterie"

 

It is a fine, identified kugelhelm with its parade bush. It hails from the most elite Fußartillerie-Regiment. $3,995.00

 

 

 

 

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Ulanen

 

 

33-234  OFFICER'S TSCHAPKA FROM ULANEN-REGIMENT Nr 14 WHICH FOUGHT AT BATTLE OF WATERLOO - PRUSSIA. The Kingdom of Hannover came to an end after being on the 1866 Austro-Prussian War’s losing side. Hannover had a good-sized military. It had fought during the Napoleonic Wars against France. As a matter of fact, several of her regiments fought with Wellington during the Peninsula Campaign and 1815's penultimate Battle of Waterloo. Hannover fielded two Ulanen-Regiments. After the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, her entire territory and her military were annexed by Prussia. From then on, all Hanoverian regiments were considered "Prussian" regiments. Even though they were garrisoned in their former barracks, they were required to wear Prussian uniforms. In 1897 Kaiser Wilhelm II decided to be magnanimous and restored the battle honors (bandeaux) that Hanoverian regiments had proudly worn on their headdress prior to 1866. Such was the case with her Ulanen-Regiments. The first regiment was Königs-Ulanen-Regiment (1. Hannoversches) Nr 13. The second was 2. Hannoversches Ulanen-Regiment Nr 14. Today we are offering an officer’s tschapka from the latter regiment. It was founded in 1805 and garrisoned at St. Avold-Mörchingen, where it was attached to the XVI. Armeekorps.
The leather helmet is well formed and shows a fine clean surface that is supple and free from major defects. This includes the mortar board that sits atop the helmet and offers the distinctive view of the Ulanen Tschapka. Please note, Ulanen were considered light cavalry. They were also known as "Lancers," because troopers carried lances in the early days. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, lances were used more for parades rather than in combat. The tschapka’s furniture was quite limited when compared to that of pickelhauben and kugelhelme. Essentially, it had trim on the front visor, chin scales, and wappen. This helmet’s chin scales are gilt, while the front visor and wappen are silver. The helmet’s wappen is really exciting. Just below the eagle’s head is a bandeau for "Waterloo" (fought from 16-18 June 1815). At the eagle’s base is a bandeau for "Peninsula" (the Peninsula Campaign extended from 1809 through 1814, and another split bandeau that represents "Garzia-Hernandez," a famous Peninsula Campaign battle fought on 23 July 1812. The wappen has an open (voided) crown, which indicates an officer. It is a high-quality wappen with excellent details, especially with the eagle’s feathers on the helmet’s right side (from the wearer’s perspective). It has only the officer’s Reich’s kokarde, which is 100% correct. Only the Reich’s kokarde was worn AFTER 1897. BEFORE 1897, only the state’s (Prussian)
kokarde was worn. Since the helmet has a Reich’s kokarde AND the bandeaux, it is quite clear that it is a post 1897 tschapka. The exterior’s final detail is a fine, silver-bullion feldzeichen (field badge). The feldzeichen’s center is black, which is correct for a Prussian officer.
As we examine the helmet’s interior, we find something quite interesting. Instead of the conventional leather sweatband and silk liner, we see an enlisted men/NCO’s-style leather liner. It is the type that has multiple leather fingers/tongues (eleven). All of these fingers/tongues are present and complete. Only the leather sizing thong is missing, which is not a major concern. It is quite possible it was this particular officer’s personal preference. He may have found a helmet with this liner-style more comfortable and useful in the field. What we CAN say is that the area where the wappen is attached is free of double holes. It is clear to me that the wappen is original to the helmet.
This is an exciting find that came from two very exciting and advanced collections, one here in the U.S. and another in Europe. We are pleased and proud to share this very rare tschapka with you. $6,995.00

 

 

 

 

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33-267 ULANEN-REGIMENT TSCHAPKA'S PARADE BUSH - PRUSSIA. This is a Prussian Ulanen-Regiment NCO's tschapka parade bush.  The bushes were designed to slip in behind the Feldzeichen (Field Badge) at the tschapka's top. The bush is composed of black and white horsehair attached to a metal clip, which is inserted behind the Feldzeichen. It can complete an NCO's tschapka, adding a great deal of value and enjoyment.  It is in terrific shape and ready to install in a jiffy!  $750.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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24-138 TSCHAPKA-SHAPED INKWELL - PRUSSIA. This is a silver-toned tschapka-shaped inkwell. The tschapka measures 2 1/4X" x 2 ½" x 2 3/4." It sports the mortar board and feldzeichen at its top. Attached to its front is a Prussian wappen and gold-toned chinstraps. As you raise the tschapka you see a partial ceramic ink holder. It has broken and will not hold ink. Perhaps you have one of the latter sitting in your junk pile without an interesting topper! Or you may see one that will fit at a garage sale or a flea market. Even without a functional inkwell, it is a lovely desk piece. $295.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Regiment der Gardes du Corps

 

Jäger-Bataillon, Telegraph-Bataillon, Garde Schutzen, Colonial, Flieger-Bataillon,
Luftschiffer-Bataillon, & Telegraph-Bataillon (Tschakos)

 

 

