MODEL 1881 CAVALRY ENLISTED MAN’S DRESS HELMET – 7TH
CAVALRY REGIMENT - EXCELLENT SPECIMEN: There
are few pieces of Indian War uniforming that are as
attractive, and that continue to hold collectors’
interest, as does the Model 1881 Cavalry Enlisted Man’s
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, an excellent
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.
The W.H. Horstmann 1889 (a desirable Indian Wars date) contract maker’s stamp is still
present and very legible on the sweat band, and the 7
sticker is still present.
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 –
evidence of issue and wear where the soldier
likely snagged the cords on his horse’s equipment when
mounting and dismounting his horse 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.