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MODEL 1881 INDIAN SCOUT DRESS HELMET – EXCELLENT SPECIMEN: The combination of collectors’ fascination with the significant history of the Indian Scouts, and the attractive presentation of the helmet trimmings, the Model 1881 Indian Scout Dress Helmet has always been one of the most sought after pieces of Indian War headgear.     

Originally purchased from Bannerman’s, this helmet is complete with all of the original trimmings.   With the exception of the cords, all of the insignia is original, to include the red and white plume, plume holder, Indian Scout side buttons, rings, and the eagle plate with the crossed arrows device which is original to the plate.  The very scarce original leather chin strap is present, full length, and intact.   

The helmet body is full form with no crushing, breakage, loss of finish or other damage.  The size label is present on the rear of the sweat band.  Of particular note, this helmet body has two features which identify it as having been produced for one of the early contracts.  The inside surface of the brass ventilator in the crown of the helmet is stamped with the maker’s name, Horstman Brothers & Co., and there is the remnant of the paper makers label still affixed to the helmet dome under the sweat band.  Later production helmet bodies were normally inked stamped with the maker’s name on the inside of the sweat band.  Overall, the combination of the early production and the excellent condition makes this helmet a particularly beautiful specimen.   

Indian Scout helmet cords are virtually non-existent.  I have no idea why the other components seem to show up from time to time, but not so the cords.  In a number of photos which captured Indian scouts in their dress uniforms, it is notable they were not wearing the cords.  Frankly, I'm not surprised.  You have to be a real thrill seeker and have a true love of danger to wear that many loose cords around your neck when on a horse, and the scouts, likely given more license with their uniforms than the regulation soldiers were, probably chose not to wear them.  If the cords were separated from the helmets during the period of issue, the chance that they would survive is fairly slim.  And, given the history of the time, the scouts must have been suspicious of anyone in the army who wanted to put a noose of any kind around their necks.  In all seriousness, sets of Indian Scout helmet and chest cords simply do not show up on the market.  The cords on this helmet are a set of high quality reproduction cords which have been on the helmet for a very long time, and have aged nicely.  The cords are what they are, but they look quite nice and complete the helmet.   

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.   

Indian Scout Dress Helmets are anything but common – they never have been - and this specimen is particularly striking.  One that will certainly be a pleasure to own and will display well in your collection.  (0903)  $2975




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