The Pickelhaube is a type of helmet that was used by German military forces, particularly the Prussian army, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here are some key details about the Pickelhaube:
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1. Design: The Pickelhaube is characterized by its distinctive shape, which includes a high, pointed spike or “pickel” on top. The helmet typically has a rounded or slightly squared crown and a visor at the front. The design varied slightly depending on the specific branch of the military, such as infantry, cavalry, or artillery.
2. Materials: Early versions of the Pickelhaube were made of leather, which was hardened and polished to give it a shiny appearance. Later versions, particularly those used during World War I, were made of metal, such as brass or steel.
3. Ornamentation: The Pickelhaube often featured ornamental elements, such as brass or silver fittings, chin scales, and cockades. These decorations varied depending on the rank, unit, and branch of service. The front plate of the helmet usually displayed the Prussian eagle or other insignia.
4. Historical Significance: The Pickelhaube is closely associated with the Prussian and German military history. It was widely used during the 19th century and early 20th century, including during the Franco-Prussian War and World War I. However, it gradually fell out of use and was replaced by more practical and modern helmet designs.
5. Collectibility: Pickelhaubes are highly sought after by collectors due to their historical significance and unique design. Authentic examples can be valuable, but it is important to be cautious of reproductions and fakes, as they can be prevalent in the market. Authenticating the helmet’s origin, materials, and markings is crucial when purchasing or evaluating a Pickelhaube.