This rather interesting find came out of the estate sale of a collector not a vet but a collector. I'm not certain of the age of the gentleman but it seems that he was collecting WW2 militaria since the 1970's and 80's from what I could gather from the auction house.
As every helmet tells a story I'll do my best to try and figure out what's going on here based on my hands on inspection. The helmet is stamped NS64 with rear lot number of E119 making this a 1937 factory production year. The outer liner band is aluminum square chinstrap bales and non-reinforced which is what would expect to see from liner systems from 1936 and 1937. The "56" ink stamping is near the rear of the leather and not on one of the fingers however in these early pre-war days this was not standardized as of yet and so variations are to be expected. The 3 split pins are brass and rear wings only bent over once and so I believe the liner has never been removed from the shell. Also the inside paint is well worn but smooth with no signs of any brush strokes.
The outside paint is a dark sage green and is overtop the original smooth pea green factory paint and you can quite easily see faint brush stroke lines throughout with the soldier/painter being careful to neatly paint around both Heer decals. The national shield decal appears original and randomly aged protected from the original lacquer finish however the Heer appears to be overtop it's original decal and so must have been given a fresh decal either during the war or possibly even post war. The Heer decal is your textbook C.A. Pocher used by the NS factory before and during the war and has a nice metallic honey beige luster to it. I can definitely make out a small over lap between the old and more recent eagle decal and since original decals were easy enough to find back in the 1970's it may very well have been applied by the collector himself but difficult to ever be 100% certain.
So all in all this helmet is not exactly an untouched factory NS M35 DD but one that has been repainted in sage green and has had it's C.A. Pocher eagle updated. It still looks great on a shelf and I feel is fairly priced for what it is.
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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