33-294 JÄGER-BATAILLON Nr 10 ENLISTED REGIMENTAL BAND MEMBER'S TSCHAKO IN FULL PARADE CONFIGURATION- PRUSSIA. This is a Hannoversches  Jäger-Bataillon Nr 10 NCO's tschako from a Hanoverian unit  (originally, it was absorbed by Prussia in 1866). The Bataillon was  formed in 1803, garrisoned at Goslar, and  assigned to the X. Armeekorps. [In the past, we have shared the Jäger-Bataillon's role within the German Army. When it came to marksmanship, these Bataillons were (collectively) the German Army’s best.  Most of them were formed in the mid 18th and early 19th centuries. Some of the very early Prussian  Bataillone fought with Frederick the Great.  All of them, and those  formed during Friedrich Wilhelm III’s reign, fought throughout the  Napoleonic Wars.  Their role was to advance in front of their army’s  main body.  When possible, they engaged the opposing army’s officers and NCO’s, disrupting the opposition’s front-line command and control  structure.  As these men were the best shots, they were given early  versions of rifles that boasted a greater range and accuracy than the  front-line infantry regiments’ muskets]. While not a Prussian unit during the Napoleonic Wars, no one had a prouder  record than the Kingdom of Hannover’s Jäger-Bataillon Nr 10.  In the  Napoleonic Wars, Jäger-Bataillon Nr 10 served in both the Peninsula  Campaign and in June 1815's penultimate Battle of Waterloo.  At the  conclusion of the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, Hannover’s territory and  army were incorporated into Prussia's victorious kingdom. This concluded Germany's reorganization, leaving Prussia as the dominant power under  Wilhelm I’s and von Bismarck’s leadership.  After the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, Wilhelm I was named Germany’s first Kaiser. His  grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II, restored the former Hanoverian regiments’  (including Jäger-Bataillon Nr 10) Napoleonic battle honors in 1897,  allowing them to display the Peninsula and Waterloo bandeaux on their  headdresses once more.
Our tschako’s leather body is in very fine condition.  Its wappen, with its  crowned eagle encircled by the Peninsula and Waterloo bandeaux,  and its chin scales are gold-toned.  As is correct, only the single Reich’s kokarde appears on its right side (from the wearer’s  perspective).  Inside the helmet, is a typical enlisted  man. All of the liner’s leather tongues are in place, as is the original leather sizing thong.
Returning to the tschako's exterior, we see a correct Prussian in the front (this is  where this example gets very interesting).  Slipped into the same slit  as the Feldzeichen is a parade bush’s trichter. The parade bush is red,  which means it is for a musician or other personnel assigned to the  Bataillon’s band. The parade bush and the gold trichter are in very fine condition. A little curry combing would help make the bush fuller  again.  You can now see that this is one of  the rarest Jäger Bataillon tschakos that we could ever offer to you and it is in excellent condition overall.

Our photo has mistakenly shown the parade bush and trichter installed backwards. That can easily be taken care of by turning it around. $5,995.00

 

 

 

 

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33-03 OFFICER'S TSCHAKO FOR A LINE-JÄGER-BATAILLON - PRUSSIA. This is a perfectly lovely officer's tschako for a Prussian Line-Jäger-Bataillon. This tschako would have been correct for Jäger-Bataillon Nr’s 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, or 11. The body of the tschako is in pristine condition with no faults whatsoever. The wappen is gilt in color. The matching chin scales really take one’s attention. The field badge also is an attention-getter with its silver embroidered center and contrasting trim. The single Reich’s kokarde is present and of the highest quality and condition. The interior sports a beautifully conditioned and lightly-used WHITE leather sweatband bearing the name of the Berlin manufacturer and a gently used WHITE silk liner. We often see headdress of the royalty or nobility using white for the interior. Having said that, no marks are present to identify this to any individual. Material for Jäger-Bataillone are always at a premium, especially in such pristine condition.

 

 

 

 

 

You could spend years trying to find a better conditioned tschako than this example. $5,295.00

 

 

 

 

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Husaren

 

 

33-319 RESERVE OFFICER’S 1. LEIB-HUSAREN-REGIMENT Nr 1 BUSBY - PRUSSIA. Last year we had the great fortune to offer a Reserve Officer’s 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1 Busby. At the time I felt that it would years before I would find another to share with you. They are very scarce to say the least (it was only the second that I had ever turned up). So I was stunned when this example tumbled into my lap, especially considering its source. I cannot publicly name its previous owner, however, he is VERY well known in the collecting community and considered an expert. I will gladly share details of the collector’s identity with the busby’s buyer.
This amazing reserve officer’s busby hails from Prussia’s legendary 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1. The 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1 was one of the Imperial German Army’s most fabled Kavallerie Regiments. It was founded in 1741, garrisoned at Danzig-Langfuhr, and attached to the XVII. Armeekorps. The regiment, along with its sister regiment 2. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Königin Victoria von Preußen Nr 2, was one of only two Prussian Army Regiments to display the Totenkopf on their wappens. Two other NON-Prussian Army Regiments displayed a different Totenkopf-style: the Duchy of Braunschweig’s Husaren-Regiment Nr 17 and Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92. These four were the only Imperial German regiments to display the Totenkopf on their dress headdresses, schirmützen and mützen.
Our busby’s body is covered with sumptuous possum fur that is in very fine condition. No fur loss is evident. The magnificent silver/German silver wappen, which immediately draws one’s attention, measures 2 ½" x 2 ¾." The wappen’s silver boasts a scrumptious patina. The Totenkopf’s eyes and nose are backed with black velvet, giving it a sinister appearance. The chin scales are gold-toned, have their correct leather backing and are 100% correct for a Husaren busby. If we look at each individual scale, we can detect decades-worth of built-up dirt and gunk. This confirms it is an all-original busby (more confirmation follows). The chin scales are pinned-up in the classic Hussar manner (i.e., dropped underneath the chin and connected when needed). As is correct, only one kokarde is present (on the right from the wearer’s perspective). We can tell it is a post-1897 busby, as the single officer’s kokarde is for the Reich, NOT Prussia (as it was prior to 1897).
Directly above the wappen at the busby’s front is the feldzeichen (field badge). We know it definitely is an officer’s-quality piece from the silver bullion wrapped around the feldzeichen. The badge’s center is made of black velvet. A correct Prussian reserve officer’s cross is attached to the feldzeichen’s center. A subtle difference occurs between Hussar feldzeichens and those used on shakos. What, you ask? The Husaren feldzeichen is wider. While other feldzeichens may LOOK similar, our example is wider and plumper, (confirmed when I compared it to other feldzeichens).
The busby’s red kolpak clearly identifies it as a 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1 example. [If it sported a WHITE kolpak, it would be correct for the 2. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Königin Victoria von Preußen Nr 2]. The kolpak reveals a couple of very small moth nips. They are in no way detractive to its overall presentation.
The busby’s interior reveals a fine, light-brown leather sweatband that is in excellent condition. A gray silk liner is attached to the sweatband. Some minor shredding appears at the liner attachment’s back. A busby’s liner is far different from that used on a spiked helmet. While the liner IS attached to the sweatband, it is NOT divided into two halves like a pickelhaube liner. Instead, it is fashioned from ONE piece of silk. The latter does not cover the busby’s entire interior, but sports a cutout in its center.
This is a sensational busby from one of Germany’s most fabled regiments. Kaiser Wilhelm II, Kronprinz Wilhelm, and Generalfeldmarschall August von Mackensen all frequently sported this same busby when they proudly wore its regiment’s uniforms. [Von Mackensen proudly served in the regiment as a young officer during the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War].

