Posted 3 years ago
This is the full-dress version of the 1881 Artillery Jr. Officer's helmet, represented in red horsehair plume, red cords, and gilt eagle, cross cannon and shield. The helmet was worn by all branches, the plumed versions only by mounted branches, each with a distinctive arm-of-service colored plume. The side buttons are emblazoned with the Artillery crossed cannon, and the plume holder repeats the eagle motif.
The interior is very simple, just a standard hat band. As this helmet is made of cork, it is not meant to provide any sort of ballistic protection, there is no suspension of any sort. This model has the small "pinwheel" ventilators which is stamped Wm H Horstmann, though most, were without any ventilation at all.
This model has the Officer's chain loop chinstrap, and enlisted men's colored branch cords. Durring the time from 1881 to 1902, the dress helmet saw many small changes. Most Officers had gold cords and chain loops chin straps, while enlisted men had the colored cords and leather chinstarps.
I have had this in my collection for 17 years, and today it saw the light of day for the first time in a long time. Was this a "put together" Enlisted helmet with an Officer's chinstrap?? ( thats what I am thinking) or was this an inbetween regulations helmet for a Jr. Officer?? Cords and plume are period pieces, cork helmet has a crack on the inside of the visor (does not detract from display) Either way, a nice mid 1880's helmet that is very hard to find.....