I touched upon wire camo collecting last year but it seems a lot of people are still on the hunt and a lot of dealers are still offering pieces. Supply and demand.
My previous article on the wire camo’s can be found here :
There is a mindset in the militaria world that says if an item is uber expensive it must be real. We have seen this trend come and go with SS helmets and camo helmets. These helmets were hyped up a couple of years ago and price increases of 30% or more were not uncommon. Not suprisingly a lot of collectors were hurt by such hypes , they either overpaid a lot or they got a fake helmet. 2 – 3 years later the overinflated prices dropped back to a normal level.
I see wire camo helmets being hyped since a year as well. Recently 2 dealers started advertising such helmets at prices over 10K.
Here such an example currently on Lux militaria. if you check my previous wire camo blog (link at the top). This very helmet is featured there , sold on an auction for 4.6K. Now you can buy it at three times the price.
Supply and demand will set the price , 10 years ago a wire helmet was a rare beast. If you saw one it would be a factory decalled helmet with wire. A tricolor camo with wire was infinitely rarer. Exotic even.
Looking at the market today there is a wire camo for every budget. To me that tells me there is something seriously wrong. If you actually also look at the helmets being sold it is crystal clear that something is wrong.
People jumping into collecting will not see this trend but collectors with 20+ collecting years under their belt will.
AND NOW FOR THE WISHFUL THINKING PART
Collectors are on the hunt all the time , looking for variations and good deals. Or paying a little more for that gem you have been after for years. There is little to no danger if you know your decals , helmet paints , liners.
For some reason however basic things like that often get thrown overboard when we look at camo helmets. Suddenly the decal needing to be there is no longer a key point.
How many factory helmets have you seen where the decal was taken off in comparison to decalled helmets ? It will be a very very small percentage.
So for me a decal is key on a camo helmet that should have decal , the decal should be hiding under the paint , in cracks or damage.
With wire camo’s we need to scrutinize even further , lower grade helmets with partial decals fit the need to be post war upgraded with wire.
So if we bring the decal to the table when we inspect wire camo’s , how do we explain its absence ? It’s scratched off , sure and now with wire it costs 3 times more…
Below examples without a decal currenly sold or for sale on dealer websites.
None of the above helmets give me a good feeling. The interiors are 100% Original , the shells all good but none of the wires seem really connected the helmets. All three are without decals (or barely) so the exterior is of low grade and less interesting to collectors. For someone looking to make a quick buck such lower grade helmets are like gold.
Compare the helmets posted above to the one look helmets below. Two helmets acquired from the families of US veterans.
Photos courtesy of RonR
Day and night is the difference between these 2 helmets from Ron’s collection and 95% of the wire helmets I have seen posted on forums.
Good wire helmets exist.
Mediocre , good and very good fakes exist as well.