PRUSSIA – KUGELHELM – GENERAL OFFICER’S.
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 “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 schirmmütze]. 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]!
At Der Rittmeister Militaria, we strive to bring you the best in the various helmets and headdresses that we offer, whether they are pickelhauben, or the Artillerie Regiments’ kugelhelme, specialized helmets that sported round metal balls instead of metal spikes. As with pickelhauben, while ORIGINALITY and AUTHENTICITY are of prime importance, please do not forget Der Rittmeister’s commitment to CONDITION and QUALITY. In this regard, we take special pride in offering you kugelhelme whose condition is at least well-above-average, if not excellent. I examine hundreds of kugelhelme to find the very few that fulfill all four criteria mentioned above. Upon receiving their new treasure, collectors who have purchased one of our kugelhelme often exclaim that their helmet looks even better than the photos we had displayed on our website. [We do use a high quality digital camera to photograph our items and upgrade cameras every two years, but enough with the Der Rittmeister Militaria commercial]! Just remember, dear friends, Der Rittmeister’s Four Critical Criteria for collecting kugelhelme: ORIGINALITY, AUTHENTICITY, CONDITION, and QUALITY.
The kugelhelm was first introduced by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1843, following the introduction of the pickelhaube. [Both were designed by Prussia’s König Frederick William IV, who might have copied similar helmets adopted by Russia’s military during the same time period. It is not clear whether this was a case of imitation, parallel invention, or if both were based on Napoleonic cuirassiers’ helmets]. The kugelhelm’s use spread state-by-state and Kingdom-by-Kingdom after that date. The final Kingdom to implement the kugelhelm was Bavaria in 1913. [As usual, the Bavarians always seemed to go their own way]!
We also remind all kugelhelme enthusiasts about our good friend Jim Turinetti’s excellent reference books on headdresses (click here to see DRM’s Imperial German Headdress Page Nr 3), available as spiral bound paperbacks or on CD. You cannot go wrong with them. I can safely state that Jim is the USA’s foremost authority on pickelhauben and other forms of Imperial German Headdress. Please support him. Dollar for dollar, these books are the best on the market, and reward you with an immeasurable return in value! [Remember, Jim receives any and ALL the profits from his works, Der Rittmeister Militaria just promotes them to help educate the collecting community].