Here's another beauty of a find right out of Dortmund, Germany recently discovered using some in situ collector friendships I've made over the years to source out otherwise socially taboo helmets right in the heart of the Vaderland (Fatherland). It also doesn't hurt that my brother lives in Charlottenburg, Berlin and is addicted to outdoor flea markets which dot the city occasionally finding me gold among the trash.
In the past 5 years I've had 3 Droopbills which means I've had a very lucky past 5 years as these things are as rare as hen's teeth and most of the ones that still exist have been turned into dark blue Luftschultz/Air Raid helmets or painted over in feld grau near the end of the war. This one is great because it retains it's original satin black paint and hand painted decals which have not been de-nazified over the years.
Droopbill helmets are unique among German helmets because they were issued sometime in 1931/32 for a very limited amount of time when the newly formed SS had major supply issues and couldn't find enough transitional Weimar or WW1 left over helmets to furnish their budding units as these were being scooped up by the Wehrmacht. At this time some private company whose name I do not know was given a private contract to exclusively supply the SS with their helmets. This company was in such a rush that they didn't have time to copyright their design and so stamped inside the metal the abbreviation "DRP. Ang" which I believe means Deutsch Reich Patent Anglemeldt - German Patent Pending. It is the only German helmet to have this stamping and features a slopping front elongated bill and no lug nuts like on the M16/17. These were only issued to SS which is why there is no photographic evidence of other services e.g. polizei, fire service using these helmets. In the beginning the metallic SS decal and tomato red part shields were not yet available or designed and so oftentimes the wearer would add his own decals via hand painted instead of just leaving it in plain satin black. Some of these helmets were repainted smooth pea green and given two SS decals, while others were left black throughout the war, or repainted black and fresh new decals added. The swastika is the mobile spinning version one would expect to see early on and the SS runes are a bit rakish which is also a common design based on photographic evidence taken at the time. As with any SS helmet, uniform or dagger you will always have believers and doubters especially when the decals are hand painted however based on the toning and micro aging I can see to the off white paint I believe this helmet to be entirely legit.
The complete liner and chinstrap are still present and the liner is actually named and given an SS regimental number which is deserving of further research.
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GERMAN HELMET FACTORY PRODUCTION CODES
(Every original German helmet produced from 1935 to 45 had two factory stampings punched into the side and rear or both in the rear. The alpha numeric number refers to the factory location and the inside metric circumference in centimeters. The rear lot number refers to the production run and was used as a quality control measure. The font styles used at each factory were slightly different but highly consistent throughout the war and so fakes or reproductions will either not have these numbers at all or they will use the wrong font style or letter spacing and so are easily identified as post war made.)
(FS or EF)-Emaillierwerke AG, Fulda, Germany
(ET or ckl)-Eisenhuttenwerke, Thale, Germany
(Q)-Quist, Esslingen, Germany
(NS)-Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke, Schwerte, Germany
(SE or hkp)-Sachsische Emaillier u. Stanzwerke, Lauter, Germany