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Old 06-08-2015, 07:09 AM   #76
limey
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They weigh 396g.


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Old 06-08-2015, 07:54 AM   #77
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I'm slowly working on selling an old German army helmet that my Grandfather let me have after I saw it hanging on a nail in his attic. I first saw it when I was maybe around 10 and I was enthralled with it. A real World War 2 German army helmet! I had asked him about it then, and he didn't know how it had gotten in his attic, or what the story was. That was maybe in 1977-78 or so. Then, in 1985, I was helping him clean junk out of his attic and I asked him about it again. He said I could have it, but didn't know why I would want such a ghoulish item.

So I took it and occasionally would wear it (in my room,) but it mostly stayed in my old trunk.

So recently I've been looking for stuff that is small and valuable and has no real sentimental value to sell on eBay. I remembered this helmet, and pulled it out of the trunk for the first time in about a decade or so.

The leather liner, which was brittle but complete in the 80's is now partially fallen apart, and about a third of it is missing. I must have thrown a piece away when I was wearing it one time. I started to try to research the helmet because I know nothing about them, and I discovered that lots of countries used this style of helmet, and they go for between $30 and $1000 on eBay. After a fair amount of internet reading, I have figured out that it isn't a WW2 helmet. It's a WWI helmet, and it looks like it's German, but it doesn't have a manufacturer's stamp. I'd say it's a size 66 M17 WWI German helmet.

And my mom is in town right now, so I was talking to her about it, and the timeline for it being a WWI helmet makes sense. My great grandfather hated the Germans. So much, that he didn't want my grandfather, who was of recent German descent, to marry his daughter. So they waited for the old guy to die before they got married. So this helmet was my great grandfather's trophy against the Germans he hated. It's a symbol of family dysfunction as well as being a ghoulish trophy taken off a dead soldier in some trench somewhere.

So it's got bad juju. And I think it's good for me to get it out of the house. So now I just want to try to figure out what it's worth so I can hold an appropriate auction. It's all completely original, so I think that works in my favor. It still has a fair amount of paint, with tiny rust specks poking through all over the place and a nice patina. It has the steel liner band and a partial leather liner, which is kinda amazing considering it's almost 100 years old. I wish I knew more about its wartime history, because that seems to jack the price up. But it was brought into the family shortly after WWI. In the 20's or 30's.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:35 PM   #78
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IMHO any story that engages with the buyer is a good one, even if you cannot trace it right back to a particular German bonce.


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Old 06-08-2015, 04:09 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
...as well as being a ghoulish trophy taken off a dead soldier in some trench somewhere.
Coulda been picked up off the ground...Just sayin'. Takes some of the 'ghoulish' off it.

Also, the word 'trophy' is often misused in circumstances like these . Some see a trophy as a celebratory item. To others the item is simply a reminder, a spur to memory. Not a souvenir, or keepsake, but a reminder of a significant event in one's life.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:16 PM   #80
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The helmet doesn't necessarily have to possess the negative connotations you've ascribed to it, is what I'm trying to say.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:48 PM   #81
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Fascinating ... can we see a pic?
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:53 AM   #82
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Maybe there was a big explosion and a disembodied head with a nice looking helmet on it just plopped down into someone's lap. As long as they gave the head a decent burial, would it be so wrong to keep the helmet? The head didn't need it anymore.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:42 AM   #83
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Yeah, I don't know the war history and "ghoulish" is just all about the perspective.

Mostly, I'm thinking of it in these terms so that I realize I don't have any feeling of attachment to it. I loved my grandfather, and I have a lot of his old tools and THOSE really mean something to me. I'd never sell them. I think of him every time I use them. But this thing doesn't connect me to him at all. It's more about my great grandfather, and he didn't even fight in the war, so it's just some thing he collected after the fact. And since nobody alive today ever met him, I have no feelings for him. He sounds like a bit of a jerk though, if he didn't like my grandfather simply for having German parents.

Here are some pictures. The remaining leather liner is very brittle, so I didn't turn the helmet right side up for any of these, because the remaining liner would probably break off and fall out.

Here's the inside.
Name:  Helmet 1.jpg
Views: 139
Size:  62.8 KB
And this is a detail that shows the metal liner band, meaning it's at least a M17 date wise. And the chin strap hardware looks like hardware that I've only seen in pictures of German helmets. There should be a maker's stamp here, but I can't see one. Either it's really faint, or it's non-existent. If it's non-existant, I think that means it's an Austro-Hungarian helmet, but they have different chin strap hardware in every picture I've seen, so I think it's German.

Name:  helmet 2.jpg
Views: 134
Size:  58.0 KB

This detail shot shows "66" stamped in the liner head band. That's the size in cm, and is a little on the large side, but was fairly common.
Name:  helmet 3.jpg
Views: 134
Size:  62.8 KB
And here's a side shot. That "frankenstein" lug on the side only appeared on WWI helmets, so this is definitely a WWI M17 or later helmet. Probably German.
Name:  helmet 4.jpg
Views: 132
Size:  35.2 KB
This one, on eBay, is almost identical. It just sold for $232 here in the US market. It has no trace of liner, and mine has a little bit of leather liner left. But mine is missing one liner pin, and the visor has a slight bend to it.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:02 AM   #84
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Thanks... pretty cool.
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Old 06-10-2015, 03:41 PM   #85
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Here's a strange thing. The buyer of Bell 1 which sold second for the bigger sum said he wished he'd known about Bell 2 because he'd have bid on it. I did put mutual linkies up like Toad said, and he can't have just put in a maximum bid and then left it because it sat at 27 for the longest time and that wasn't his bid .... I wish he'd known about Bell 2, too. :/


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Old 06-10-2015, 09:30 PM   #86
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Maybe he's just a ding-a-ling.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:38 AM   #87
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Putting my old German helmet up on eBay.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:53 AM   #88
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But why should I buy your helmet for $99, when I can buy one just like it from that other guy for $898 + nine times the bragging rights at cocktail parties?
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:53 AM   #89
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Ebay actually told me that I should offer it for $75. I know they know best, but I couldn't bring myself to go that low for a starting bid.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:14 AM   #90
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I gotta stop watching my auctions.

Zero bids on this, but 20 people watching it.

I expect nobody will bid until the final day and then it will shoot up rapidly. Should get around $215 or so for it.
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