Talk about a near mint beauty this particular late war example really does have it all. The outside feld grau textured factory paint is almost 100% and show mostly likely a very limited amount of actual field use. This is a CKL/ET64 M42 helmet with rear lot number 5168 with places the year of production to the middle of 1944. According to Brian Ice's lot data book the color is actually considered to be a slate gray as opposed to a dark green-gray. Late in the war we see a lot of helmet manufacturer's moving away from dark gray-green to slate gray for whatever reason. The inside liner is in great condition and made of soft sheepskin leather stamped "57" with it's original drawstring still in tact. All three split pins have been checked over and are completely un-messed with so we know that this liner has never been removed from it's original shell. On the leather and on the metal at the back skirt the original German soldaten fountain penned his name in these two places on the inside "Edex". Lastly, one of the most remarkable features of this particular helmet is that fact that the original chinstrap remains securely fastened to the chinstrap bales and is full length - never shortened. A maker's mark and production year is neatly stamped at the end on the reverse side of the strap but a bit too faint to be clearly read by this middle aged man's eyes at least.
This is the real McCoy here completely untouched and all original making it a specimen I would consider to be in "investor grade" condition.
(If you keep track of European sales of German helmets you will see a notable uptick in prices over the past few years for no decal late war helmets as they are freely traded in Germany, Austria, Belgium etc. These countries have strict laws against swastikas and so prefer buying late war no decal examples exactly like this example.)
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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