Here is a helmet fresh out of an old time collection in southern California.
A great place to find helmets as the dry heat tends to inhibit the rust process and maintain original factory paint the best. Here is a wonderful example of a pre-war 1938 example just before the invasion of Poland and during the German expansion into the Sudetenland. The outside and inside paint are your smooth dark apple green color which in the case of the ET factory is actually the third darkest with EF and Q both having the deepest green.
The SS decal itself is a remarkable 90% still fully in tact and is a textbook C.A. Pocher version often seen on ET factory produced helmets before the ET SS decal was widely available.
As per 1940 Wehrmacht High Command directives, the bright red party shield was neatly removed most likely by the SS soldier himself. Red helmet shields or tri-color national shields proved themselves to be rather a visual hazard in the field as seen during the invasion of Poland. If the party shield were still affixed this would be a holy grail helmet and would be priced in the $18,000 range.
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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