 

During that conflict he was awarded the 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class. The busby will make an amazing centerpiece for any collection, general or headdress. $18,495.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-177 ENLISTED MAN'S BUSBY - HUSAREN-REGIMENT Nr 8 - PRUSSIA. This is an enlisted man’s busby from Husaren-Regiment Kaiser Nikolaus II. Von Rußland (1. Westfälisches) Nr 8. The regiment was founded in 1815. It was garrisoned at Paderborn and Neuhaus, where it was attached to the VII. ArmeeKorps. The busby features a fine body covered with black bear fur. A few small spots exhibit fur-loss, but they are in no way detractive to the busby’s overall presentation. It displays a silver-toned wappen that states "Mit Gott Für König und Vaterland" (With God for King and Fatherland) and gilt chin scales. It has a light-blue kolpak and white cap lines. It also has the Kingdom of Prussia’s black and white Feldzeichen. Its right side boasts a red, white, and black enlisted man’s Reich’s kokarde. (A single Reich’s kokarde for post 1897 busbies is correct, so the lack of a Prussian kokarde is not a concern). The exterior’s overall condition is topnotch.
The interior shows a complete leather liner with all its tongues intact. The leather is quite pleasing. It remains supple with no signs of cracking or dryness. Furthermore, a leather sizing thong is strung through each of the seven tongues.

 

This is a fine, original and complete enlisted man’s busby from an elite Husaren-Regiment dating to Napoleonic War times. $3,995.00

 

 

 

 

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Schirmützen/Mitres/Mützen/Misc.

 

 

33-187 LEATHER HELMET - GERMAN PANZER CREWMAN. This is one of the rarest headdress pieces I have ever owned. In fact, my first response when it was offered to me was "What in the world is this?" Until I started some research, I was not aware that such "Tanker’s" helmets existed. Tanks were an important WW I invention. Great Britain was the leading country in tank development. Their first examples appeared (in small numbers) during March 1916's Battle of the Somme. The first major tank deployment was during the Battle of Cambrai on 7 December 1917. This extensive use of tanks resulted in a major breakthrough, which unfortunately was not exploited. The British produced approximately 1,900 tanks from 1916 through 1918. The French also were involved in tank production, many of which were created by French auto manufacturer Renault. They produced about 4,500 (much smaller) tanks, some of which were used by the US.
On the other hand, the German General Staff did not have much faith in tanks. They were slow to employ them and devoted few resources to tank development. What the Germans did develop was a large and bulky tank known as the A7V. These monsters were so large that they required an eighteen-man crew (including two officers). The A7V boasted a single 5.7CM fortress cannon and six machine guns. It weighed thirty-two tons and was powered by two 100 HP engines. A mere TWENTY A7V’s were built before WW I ended. In addition, the Germans used less than one-hundred Allied tanks they had captured. I specifically am mentioning the number of tanks produced by the British, French, and Germans to emphasize the German tank force’s small numbers, which is the key to our offering’s rarity. 
At first glance, it is slightly similar to the hard-leather crash helmet used by the Imperial German Air Service. The helmet’s top is not as pronounced. In fact, a quick, cursory glance could mistake it for the steel helmet worn by British "Tommies," with the exception of a flat ridge on the edge. The helmet is made of leather. Our example’s condition is excellent. Inside the helmet is a typical leather liner, similar to those seen in pickelhauben, kugelhelme, etc. That is, it consists of a series of leather tongues (ten here) bound together by a string. It boasts a complete chinstrap that allows the helmet to be secured. The helmet’s total weight is 13.6 ounces. I can find no marks or details in the helmet’s interior. This helmet can be seen in the very excellent Die Feldgrau Uniformierung des deutschen Heeres 1914-1918, Volume II, with its description on pages 689-690. A photocopy of the information is included with the helmet. We also will include other information about WW I tanks.
It is a very exciting helmet that would make an important addition to any headdress collection. If you have a special interest in WW I tanks, it could well be your collection’s centerpiece. $5,495.00

PRICE REDUCED TO $4,675.00

 

 

 

 

 

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33-310 INFANTRY OR CAVALRY RESERVE OFFICER’S SCHIRMÜTZE - PRUSSIA. This is either a Prussian infantry or cavalry regiment reserve officer’s schirmütze. It has a dark-blue cover. It features a 1 ½" wide red trim band. A single thin red piping band encircles the top. It displays the officer Reich’s kokarde and the Kingdom of Prussia’s reserve officer kokarde.
The exterior’s overall condition is above-average. A couple of moth nips appear on the blue cover’s top. The wide red trim band shows some soiling, but no real evidence of moth problems. The cap’s interior exhibits a well used brown leather sweatband. Most of the cap’s original silk liner is missing from its interior top (due to age), exposing the wool’s color. Even with this fault, the cap displays well. It is a true value.
$225.00

 

 

 

 

