This very rare helmet was the only steel helmet of exclusive Austrian design produced by Austro-Hungary during WWI. The total production was of about 140.000 helmets, manufactured by Arthur Krupp A. G. Berndorf. With a very limited production run from 1916 to 1917, this helmet is one of the most difficult helmets of the First World War to find in any condition.
This example has very even patina on the exterior and a very thin coating of surface rust. It appears to have been resting on a shelf undisturbed for quite some time as there are traces of old paint spatter peeking out through the patina on the crown and exterior of the rim. There are no substantial dings or dents on this shell and the liner band attachment screws have fused themselves to the shell, and still retains the perforated liner band, which is intact and securely fastened to the shell. Remnants of the original leather pads sparsely cling between the shell and liner band. Both original chinstrap posts are present as is a small section of the original fabric chinstrap with black leather reinforcement tabs.
The interior of the shell retains a good bit of the brownish/olive paint on the underside of the apron and in areas near the liner band. The rear of the apron is marked with the size, the first number being the number 6, but I cannot be sure of the second number. I am pretty sure it is either the number 6 or 8. An unusual feature of this helmet is the interesting top vent design which was also used to secure a frontal plate of additional armor.
This is a very interesting helmet to study, and one of only three I have ever handled personally over the last thirty years of collecting. Although the liner has gone to time, the rarity of this variant makes it an excellent example for display and would fill a gap in any serious collection that often remains empty, except in some of the most advanced collections. I am happy to be able to study one for a little while! A really interesting helmet with lots to enjoy!