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MODEL 1881 CAVALRY ENLISTED MANíS DRESS HELMET Ė 7TH CAVALRY REGIMENT - VERY NICE SPECIMEN:  There are few pieces of Indian War uniforming that are as attractive, and that continue to hold collectorsí interest, as does the Model 1881 Cavalry Enlisted Manís Dress Helmet.  Bearing the regimental numeral of the 7TH Cavalry on the eagle plate, and showing some evidence of having been issued and worn, this helmet is a particularly nice, complete example.     


This helmet is complete with all of the original trimmings and insignia, to include an original set of helmet cords, the plume, plume holder, side buttons, rings, eagle plate, the very scarce original leather chin strap, and of course, a very nice original helmet body.  The regimental numeral appears to be original to the eagle plate, and in turn the plate appears to be original to the helmet. 

The helmet body is full form with no crushing, loss of finish or signs of heavy wear, and the dark blue wool felt is clean.  There is a one inch long age crack in the crown, immediately below the oak leaf plume base and the left side scroll ring.  The crack does not appear to be the result of any impact or damage to the helmet, rather the result of the aging of the fur felt used to form the helmet body.  The crack is stable, it has not weakened the crown of the helmet, and when the braided section of the cords is positioned properly as seen in the comparative photographs below, the crack is completely hidden.  So much so, that the previous owner who had this helmet in his collection for decades was not aware of the crack.   

The C. J. Heller 1892 contract makerís stamp is still present and very legible on the sweat band.  The size sticker is still present, indicating this helmet is an unusually large 7 ĺ.  In the years Iíve been collecting and selling these helmets, this is the first that Iíve had which was large enough to wear.  Most Iíve had have been the smaller sizes which were seldom issued and therefore survived in much larger numbers.  The union workerís label is also present, a nice touch to find intact.   

The original set of cords on this helmet is full length with all the tassels, braided slides and waffles present and intact.  The color is bright with no fading.  There are a few wear points along the main chest cords Ė again, evidence of issue and wear where the soldier likely snagged the cords on his horseís equipment when mounting and dismounting during dress parades.  These wear points are not unsightly, nor do they weaken the integrity of the cords, and when the cords are displayed coiled under the helmet as shown in the first photograph above, the wear points are not visible.  Complete sets of original cavalry cords are very scarce, and finding this set on the helmet is noteworthy.   

It is also worth mentioning that the leather chin straps for these helmets are virtually non-existent on the market as they did not survive well in storage, so that this one is present is a definite added value.   

Complete with all of the components, this Cavalry Dress Helmet is a particularly striking specimen, one as nice as you are likely to encounter, and one that will certainly be a pleasure to own and display as a center piece in your collection.  SOLD



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