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French Cavalry Helmet

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (310 items)

    On the Eve of WWI, France had not fought another European Power since 1870. To my mind, nothing says unready for the storm that was about to begin like this pattern 1870 heavy cavalryman’s helmet. Little changed from Waterloo, this type of helmet was actually worn by cavalrymen deploying to face the Germans in August 1914 (although with a protective cloth cover). By mid 1915 it was gone from the battlefield, replaced by the ubiquitous Adrian Helmet. The helmet remains for ceremonial purposes in some French units.

    Although very similar to the cuirassier helmet, I believe this was worn by French dragoons, the difference being that this one does not have the marmouset (little brass ball with plume at the front) that I believe identifies the cuirassiers.

    The helmet has a steel bowl, with brass chin scales and trim. A medusa adorns the comb, which sports an over 2 foot long horsehair tail. Why someone would want the back of their head to resemble a horse’s behind is beyond me, but it is pretty cool. The hair is braided down the center, as you can see in photo three. The back of the helmet is marked “A. Godillot” for the manufacturer Alexis Godillot (1816-1893). It’s also stamped with a “59” at the back of the comb, which I believe is the number of this helmet within a unit. The interior has a leather shell, which includes an interior leather covering of the brim and tail, which I believe also dates it to pre-1912.

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    1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
    2. AmberRose AmberRose, 7 years ago
      My sister has one of these. My Mom got bored with all the armor and such my father collected...divided it into piles and gave it to us kids. I have bins of helmets, gauntlets, shields, swords etc with nowhere to display them. I need my own little building.
    3. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 7 years ago
      I feel for you Amber, not to mention being a bit jealous.

      Thanks for the love Manikin, tom61375, AmberRose, racer4four and SEAN68
    4. AmberRose AmberRose, 7 years ago
      I'll see if I can drag a bin out and take some photos. Time yo oil them anyway
    5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Come on Amber, - GIVE! Don't you know by now that I hate it when people hold out on us (ME)? Just when I was beginning to think I could trust you! LOL!
    6. fortapache fortapache, 7 years ago
      Very cool helmet. That tail was probably quite impressive when the horses were galloping.
    7. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 7 years ago
      Thanks for the comments everyone, and thanks for the love fortapache, vetraio50, blunder, tinlid, Manikin, tom61375, AmberRose, racer4four and SEAN68.
    8. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 7 years ago
      Thanks for the love petey

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