Here is a beautiful representation of a typical M17 Austrian helmet repurposed and re-issued by the Waffen-SS for combat service. The shell is 100% original but has been repainted both inside and out and a pair of post war aged SS decals applied on each side. The inside leather is 100% original to the helmet and a leftover from WW1 white leather meaning chromium tanned and not vegetable tanned like the earlier brown liners. All 3 split pins are also original and matching. The original WW1 chinstrap is in great condition and is the transitional variety with the carbide hook and buckle system later replaced in the mid 1930's. There were no factory stampings with Austrian WW1 helmets but they did have heat roll numbers on the inside dome and this one is clearly marked B12 just like the vitamin. Two of the original three horse hair stuffed pillows still present underneath the liner tongues.
The SS decal has a low level metallic luster to it and is a perfect copy of a C.A. Pocher design. The red party shield is exclusively an Austrian design which I make in house and has only been seen on a dozen or so original SS DD helmets. I have included some textbook photos showing an original example and how close my restoration is to it. Not a bad deal at $550 as the parts alone pretty much add up to at least that.
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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