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03-81 GARDE du CORPS JEWELRY BOX. This is a jewelry box in the shape of an officer’s visor cap from the Regiment des Garde du Corps (GdC). [They were the Prussian Army’s leading cavalry regiment. When the Kaiser was out in public, a group of them always accompanied him. One generally saw an NCO in full-parade-gear (including the Hohenzollern Eagle-topped helmet), standing near the Kaiser, brandishing the emperor’s personal standard]. This charming jewelry box is faithful in detail to its larger counterpart. It sports a black visor, the wide, lower red trim band, and the narrow band of red piping encircling its top. The rest of the "cap" is white. The case’s top exhibits some soiling from age (it IS nearly 100-years-old). One kokarde is present. The spot for the second is filled by the button that opens the box.  Inside, the box’s bottom surface appears to be leather. The upper half sports a white silk liner, which has embossed on it in gold, "Zur Erinnerung an den Weltkrieg 1914 Gesetzl. Gesch." The box’s top (the cap’s cover) measures 2 1/2" in diameter. The entire box measures 1" in height. This is a marvelous little item. Only your imagination will limit what you can do with it! $550.00 Price specially reduced to $495.00

 

 

 

 

 

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33-110 NCO'S VISOR CAP - GARDE-KÜRAßIER-REGIMENT - PRUSSIA. This is a wonderful, pre WW I NCO’s visor cap from the Garde-Küraßier-Regiment. The regiment was formed in 1815. It was garrisoned in Berlin. Like all Garde-Regiments, it was attached to the Garde Korps. It is important to know that the Garde-Küraßier-Regiment was among the four most important of the Küraßier-Regiments, along with the Regiment der Garde du Corps, Leib-Küraßier-Regiment Großer Kurfürst (Schlesisches) Nr 1, and Küraßier-Regiment Königin Pommersches) Nr 2 (one of Kronprinz Wilhelm’s principal regiments). The Garde-Küraßier-Regiment was the only other regiment, aside from the Regiment der Garde du Corps, that wore the massive Hohenzollern Eagle on its helmet for parade functions. This very famous regiment was filled with the flower of German nobility, as was its sister regiment, the Regiment der Garde du Corps.
Our cap has a fine, white wool body. It features a single wide blue trim band, measuring 1 ¼" wide. A narrower band of blue piping encircles the top. NCO’s state and Reich’s kokarden are in place. Some widely scattered moth tracking appears on the exterior. Inside the cap is a leather sweatband in good condition. The silk liner sports a very elaborate, raised depiction of the Berlin cap manufacturer. The metal initial "J" is also set into the liner.
This is a very rare visor cap in fine condition. $1,595.00 Price specially reduced to $1,350.00

 

 

 

 

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33-192 NCO FELDGRAU SCHIRMÜTZE - KÜRAßIER-REGIMENT Nr 8 - PRUSSIA. This is a high-quality NCO’s feldgrau schirmütze from Küraßier-Regiment Graf Geßler (Rheinisches) Nr 8. The elite regiment was founded in 1815, and was garrisoned at Deutz. It was assigned to the VIII. ArmeeKorps. The visor cap sports a wide medium-to-light-blue band measuring 1 7/16" in width. It also displays a total of three white piping bands, one each above and below the blue band, and one encircling the cap’s crown. The NCO’s Reich and state’s kokarden are present at the schirmütze's front. Some paint chipping shows on the state kokarde. The cap’s bulk ( specifically, the cover) is feldgrau. Some very light moth tracking appears on the side and at the top, but it is VERY limited. Inside the cap is a complete, well used brown leather sweatband. The liner is made of light-red polished cotton rather than the silk we generally find in officers’ schirmützen. Feldgrau schirmützen are very difficult-to-find, as too often they saw hard use during WW I. This is especially true of Hussar and Küraßier schirmützen. $1,595.00 Price specially reduced to $1,350.00

 

 

 

 

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33-106 NCO'S SCHIRMÜTZE REICH'S KOKARDE. This is a an NCO’s schirmütze kokarde suitable for any state in the Reich. Each visor cap displayed its wearer’s home state kokarde, as well as the national (Reich’s) kokarde. This kokarde has a red, black, and white center, which denotes that it is for any NCO in the German Army. $30.00  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-264 NCO SCHIRMÜTZE’S KOKARDE NEEDING RESTORATION.  If you have a schirmütze that is in need of a kokarde, we have an example that needs restoration. The colors are faded, with some light surface-rust. Once you take care of the surface rust, you can paint the kokarde to be for the Reich or any other state that you wish. $10.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-108 VISOR CAP FOR A GERMAN STUDENT. The life of a student was an important time for a young German.  Many similarities existed between students in England and Germany at the turn of the century. These included belonging to all sorts of clubs,  wearing your school's garb, and that of your club(s). This is a simple green cap. It has a silver bullion trim ring around the cap's top. In the center   is a green, red, and white band.  A bullion leaf is embroidered on top of the cap. The cap has a well used leather sweatband and a silk liner. $125.00 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Royalty Headdress

 

 

