The Quist Big Foot decal is a stunning 99.9% in tact and quite possibly one of the nicest M40 Quist SD helmet in the world today!!! The helmet was made by the Quist factory in Esslinger, Germany and is a large size 66 with a rear lot number of 4808 placing the year of production to 1940. So not only is this a desirable size large but it is also an earlier Quist lot number making the overall mint condition of the helmet all the more rare as earlier made helmets tend to be worse off that later war models. The liner is reinforced aluminum and dated 1940 along with the original chinstrap dated that same year and marked "G. Schiele Loburg 1940" with a slate gray painted buckle in nearly pristine condition. Based on past experience I would estimate that about 1/4 of all 1940 dated liner bands are re-inforced aluminum with square or rounded bales and about 3/4 are zinc outer bands with rounded chinstrap bales which makes sense given that 1940 is a transitional year for both helmet shells and their adjoining liners.
The decal is simply stunning in every regard with only two tiny pigeon pecks and an inside liner that has a nice buttery smooth finish to it and marked 58 on one of the tongues. In some of the photos it almost appears as though the top right corner of the decal is missing or faded gray however please look at the last two photos in hand as well as the close up shot to see that this is just because of sunlight reflection from the upper right of the display causing this optical effect. The last two photos show the helmet in hand as the decal truly is - fully in tact and in remarkable condition.
My overall impression is that the German solider wearing this spent most of his time far away from the front lines most likely at some type of desk or administrative position wearing his helmet only for ceremonial inspections or for the odd bombing raid which is why it shows some light sweat stains on the inside but almost no impact or abrasion marks on the outside and a chinstrap that is in equally in near mint condition. I often dream about going back in time and the fun I would have in picking through a captured helmet pile in 1945 but this one is even better as you would actually have to go back to 1940 and hunt down some type of lame duck pencil pushing German solider to get one as nice as this one is. But then you would have to be some type of helmet collecting ghost able to float over the heads of hundreds of German soldiers checking out each decal closely and then somehow snatching it off of one of their heads and making your way back to North America. Then you would have to spin the clock 70 years ahead to get back to your own time position to be able to place this on your shelf. Yes, a lot of supernatural events would have to take place to get one as nice as this one 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