Dress Helmets

Updated November 7, 2017

American M1881 “Style” Dress Helmet


Here is a very nice display piece that looks good but is very likely a made up helmet. It has the helmet body of a New York National Guard helmet with U.S. Army plate. Most sources will say this pattern helmet never existed but it there are others that suggest it was used briefly following the Spanish-American War.

Many of these parts were offered for years in the Bannerman catalog so everything about this helmet is absolutely pre-WWI. With that in mind, if you’d like a nice piece to display that looks much like the M1881 helmet here is a chance to obtain one at a fraction of the price of other examples that can fetch hundreds if not thousands of dollars. I’ve priced it based on the value of the parts – so if you’re also looking for parts to complete another helmet here is your chance to buy the items you need.

Price: $175 plus shipping

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British 1878 Pattern Home Service Helmet


This Officer’s pattern Home Service Helmet features the 1881 pattern badge of the East Lancashire Regiment with the King’s Crown. This helmet dates to the early 20th century, and was made by D Jones Military Outfitters of Manchester.

The regiment saw service in the Boer War and in World War I units fought on the Western Front and at Gallipoli.

Price: $1,000 plus shipping

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Persian Qajar Dynasty Guard Helmet


This helmet dates to the late 19th century or early 20th century. It is likely French made and was a pattern created for export to various Middle Eastern and Arab nations including Egypt and other Ottoman client states. This pattern was also supplied to the Persian court during the reign of the Qajar dynasty, which ruled what is modern Iran from 1789–1925. The Persian military was modernized on European patterns during the reign of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar. He was the first Persian ruler to visit Europe and likely was influenced by the French uniforms, which Persia soon adopted.

Ahmad Shāh Qājār, son of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, further modernized the military and likely purchased these formerly Egyptian helmets, which were ebuilt for his ceremonial Royal Guard troop, with new bass skulls added, as well as new plates (with the Qajar coat of arms).

This helmet is made of brass and features the Lion and Sun motif on the front – this being adopted by Mohammad Shah Qajar during his reign. This motif has come to symbolize Shia Islam and it remained the primary symbol of Iran until 1980. Instead of a spike or plume it features a the crescent and star of Islam. This example is in very good shape with its intact chinstrap and original liner.

It is the only example of this helmet known in a private collection, and it is believed less than 100 were ever purchased. It is thus among the rarest of Middle Eastern helmets and is priced reasonably given this fact.

Price: $5,000 plus shipping

(Click images below for closer view)

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