20-173 KAISER WILHELM II'S PERSONAL NAVY SEEBATAILLON GENERALFELDMARSCHALL'S TSCHAKO IN FULL PARADE CONFIGURATION - COMPLETE WITH PARADE FEATHERS AND TWO STORAGE BOXES. Today we are offering perhaps the single most important artifact ever in the history of Der Rittmeister Militaria. In our day we have offered many fine articles of headdress, tunics, etc. from Germany’s royals. We even have offered several schirmützen that once belonged to Kaiser Wilhelm II, but never anything quite like this! Today we are pleased and honored to present his Majesty Kaiser Wilhelm II’s original officer’s tschako for the Seebataillon.
As you are well aware, the Seebataillon was attached to the Kaiserliche Marine, much as the U.S. Marine Corps is to the U. S. Navy and the British Royal Marines are to Her Majesty’s Royal Navy. The Seebataillon provided shipboard security for the German Imperial Navy’s larger vessels. They were also charged with providing security at many German embassies and consulates around the world. In China one entire Bataillon (Bataillon Nr 3) was assigned as the embassy’s security force, and as additional military muscle to bolster the area’s other colonial troops. Our premiere offering today is the complete ensemble for the Kaiser’s Seebataillon tschako.
The tschako’s body consists of superb felt for the body portion, and fine leather for its top, as well as the front and rear visors. The Seebataillon's wappen is absolutely magnificent. It features an eagle with outspread wings. In the middle of its chest is a smaller Hohenzollern Eagle. Clasped in the larger eagle’s talons is an anchor base. Over its head sits a Hohenzollern Crown, with a royal stole streaming out from either side. The wappen is exquisitely frosted. All of its fire gilding remains intact. The tschako boasts a glorious pair of chin scales. The final exterior detail is its field badge, handsomely crafted of silver bullion. It sports a red center signifying the Reich. The exterior’s condition is excellent. I believe most would agree with me. It is in mint-minus condition.
The back interior visor is green leather. The sweatband is ultra soft doeskin. It exhibits an extra band of stitching that one only sees on top-of-the-line headdress. (Naturally, one expects this from the Kaiser!) Its liner is made from superior quality silk. It has a much tighter weave than that one normally sees. Again, this was an expensive helmet option, but if you were the Kaiser, expenses be damned! Wilhelm II’s gold Cypher is embossed on the silk liner. The entire interior is in excellent condition, with just a hint of gentle wear. In all likelihood, it was worn very rarely during Wilhelm II’s reign (1888 to 1918).
Some manufacturer’s production markings seem to appear under the liner, as well as the size, "55 1/4." This is around the average hat/helmet size for the period.
Now let us turn to the helmet’s feather bush. The cock feathers are white, red, and black, representing Germany’s national colors. It differs from a Prussian general’s feathers, which are just black and white. This is because the Seebataillon was considered a national force rather than merely a Prussian unit. (The same held true for the Kaiserliche Marine). The very full cock feathers are attached to a special trichter, which slides in behind the field badge. The entire tschako takes on an entirely different look when the parade feathers are attached. Accompanying the parade feathers is an officer’s regular horsehair bush. It is a very full and beautifully-shaped. Should you to want to attach the bush, you will need to dismount the feathers. This is because only one of these very special trichters is included. Personally, I cannot imagine why one would wish to do so. The bush comes with the ensemble, however. It will be yours to do with as you wish when you purchase it. Another part of the ensemble is the tschako’s and parade feathers’ storage boxes. The
tschako’s box measures 9" x 11" x 8." The box front displays a special-added label that reads "SeeBataillon." Immediately above the unit designation appears Wilhelm II’s similarly Hohenzollern-Crowned Cypher. The box is lined in white silk. The tschako rests inside the box, along with the field badge and the extra, horsehair parade bush. Originally, a leather strap secured the top to the box. Only a remnant of the leather strap remains.
The last piece of the presentation is a special, cylindrically-shaped case, which houses the parade feathers when they are not in use. I have seen similar cases in the past, housing generals’ trichters and feathers. Such cases always are far larger and more ornate than boxes holding lower officers’ horsehair trichters. This one has openings on both ends to facilitate removing and replacing the bush. The ends are appropriately marked "Oben (top)" and "Unten (bottom)." The box stands 11 3/4" high. It is 6 3/4" in diameter at the base. Its side displays a similar label to that seen on the tschako’s box, identifying it as Kaiser Wilhelm II’s property.
Again, we are extremely excited to share this with you. One often hears the term "museum piece" or "museum grade." This certainly applies here. Any collector fortunate enough to have this in his collection (as I do now), is the caretaker of a truly historic piece. I know many of you will flinch at its price. It is expensive, of that we have no doubt. In comparison, two or three years ago I was offered one of Wilhelm II’s feldgrau tunics and an army general pickelhaube. The price to me would have been €50,000. At today’s prices that would equal $74,000+! [Please allow sufficient time for the attached photographs to load. I believe you will find the wait well worth it]! $42,495.00

 

 

 

 

 

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20-262 OFFICER'S SCHIRMÜTZE - PRINZ/KRONPRINZ/KAISER WILHELM II. Before we begin the formal description of this wonderful schirmütze, let us confirm to whom we are referring as Prinz/Kronprinz Wilhelm. We mean Germany’s third Kaiser, Wilhelm II (1859-1941), prior to 15 June 1888. Our officer’s visor cap dates from approximately 1880 to 1888. During that period, Wilhelm I was Kaiser, his son Friedrich Wilhelm was Kronprinz, and Friedrich’s son Wilhelm was the Prinz. Wilhelm I died in Berlin on 9 March 1888 and his son became Kaiser Friedrich III. Friedrich III served as Kaiser for only ninety-nine days, during which his son Wilhelm was elevated to Kronprinz. After Friedrich III’s death, Wilhelm II was crowned as Kaiser. Germany had three Kaisers during 1888. [At that point, Germans had no reason to suspect that Wilhelm II would be Germany’s final Kaiser, or that the monarchy would be abolished in 1918 by Wilhelm’s abdication and exile to the Netherlands, where he would remain until his death in 1941].
At first glance, this is a fairly standard, pre 1897 Prussian infantry officer’s schirmütze. It sports Prussia’s single kokarde, and the very short black front visor typical of the period’s caps. The cap’s cover is made of the highest quality dark-blue wool. Its wide red trim band measures 1" in width. An excellent Prussian Officer’s Kokarde is centered on the red trim band. The cap’s top sports a narrow red piping band. The cap’s exterior is in excellent condition, considering its age. Inside the cap is a fine, brown leather sweatband. It is in near-mint condition and has seen little use. (Again this is especially pleasing since we are dealing with one hundred plus year-old leather).
It displays a fine, gold silk liner. In the silk liner’s center is Prinz/Kronprinz Wilhelm’s gold, embossed, crowned cypher. The silk liner exhibits a small tear forward. Up inside the cap’s interior is a small piece of metal, which is the source of the silk’s damage. The metal is a part of the cap’s "folding system," which collapses so it takes less space. It is similar to the system used in top hats. (In Europe, this is referred to as a "Chapeau Claque"). Several years ago I offered a similar cap from Kaiser Wilhelm I.
This is an unusual, early piece of Kaiser Wilhelm II memorabilia. It is in stunning condition and would make a welcome addition to any collection. $6,995.00

