This is your ubiquitous example of a mid-war single decal everyman's fighting SS helmet and in rock solid condition. The lot number DN223 is well known and published in Brian Ice's lot data book all of which appear to be in error by a faint mis-stamped D in front of the N223. On this example the D can still be seen although faint while on other examples the D is basically just not there. All helmets of this lot number appear to have been re-issued in this dark slate gray textured paint on the outside but smooth on the inside. My belief is that this was done a a field depot where a number of rough and battle worn SS helmets were sent to be refurbished. The refurbishment included a layer of fresh paint both inside and out and then once the paint was dry a new C.A Pocher SS decal was applied to the right hand side on each one of them. You can still see brush strokes on the front of the inside liner rim indicating that during the refurbishment that the liners were left in situ and otherwise un-messed with. It should be noted that Wehrmacht Command stipulated that it was verboten/forbidden for any individual soldier to remove his liner which would render the helmet useless. Factories on the other hand were allowed to replace and remove liner systems making me believe that all M40 Quist DN223 helmets were done at the level of an impromptu field depot.
The outside paint is heavily textured and the liner is made of pigskin with fragments of the original chinstrap still remaining behind. The C.A. Pocher SS decal is fully stable but at some point in it's history some of it has flaked away or perhaps physically struck by a hard object. The decal is not your factory Quist version but rather the more widely available C.A. Pocher which was often used on refurbs and is 100% authentic and original to the helmet. If you look closely at the decal photos you can make out the distinct paint lines around it showing where the original Quist SS factory decal was located and subsequently painted over during the refurbishment. I have also had this helmet in the hands of a published author on SS helmets and he will validate that this helmet is 100% legit. I have included some recently taken photos using a USB microscope of the decal under 50x magnification so you can see the metallic marbling effect that only an original SS helmet would possess.
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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