This particular helmet was never been at a military show or posted online as it came directly from the daughter of a an old time advanced collector from southern California who I am told had been collecting since the 1950's when apparently the going rate for an original German helmet was still in the $5 range. I bought 9 helmets from his estate and 5/9 were 100% real but 2/9 were backyard amateur fakes with this one oddball remaining. The helmet is an M40 ET64 with rear lot number of 5022 placing it's production around the summer of 1941 according to Brian Ice's lot data book. The inside paint is a blue slate gray color and appears to have been crudely painted on by way of brush perhaps indicating a number of possibilities such as being either a seaside coastal artillery unit or perhaps a Luftwaffe flak battery stationed near or at the Atlantic Wall. One can make out the shadow outline of a Luftwaffe eagle peaking out beneath the overpaint.
My general impression of the outside paint job on this helmet is that it is most likely post war applied but somehow has been masterfully aged over time perhaps even worn as a movie prop or by a historical reenactor. The 3 color camo paint pattern appears to be both hand brush applied in certain areas and pneumatic spray gunned on in other areas causing some vertical drip lines. The colors are a faded reddish brown, off white and a very retro looking seafoam green. A very nice undulating geometric pattern indicative of concrete bunkers against the backdrop of a raging North Atlantic sea perhaps. Areas of exposed blue paint remain on the outside shell especially on the top dome which accurately match the inside paint around the inside rim. All 3 split pins and their accompanying rear winged prongs have all only ever been bent over once with no indication that this original liner was ever removed or replaced. Fortunately the German soldier's original name is actually still engraved into the paint itself and also written in pencil "G. Langwald".
The inside liner is somewhat darkened and a tad salty but not missing any of it's fingers. The deep leather color was no doubt made from wearer's perspiration from daily usage as opposed to any post war chemical treatment. The original liner drawstring is still fully in tact and what appears to be it's original chinstrap. The chinstrap is shortened and basically a crudely installed remnant of what might have once existed there refashioned by way of old wire loops and field quality repairs and so one cannot be certain if this is period installed or not.
Overall a great collector's piece and if helmets could talk this certainly would have an interesting story to tell.
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HELMETS OF WAR INC.
PO Box 555
Champlain, NY 12919-0555
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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