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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 4/13/2006 10:08:14 PM EST
I had to go down south a couple days ago to a family funeral. My aunt died last week at 82 years of age. I wasn't that close to her, but my father who is 85 felt he couldn't make the trip and asked me to go in his place to pay respects to his brother’s wife. Anyway, while I was there my cousin took me aside and told me he had something of my father's that he wanted to return.

My cousin takes me into another room as he explains, that my dad had given my uncle some war trophies that he brought back from WW-II. So my cousin hands me a bayonet from a K-98 and a Fallschirmjager helmet. The bayonet and its leather sheath are in very good shape, but the helmet isn't as well preserved. The leather liner is deteriorated and falling apart, as are the chinstraps, and the top of the steel shell has a large area of surface rust. The Luftwaffe eagle on the left side is faded and scratched but still is clear. I'm sure that when the helmet was first brought home from the war it was in much better shape and the resulting damage is probably more from improper storage over the last 60 years. It's still a nice piece of history despite the damage.

My question is: does anyone know where I might be able to research some of the markings that remain on the liner? Also, should I look into possibly restoring the helmet, or just find a way to keep it from deteriorating any further. Soon as I can I will take some pictures of the helmet to share and hopefully get some ideas of how to save it.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 10:26:05 PM EST

I'd say leave it alone. It's original and a piece of history.

Not so much as if you restored it. Then it just becomes another tin pot with miscolored paint and fake decals on it.

There's LOADS of sites out there about german (and any other nationality's) gear. Google will undoubtedly bring a pile of results. Just try something like WWII German Helmet Markings.

I was on one just a week or two ago and there was a WEALTH of info on every single little detail you could imagine, down to the 'rivets' on the sides of them. You can learn what year it was made, what factory, all kinda stuff.

I can't find it in my history but I'm sure you can find plenty of info with a quick search.

I wish my family had some history like that to pass down.

Sorry to hear of your aunt. I hope she had a good, happy life...

Link Posted: 4/13/2006 10:34:47 PM EST
Leave it alone; if you refinish anything, you'll kill the historical value of it. That's the beauty of antique blades and helmets; each tells a story. Just leave it as it is and perhaps, have a professional collector to appraise them both, see how much they are worth in the collectible market. You'd be suprise what you might find out.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 10:35:35 PM EST
Leave it alone, if you want to preserve it's monetary value.

Preservation is the key, not restoration.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 10:39:30 PM EST

Do your best to preserve it hereafter, but do not try to restore it. Who wants a helmet with new paint and straps? It would become sentimentally, historically, and monitarily worthless.

BTW: We want pics!
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 10:42:01 PM EST
Leave it.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 10:47:57 PM EST
Leave it. Dont mess with restoring them. As said above, preserve them.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 10:52:26 PM EST
Ok, you saying what I was thinking about leaving it alone as far as restoration. So now the question becomes one of preservation. Are there services available to help me preserve it. The chin straps and parts of the liner are disintegrating. The chinstrap snap is gone.
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 2:19:56 AM EST
Here are some photos of the helmet.

Link Posted: 4/14/2006 2:26:08 AM EST

That emblem is damn cool, regardless of who used it. Thats a really cool family heirloom.
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 2:34:09 AM EST
The only things whose value is improved with restoration are cars & houses.

Historical artifacts, antique furniture, and other such items seem to lose value when refinished.
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 2:39:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/14/2006 2:43:49 AM EST by hughjafj]
Just use steel wool on the rust and maybe a leather dressing on the leather and keep the metal oiled to prevent rust. Don't restore it, just preserve it in its present state.

You have to get rid of the rust or it will continue to deteriorate. Use fine steel wool and oil.
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 3:02:09 AM EST
Before you do anything, I would check out some collector websites.

Tons of them out there for WWII German stuff, sorry I don't have any recommendations.

Do a little research first, I am sure there are boards out there with "know it alls" like ARFCOM.

Don't ever sell those items!!! German Paratrooper helmets bring BIG $$$$$.
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