PICKELHAUBE – BRAUNSCHWEIG – RESERVE OFFICER – INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 92
One of the most popular pickelhauben is for the Duchy of Braunschweig’s Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92. This popularity stems from their use of massive Totenköpfe (Death’s Heads) that appear superimposed over their Prussian-style wappens. [PLEASE NOTE: the Totenkopf appeared on only four regiments’ headdresses. These were the 92’s sister unit, Husaren-Regiment Nr 17 (also from Braunschweig), along with the Kingdom of Prussia’s Husaren-Regiments Nr 1 and Nr 2]. This Totenkopf had NOT always appeared on all Braunschweig pickelhauben. Up until 1912, one of the regiment’s Bataillone (Nr III) had employed a beautiful, enameled wappen that featured the profile of Braunschweig’s iconic horse, while Bataillone Nr II and Nr III displayed the Totenkopf. After 1912 all Braunschweig Bataillone converted to the Totenkopf. [Many of these earlier helmets converted their “horse” wappens into Totenköpfe, which is why so few “horse” wappens still exist. That said, we have a simply gorgeous 92nd Infanterie-Regiment “horse” wappen on offer elsewhere].
This particular helmet dates back prior to 1897. Its exterior surface is very clean and supple. The few scuff marks present are quite modest. As the helmet is a MINIMUM of one-hundred-twenty-years-old, its leather exterior is simply gorgeous. The bulk of its furniture is brass, including its wappen, chin scales, front and rear trim, base, officers’ stars, and spike. [The spike is especially tall, which leads me to believe its owner was quite well-off]. The only NON brass item is the silver Totenkopf that bedecks the brass wappen. It features black velvet behind its eye sockets, which lends it a sinister appearance. A light, gold-toned, Reserve Officer’s Cross sits below the jaw. As this spiked helmet is for a Reserve Officer, its wappen lacks the legend “Für Fürst und Vaterland” that would be present for regular Army Officers. The Reserve Officer’s Cross is one of the finest I have ever seen (as is correct, the “Für Fürst und Vaterland” legend appears here). The exterior’s final details are the State’s and Reich’s Kokarden (I find the Braunschweig kokarde’s combination of blue and gold particularly pleasing).
The interior features a leather liner with the squared-off petals that were worn by officers until the late 1890’s (when silk became the fabric of choice for officers’ helmets). I date the helmet to the 1893-1897 period. The interior’s hardware reveals NO double holes. The hardware is all original, with the exception of one mismatched washer.
While I have offered several officers’ helmets over the years, this is only the second that I actually have owned. The other was for a Hauptmann attached to Berlin’s War Ministry, who happened to be the brother of IR 92’s WW I regimental commander. In retrospect, I realize the helmets were VERY similar, except for their liners. This helmet is a good ten-to-twelve-years older than the first, but its condition is more than its equal. Other pluses include this helmet’s Reserve Officer’s Cross, and a spike that is a bit taller than the other. In the final analysis, this helmet is in better condition.
We are quite excited to offer you this helmet.