 

 

 

 

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Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

 

Saxony

 

 

Artillerie

Husaren

 

 

Ulanen

 

 

33-159 ENLISTED MAN'S TSCHAPKA - ULANEN-REGIMENT - SAXONY. We seldom have the opportunity to offer Ulanen-Regiment tschapkas. Saxon examples tend to be rarer. Saxony fielded only three Ulanen-Regiments, which was a far smaller number than Prussia. Prussia had nineteen of the prewar Ulanen-Regiments (including two formerly Hanoverian regiments), while two hailed from Württemberg and three from Saxony. The three Saxon regiments were Königs. Sächs. 1. Ulanen-Regiment Nr 17 Kaiser Franz Joseph von Österreich. König von Ungaren, Königl. Sächs. 2. Ulanen-Regiment Nr 18, and Königl. Sächs. 3. Ulanen-Regiment Nr 21 Kaiser Wilhelm II, König von Preußen. The tschapka’s wappen reveals that our example was correct for the two earliest Saxon Ulanen-Regiments.
Its leather body is nearly flawless. A great variety of officers’ helmets do not display such a fine leather body. It is simply superb. The wappen features a gold sunburst and a silver Saxon Coat-of-Arms in its center. [For your information, helmets from Königl. Sächs. 3. Ulanen-Regiment Nr 21 Kaiser Wilhelm II, König von Preußen display wappens with the opposite color scheme. The helmets sport a silver sunburst and a gilt coat-of-arms]. The helmet also features gilt-toned chin scales and gilt trim on the rounded front visor. A correct, single, Reich's kokarde appears on the helmet’s right side. The helmet’s mortarboard has the correct, white and green Saxon field badge attached to its top.
No depot markings show inside the helmet, so this was a privately-purchased piece. A full and complete leather liner is present. The liner’s multiple tongues are looped together with a sizing cord that the man could adjust as necessary. Stamped in black under the liner is the number "11981." It makes no sense to me, but might be a museum control number.

 

The helmet has been lovingly cared-for and is in near-mint condition, overall. You will search for a long time to find a tschapka as appealing as this one. $3,795.00

 

 

 

 

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Schirmützen & Mützen

 

 

33-74 INFANTRY OFFICER'S VISOR CAP - SAXONY. This is a well-used, pre WW I, infantry officer’s visor cap from Saxony. It has a black visor. The cap’s main body is dark-blue, with a large, wide, red band measuring 1 ½" around its bottom. A narrow band of red piping surrounds the top. The cap has extensive mothing at the top and sides. Inside, the cap sports a white visor, sweatband, and silk liner that shows extensive wear. I will be honest with you, this is not the quality that we normally bring to you. We have another Saxon infantry officer’s visor cap that is in far finer condition. If you can overlook its faults, however, this cap is a real bargain. $225.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-132 ENLISTED MAN'S TRAIN BATAILLON MÜTZE - SAXONY. Before WW I, the Saxon Army just had two Train-Abteilungen. One was Königl. Sächs. 1. Train Abteilung Nr 12, which was created in 1849. It was garrisoned in Dresden-Bischofswerda, where it was attached to the XII. ArmeeKorps. The second unit was Königl. Sächs. 2. Train-Abteilung Nr 19. This unit was raised in 1899. It was garrisoned in Leipzig, where it was attached to the XIX. ArmeeKorps. Today we are offering an enlisted man’s pre WW I mütze from one of these two Abteilungen. The mütze’s basic body is light-blue. A wide black band, measuring 1 ½" in width, circles its lower section. Two narrow red bands of piping appear above and below the black band. A third red piping band encircles the mütze’s top. The mütze’s front displays the correct state and Reich's kokarden. The Saxon kokarde is green and white. The Reich's kokarde exhibits Germany’s national colors: red, black, and white. The mütze has scattered light moth nips across its top, and on the sides’ blue sections. The mütze's interior is in solid, albeit used, condition. Its leather sweatband is complete, and shows normal wear from perspiration. The liner is complete. It shows some staining from perspiration, and possibly hair oil. The mütze reveals no depot markings. Thus, it is not depot-issued, but privately-purchased. That said, no signs of identification or ownership appear, either. This is a rare mütze. Although it shows signs of aging, it would still make a fine addition to any collection. $450.00

 

 

 

 

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33-260 SAXON OFFICER’S STATE SCHIRMÜTZE KOKARDE. This is an original Saxon kokarde for an officer’s schirmütze. It bears the correct green and white colors for that kingdom. It is mint and unused, with the correct two prongs on its reverse to attach it to a visor cap. It can be very collectible without its correct schirmütze. I have seen entire displays of schirmützen, mützen, and pickelhauben kokarden for the various states. It also could be displayed with other Saxon items, such as shoulder boards. $50.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Waldeck-Pyrmont

 

 

Schirmützen & Mützen

 

 

33-178 PRE 1897 OFFICER SCHIRMÜTZE - INFANTERIE-REGIMENT Nr 83 - BATAILLON Nr III - WALDECK-PYRMONT. The principality of Waldeck-Pyrmont was quite small. It fielded a single Bataillon in Infanterie von Wittich (3. Kurhessisches) Nr 83. Their Bataillon was Nr III, which was garrisoned at Arolsen. (The regiment’s other two Bataillons were housed at Kassel). The regiment was founded in 1813 and attached to the XI. ArmeeKorps. Today we are offering a pre 1897 officer’s schirmütze for this single Bataillon. The cap has a short visor. Its body is dark-blue. It sports a wide red trim band that measures 1" in width. A single narrow red piping band encircles the cap’s top. On the wide band is Waldeck-Pyrmont’s single kokarde. (After 1897, it would display this kokarde AND the Reich's kokarde). The kokarde is gold, red, and black. The cap’s exterior is in fine overall condition, especially when considering that it is more than one-hundred-ten years-old. Inside the cap is a well-used leather sweat band and a very well used silk liner, which shows some shredding. A circular tag appears with the letter and numbers "H 1388," which I presume is a museum control number. This is a very rare schirmütze. $650.00

