A fresh find out of North Carolina this helmet has never been in a collection and is fresh out of the woodwork. Speaking of woodwork yes this is in fact a rare wood chip camo helmet with a wonderfully thick textured finish with exposed flecks of wood visible to the naked eye. What I believe happened in this case is the soldier used an axe or large saw tooth saw blade to cut down a small tree for firewood etc. He then picked up the larger bits of saw dust and or wood chips laying around the base of the fallen tree and then put those pieces off to the side. He then took what in this case was a dark pea green smooth finish double decal Heer Q66 helmet and with a paint brush first covered over everything in a wet coating of enamel feld grau paint. While the helmet was still wet with it's first coating of paint he threw the wood chips against the wet paint then waited a bit for the wood to embed itself into the drying thick paint. Then he painted it all over again with a second coating of the same feld grau paint to seal in the wood chips which explains why so many of the wood debris is actually covered over with paint. Has a very neat look when held in hand almost like alligator skin.
This helmet started out it's like as a Quist factory issued double decal Heer and was given an pre-war non-reinforced aluminum square bale liner system. Based on the rear lot numbers and the fact that I can hold the helmet upside in natural sunlight to make out the year of the liner band we can date the year of production to 1937. The original chinstrap is also still in place which is always nice as it completes the piece. The darkened appearance of both the liner and chinstrap would suggest that both were given a layer of mink oil at one point in their life in an attempt to preserve both for future prosperity which in fact has succeeded otherwise both may have long since rotted out and fallen to pieces by now. One interesting feature if the paint doesn't wow you enough is the fact that the original soldier's name "Ober. Gefreiter Pianka" is neatly painted on the inside making it possible to one day identify him and his surviving family.
$1850 SOLD - Tom