Here is a fantastic find out of Santa Cruz, CA picked up by a local self described surfer named Keith Craig who found it at a local outdoor flea market a few week-ends ago. Apparently the original owner was actually wearing it on his head and walking around the flea market looking for someone to approach him to buy it when Keith snatched it up from him probably for only around $100 or so. The flea market patron told Keith that his son had actually used the helmet recently while performing in a high-school play. Imagine that - a high-school prop that was actually the real deal!!! Such are the stories of fresh helmets coming out of the woodwork here in North America that most of my European buyers can only dream about where the swastika is banned and so in most cases has been physically scratched off the helmet in subsequent post war years. Europeans just can't believe how many authentic German helmets made it over here and still remain unmolested after all this time.
This is a great example of a mid war M40 single decal Heer and the staple of any serious German helmet collection. The inside liner is near mint and the outside paint is 99% or better. The EF shell maker (Emaillierwerke A.G. in the German city of Fulda) typically used Huber Jordan Heer decals at the factory and on rare occasion ET decals so this one is your textbook factory applied example of a Huber Jordan eagle. The chinstrap buckle end is 100% original to the helmet and never removed however the long end side was broken into several parts when I received it and so I professionally aged a long end reproduction strap and added it to complete the piece. The original broken long end sections will be included with this purchase. The rear lot number is 10288 suggesting a production year of 1941 according to Brian Ice's lot data book.
I love near mint SD Heer helmets and have found that most of the nicest ones are in the smaller sizes such as this one. My theory is that smaller sized soldiers were most likely late war teenage recruits who saw little action before being quickly picked up by advancing Allied forces. Another one of my less than convincing theories are that administrative pencil pushers are most likely to be small and weak than front line soldiers much like that little weasel of a man Joseph Goebbels who preferring fighting the war from behind a desk. It is rare that you see mint examples in a size 68 but almost common to see them in a pinhead size 60. Who knows these are just my own personal theories.
ET: (or ckl) Eisenhüttenwerke in the German city of Thale
EF: (or FS) Emaillierwerke A.G. in the German city of Fulda
NS: Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke in the Germany city of Schwerte
SE: (or hkp) Sächsische Emaillier in the German city of Lauter near the Czech border
Q: Quist factory in the Germany city of Esslingen