 

 

 

 

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Württemberg

 

 

Artillerie

 

 

33-291 ONE-YEAR-VOLUNTEER’S LINE-ARTILLERIE-REGIMENT KUGELHELM - WÜRTTEMBERG. This is a Württemberg One-Year-Volunteer’s Line-Artillerie-Regiment  kugelhelm.  Although we have explained the One-Year-Volunteer (OYV) program in the past, now is a good time to review it.  Imperial Germany required two years of compulsory military service from its young men.  After their two years of service, the men were transferred to the reserves where they remained for quite some time.  Under the normal two-year enlistment, the men were provided with all the necessary clothing, headdresses, food, housing, etc., which they drew from the military depot.  They could choose to accept these items, or they could privately purchase any gear that they wished on their own.  The special OYV program generally was used by young, middle-class men whose families did NOT have a longstanding military service tradition. They usually came from money, but (usually) were not members of nobility (we currently are offering a Saxon Graf’s OYV attila).  The OYV enlistees were REQUIRED to buy their clothing and other gear, and had to pay for their own food and housing as well.  In return, the army allowed OYV’s a certain flexibility in their uniforms’ and headdresses’ appearance.  They often purchased their tunics from the same supply stores as did the officers.  Their shoulder straps were identical to regular enlisted men/NCO’s, except for a special rope-like trim of alternating colors that immediately identified them as OYV’s.
The OYV’s pickelhauben and kugelhelme were allowed to be almost the same as an officer’s, with the proviso that one key element was the same as the enlisted men/NCO’s.  The helmet that we are offering today has several elements that belong to an officer rather than an enlisted man/NCO.  The most immediately obvious is its wappen, which is purely that of an officer.  We also can tell its status by the voided (open) crowns and gorgeous frosting (the Württemberg Lion and Stag stand out beautifully).  Its pearl ring (an attachment directly above its base) is another officer’s type of accessory.  Two other features are NOT those of an officer, rendering the helmet correct for an OYV.  The first attribute is its two kokarden. The second is that it sports enlisted men/NCO’s lugs on its base where the kugel is attached, rather than four officers’ stars.
Its officer’s-style interior boasts a high-quality, light-brown sweatband that is in top condition. The silk liner is dark-champagne in color. [I am particularly fond of its smooth appearance,  which is less common than the ribbed variety].  All of its original hardware is in place under that silk liner, along with the all-important ABSENCE of double holes where the wappen is attached. Finally, we see that it is a size “54" helmet.

 

This kugelhelm is in splendid condition.  It is scarcer than an officer’s kugelhelm, because fewer OYV’s than officers were present in any regiment.$3,495.00

 

 

 

 

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Schirmützen & Mützen

 

 

33-254 INFANTRY/CAVALRY REGIMENT NCO'S FELDGRAU SCHIRMÜTZE - WÜRTTEMBERG. Finding a feldgrau schirmütze is always a happy occasion for us. To find one from a state other than Prussia is a REAL treat. Today we are pleased to offer you an NCO’s schirmütze from a Württemberg infantry or cavalry regiment. The cap’s material is a fine wool. Its wide red trim band measures 1 ½" in width. A narrow red piping band encircles the cap’s top. The state and Reich NCO’s kokarden appear in the cap’s center, with the Württemberg kokarde on the wide red band. A few moth nips show at the cap’s top. They are especially visible on portions of the narrow red trim band.
The cap has seen some use in the field, but is in surprisingly good condition, particularly for an NCO’s cap. The interior reveals a sweatband with average wear. The silk liner is also present and in very good condition, overall. We can see where the silk liner touched the top of the man’s head, which marked it with some hair oil. $550.00

 

 

 

 

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Misc.

 

 

33-281 WÜRTTEMBERG NCO'S STATE SCHIRMÜTZE KOKARDE. This is an original Württemberg kokarde for an NCO'S schirmütze. It bears the correct red and black colors for that kingdom. It is mint and unused, with the correct two prongs on its reverse to attach it to a visor cap. It even comes attached to the original card with which it was sold. It can be very collectible without its correct schirmütze. I have seen entire displays of schirmützen, mützen, and pickelhauben kokarden for the various states. It also could be displayed with other Württemberg items, such as shoulder boards. $50.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-136 NCO'S (RESERVE) VISOR CAP KOKARDEN - WÜRTTEMBERG. This is a fine pair of Reserve NCO’s kokarden from a Württemberg Regiment. The Reich's kokarde has a reserve cross in its center. The Württemberg kokarde is black and orange. All of the prongs are in place. I have these attached to a piece of cardboard to keep them safe. The less the prongs are opened and closed, the better. This way, they are fine for collecting for their own sake, or for inclusion on a visor cap. $75.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tschapka/Tschako/Kugelhelm Canvas Covers, Etc.

 

 

33-193 FOUL WEATHER CANVAS COVER FOR UMPIRE'S TSCHAKO - FIELD MANEUVERS. The Imperial German Period produced a wide variety of headdresses, including pickelhauben, kugelhelme, tschapkas, busbies, and tschakos. Because of the number of regiments, pickelhauben and kugelhelme were the most common. Busbies, tschapkas, and tschakos appeared in far fewer numbers. Canvas foul weather covers were produced for all the varieties. They protected the leather, felt, and even metal exteriors from rain, mud, etc. Today we are offering a foul weather canvas cover suitable for a tschako. It is made of feldgrau canvas. Circling the cover is a red band measuring 2 ½" in width. On the red band’s front the letters "V. A. M." are stenciled. (They were what one might call "traffic troops" or perhaps a variation of the U.S. Army’s MP’s). The cover is in very fine condition. It has clips in the front and back that secure it to the tschako’s front and back visors. One other detail is a slit on the cover’s top in the front. It allowed the field badge (feldzeichen) to be inserted, so people could determine the wearer’s home state. $795.00

