Here is a beautiful example of a late war everyday man's fighting helmet with a crudely painted camo pattern similar to a zeltbahn with lots of interlocking polygons.
This helmet is a desirable M40 Q66 and will fit most men's heads of today making it and popular size among collectors. The rear marked lot number T4340 places the factory production date to the middle of 1944 when they stopped adding decals. The inside paint is 100% original and the liner system is late war pigskin in a nice smooth bowl shape which has never been removed from the shell and is marked "58" on one of the tongues. At some point before the Allied invasion of Europe the original German soldier would have covered over the slate gray outside textured paint with this crude zeltbahn like camo scheme. There are clear views of the original factory paint on the front brim and near the edges where the soldier fortunately missed while painting. Also one can make out traces of white paint here and there suggesting it was painted in a chalky white wash paint which was removed to re-expose the camo paint.
The outside camo paint looks very fresh upon first glance but once you have this in hand you can make out lots of old random wear spots and abrasions i.e. natural wear especially near the edges. Plus the helmet has a nice crude pattern to the paint and in the correct WW2 colors muted available at the time. In good conscience I am not 100% certain of this camo pattern as it could have been painted post war in the 1940's or 50's as a souvenir piece for sale to locally stationed G.I.'s. So bottom line is that I'm quite certain that the outside camo paint was added a very very long time ago based on the natural wear I see and touch with my own hands however which exact decade this was done I cannot exactly say.
The low asking price is based on the fact that the exact timing of the outside paint job remains a little bit mysterious. Please check out the outdoor photos especially of the top of the dome to make your own judgment.
Please call, text or email me if interested.
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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