G003883 M16 CAMOUFLAGE HELMET (With Mail Home Label). (Stahlhelm M16)

BACKGROUND: The first "modern" steel helmets were introduced by the French army in early 1915 and were shortly followed by the British army later that year. With plans on the drawing board, experimental helmets in the field, ("Gaede" helmet), and some captured French and British helmets the German army began tests for their own steel helmet at the Kummersdorf Proving Grounds in November, and in the field in December 1915. An acceptable pattern was developed and approved and production began at Eisen-und Hüttenwerke, AG Thale/Harz, in the spring of 1916. These first modern M16 helmets evolved into the M18 helmets by the end of WWI. The M16 and M18 helmets remained in usage through-out the Weimar Reichswehr era and on into the early years of the Third Reich until the development of the smaller, lighter M35 style helmet in June 1935. Of Note: In July 1918 Chief of the General Staff of the Field Army, Erich Ludendorff issued a directive which clearly laid out the camouflage colors and pattern that was to be applied to all helmets in the field. The directive also included the amounts of paint that 1,000 helmets would require as five kilograms, (11Lbs), each of, green, ochre yellow and rust brown, and two kilograms, (4.4 Lbs), of black paint.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The stamped, sheet steel construction, helmet retains a good portion of its hand painted camouflage. The camouflage paint is in shades of dark green and red in a random patch pattern with the colors being separated by black stripes. The helmet has both the dome headed chinstrap retaining rivets, both of the extended ventilation side lugs and all three of the flat headed liner retaining rivets. The interior of the helmet has a pre-May 1917 pattern, three pad leather liner with leather retaining band intact. All three leather pads are complete and still have their original horse hair stuffing. Liner show use and it does have a few tears and cracks to the leather. The interior crown has a stamped serial/lot # "1037" number. Shell is marked "NJ 62" for Vereinigte Deutsche Nickelwerke, Schwerte i/Westf. – N.J. Original "Mail Home" label to the top of the helmet. Nice!!

GRADE ****                             PRICE $1,750.00

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