 

 

 

 

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33-246 KUGELHELM FOUL WEATHER CANVAS COVER. This canvas foul-weather kugelhelm cover is in very fine condition. Canvas covers were produced for every type of German headdress from pickelhauben to kugelhelme, tschapkas to tschakos, to busbies and beyond. The covers’ purpose was twofold. Before WW I began, they were produced to protect leather and felt helmets from inclement weather. Once the war began, their purpose extended to prevent the bright prewar brass wappens from reflecting light, and thereby creating excellent snipers’ targets. As the war progressed (and before stahlhelme replaced them), the reflective wappens were painted a subdued gray to reduce their glinting.  This cover is in top condition, and makes a lovely kugelhelm accessory. $350.00dbNov16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-78 CANVAS PROTECTIVE COVER - KUGELHELM. This is a superior-quality, beautifully-conditioned, canvas protective kugelhelm cover (Artillerie-Regiment). The canvas covers were used before the war to protect the helmets from bad weather when they were exposed in the field. During WW I they served the same purpose. They also prevented the sun from glinting off brass wappens and fittings to expose their wearers to the enemy’s unwanted attention. [We all know a leather pickelhaube was no protection against a sniper’s gunfire ]! Shortly after the war began, troops in the field also started using a "subdued" (painted gray) wappen. The canvas covers continued in use until the M-16 stahlhelme were introduced. As this was for a kugelhelm rather than a pickelhaube, a shorter extension was used at the top and an area of a greater diameter was provided. The example is in very fine condition. $350.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33-295 COTTON FOUL WEATHER KUGELHELM COVER.  This is a canvas cover that was used on a kugelhelm when worn in the field.  Before WW I, they were used in the field to protect the helmet’s leather body and metal hardware during rain and other foul weather. With the war began, in addition to protecting the helmet’s body the cover offered some camouflage and protection for the soldier.  The pre war brass wappens had made excellent targets for enemy snipers.  With the M-1915 helmets, the wappens became subdued and often covered with gray paint, which eliminated the shiny surface.  The troops in the field continued to use these covers on their helmets, however, until the M-1916 stahlhelme replaced the pre war headgear. 
The cover is made of natural cotton. It has an extra large sack to accommodate the kugel (ball) that was mounted atop the helmet rather than a spike. Inside the cover we see printed on three lines:

 

 

"R.D.
ULM
56"

"56" refers to the helmet size the cover could accommodate. Overall, it is in very fine condition, with the exception of fading due to age. It is an excellent accessory for  your kugelhelm. $350.00

 

 

 

 

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33-62 DELUXE OFFICER'S STORAGE CASE FOR PICKELHAUBE AND VISOR CAP. In Germany, I came across a wonderful storage case for an officer's  pickelhaube and  visor cap. It was totally different  than any I had ever seen. While basically shaped like a pickelhaube storage case, it is not as pointed at the top. This allows for the storage of BOTH headdress pieces. While I routinely see storage cases for either pickelhauben or visor caps, this is a nifty combination of both into one. It reduced the number of cases required when the officer was traveling. It would make a great addition to any headdress collection. Some of the securing straps on the case's exterior are missing, but the case itself is in excellent condition. $650.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stahlhelme Parts

 

 

33-249 M-1916/M-1917/M-1918 STAHLHELME CHINSTRAPS. Today, we are offering a pair of original chinstraps for the M-1916, M-1917, or M-1918 stahlhelme. These chinstraps are substantially different from the leather chinstraps that were used on pickelhauben or kugelhelme. They are leather with steel fittings. We applied a leather conditioner on them upon their receipt and would suggest that you do the same, periodically. Lack of moisture is death to leather products. We periodically condition ALL leather items in our possession. The chinstraps are available for $195.00 each, or $350.00 the pair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zeppelin

 

 

Schirmützen & Mützen

 

 

 

 

Non Imperial German Visor Caps

 

 

39-45 ARMY GENERAL'S VISOR CAP - USSR. This is a Soviet-era Army General’s visor cap. One thing I always found intriguing about high-ranking Russian officers was their visor caps’ sheer size. Their diameters at the top were particularly large. This cap sports a wide, black-velvet trim band that measures 1 3/4" wide. Above that are two thin red bands of piping. The rest of the cap top’s basic color is a light-blue. In the black trim band’s center (where one would see kokarden on a German visor cap) is a background of gold oak leaves. Within the oak leaves’ center is an oval-shaped cockade surmounted by a red enamel star sporting the Soviet Union’s hammer and sickle. Below the oak leaf device is a pair of gilt-toned ropes connected to small, gilt-toned buttons. Within the buttons’ center is another star displaying the hammer and sickle. Inside the cap is a blue leather sweatband. The blue silk liner covering the cap’s interior displays a diamond-shaped leather patch that indicates the cap is a size "57." It is also features the name of a military effects store located in Moscow. This cap is in mint condition, and dates from 1960 to 1985. $150.00

 

 

 

 

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39-46 NAVY ADMIRAL'S VISOR CAP - USSR. This is a Soviet-era Navy Admiral’s visor cap. One thing I always found intriguing about high-ranking Russian officers was their visor caps’ sheer size. Their diameters at the top were particularly large. This cap sports a wide, black-velvet trim band that measures 1" wide. Above that are two thin white bands of piping. The rest of the cap top’s basic color is black. In the black trim band’s center (where one would see kokarden on a German visor cap) is a background of gold oak leaves. Within the oak leaves’ center is a fouled anchor. Directly above the anchor is a red enamel star sporting the Soviet Union’s hammer and sickle. Below the oak leaf device is a chin strap that is connected to small, gilt-toned buttons. Within the buttons’ center is another fouled anchor.  Inside the cap is a brown leather sweatband. A black silk liner covers the cap’s interior. This cap is in mint condition, and dates from 1960 to 1985. $150.00

 

 

 

 

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