C&T Auctioneers are launching their first ever US-based militaria auction on the 29th of November 2022.
We take a quick look at some of the interesting items that are coming up in this sale. This militaria auction has a wide variety of items from the Victorian Era to the present day. With over 600 items, we can only scratch the surface but for this article we will focus on some of the WW1 and WW2 items that have caught our eye. You can view the complete catalogue with photographs and estimated prices on C&T’s website. All prices are in US dollars but they can ship the items worldwide.
As it is an online only auction, you can already bid by logging in to your C&T account and placing a bid. Some of the following items already have bids on them but the auction doesn’t end until the 29th of November. So you have plenty of time to get your bids in.
First up – WW1 US Doughboy Helmet
When helmets were first issued to British troops during WW1, they were painted in plain drab colours and given textured finishes. Often they were then covered with a sacking cover to mask their outline and to stop reflection.
The US Army started off issuing their helmets in a similar way. However, some units such as Engineers started to add bright abstract camouflage colours and often unit insignia painted on the side or front. This personalised camouflage caught on with other troops and by the end of the war it was not unusual to find whole units wearing their own style of painted helmets.
Coming up in the sale are some lovely WW1 US Army Doughboy 1917 pattern helmets. This one is Lot 104 and has a guide price of $300 – £500.
The underneath of the helmet shell is painted in the original issue colour. Of note are the round headed rivets which hold the chinstrap mounts as well. This is one of the most common distinguishing differences between the US and the British WW1 helmets. The British Army helmets have a split pin on the interior rather than the domed rivets which predominately indicate US manufacturing. The helmet has the correct oilskin liner with leather surround and chinstrap. The paper label is still legible and the cloth liner top and netting are intact.
Moving over to WW1 German helmets
In the sale is this great example of an M16 steel helmet with exterior camouflage. M16s like this are often found camouflaged in 3 colours and although it is the result of the individual soldier’s preference, they tended to stay within a similar style. This could have been dictated by regimental instructions or simply the fact that soldiers wanted to keep to a consistent pattern in a given region of combat.
The block camouflage paint on this helmet consists of browns, greens and ochre colours which are separated by thick black lines. This generated a random outline when viewed from a distance.
The helmet is size and maker marked ET64.
This indicates that it is 64cm in circumference around the interior of the liner band. Although issued in a number of sizes, the most commonly found ones are 64 and 66. The smaller of the sizes issued have a stepped air vent on the side and as the helmets increased in size, the step was removed from the lug. The purpose of the lug was to accommodate a thick sniper shield which could be mounted onto the helmet front when in a trench. The idea was that it would protect the wearer from direct bullet strikes. The shields were very heavy and not worn very often by regular troops.
The liner is the standard brown leather pad system, consisting of 3 leather pouches filled with horse hair pads which were attached to a thick leather band. The band was then fastened to the helmet via three split pins; one each at the front left and right, with a third in the centre rear. On this helmet the pins are in place and the liner looks to have the same level of wear as the helmet, indicating that it could have been with the helmet from the day of issue.
This helmet is Lot 196 and has a guide price of $1,000 – $1,500 with a current bid of $1,000.
WW1 German/Austrian transitional M16 steel helmet
This WW1 German/Austrian transitional M16 steel helmet is Lot 391 with a guide price of $700 – $1,000 with a current bid of $700.
It has a lot of original issue field grey exterior finish and a good liner. The two standout points are the shrapnel damage to the front and the great condition WW2 Army eagle on the left-hand side. There is evidence of a tricolour having been on the other side, but it will have been removed as per the regulations that came into place as WW2 progressed. The original WW1 mounts remain fixed to the side of the helmet as they were fitted during the original manufacture. Once the mounts became incorporated into the liner band on later models, they stopped being used on the actual helmet. The chinstrap is original to the liner and the helmet with service wear has a great combat feel.
Staying with Third Reich headwear
This Army Panzer officer’s peaked cap is an attractive addition for any collection. The distinctive saddle-shaped example is made from doe skin wool and it still has the original manufacturer’s celluloid diamond and embroidered makers details inside.
The pink piping colour runs around the top of the cap and it distinguishes the wearer as a member of a Panzer regiment. The quality of the cap and insignia, the side buttons, plus the silvered chinstrap indicate that the owner was an officer. This cap would have been privately made for him to his exact size.
Although the cap has a small degree of moth damage to the top, it will still display very well. Army caps are relatively easy to find, but this branch of service is one of the harder ones to obtain.
It has a guide price of between $700 – $900.
Moving away from headgear into footwear.
This next item is more for the experienced collector. A rare pair of 2nd pattern Fallschirmjager (paratrooper) boots in the auction. They are Lot 448.
These tall, front laced leather boots are one of the hardest pieces of Fallschirmjager uniform to obtain and with a guide price of $4,000 – $6,000 they are sure to attract a lot of interest. This pair have size markings stamped into the top of each boot, which read “27 5 41 85”. They are in great shape and ready to be put into a display.
Herman Goering Regimental Standard
And finally; if you have the budget to add a statement piece to your collection, why not consider this Regiment General Goering Standard? With a guide price of between $25,000 and £35,000 it is not for the novice collector. Even for the most experienced out there, this is a very rare item. The flag is Lot 209.
Correct in every way, it comes with the original streamers and banner top. The workmanship in every area is just stunning. All the pieces of the banner are individually hand sewn and each detail is delicately picked out and highlighted. The three edges all have tassels made of silver wire and the banner has a top which is commonly associated with the 1st Battalion Fallschirmjager Regiment.
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