It’s a practice that we can trace back to the earliest collectors. Helmets were made to fit certain examples missing on the shelf. Often camouflage paint and wire were added. M42 no decal helmets were subjected to become SS helmets or camo helmets.
With helmet prices going up over the decades upgrading became even more interesting and lately with interests in wire camo’s and medic helmets peeking we see a great increase in examples available for purchase. This is the market following the money which is unusual because only woodwork finds add to the known pool of helmets and even 10 years ago a medic helmet or a wire camo helmet were considered rare. A Normandy or 2 color camo helmet with wire was considered ultra rare.
Check out this wire helmet for sale on ebay , period or upgrade ?
It’s not !
Below the same helmet made more interesting for collectors with adding wire camouflage. The price has tripled…
It also happens with other kinds of helmet attachments. The helmet below has a strap but switched from the lower helmet to the upper helmet and of course no mention of it being swapped on the dealer site.
Now let’s see what other bad stuff has turned up online lately.
IMCS militaria sells a hard to upgrade fake
Luftwaffe M42 SD Helmet
Fantastic Luftwaffe M42 SD helmet in near mint condition. Maker marking is hard to see but it must be “CKL” which is “Eisenhuttenwerke Thale” in steelpot size “66” The steelpot has 99% of its original Luftwaffe camo paint and a 100% Luftwaffe decal.
The helmet is complete with its original liner (never being removed) and its original leather combat helmet strap. Overal a fantastic Luftwaffe helmet. Hard to upgrade!!!
Too bad to see this nice no decal CKL with this ‘easy fake’ Luftwaffe adler.
Militaria relics , quote themselves as the reliable Militaria site
Unfortunately this NS SS helmet is bogus as NS did not produce SS helmets.
2350 euros , I think not.
This is a no brainer , a good firefighter helmet with sticker like fakes. Come on guys , really ?
A name that sounds like it must have some decent inventory , the opposite is true. The owner would not recognize a German helmet even if he was somehow catapulted back to Nazi Germany. That’s how utterly terrible his inventory is.
Product Description , I added comments between brackets !
Very nice Kriegsmarine model 42 single decal helmet. Nice gold tone eagle decal (FAKE STICKER) for Kriegsmarine. Helmet retains most all of it’s finish. (POST WAR PAINT) Decal is about 90% intact. Liner (FAKE) is nice and bit brittle. (FAKE) Chin strap is marked. Helmet shell is marked CKL64 and 4730. (NO DECAL HELMET) I can’t make out the liner size stamp, but approx. size 58. Overall a fine helmet in very fine++ condition. (FOR A RE-ENACTOR).
1000 USD (150 USD)
Some more duds on this website.
I found this website by accident while searching for TENO helmet examples. (while writing this and looking at their inventory I realised that these guys featured in one of my previous articles of Tracking the fakes).
Their “about us” make it seems as if they know what they are doing but looking at their helmet inventory they are clearly clueless.
The concept is simple. All of the items offered here are from private Collections and are owned by Collectors. We sell them on behalf of the Collector thereby maximising the Collectors return on investment, rather than the Collector attempting to sell the item to a Dealer at a generally lower price. As well as making our living in this business we are avid collectors with over 100 years of collecting experience between us covering all areas including Antique and Deactivated Weapons, Napoleonic, Victorian, WW1 and WW2 Militaria including 3rd Reich Items.
Let’s start easy with a Luftschutz beaded shell that got upgrade with a fake Luftwaffe adler. It only costs 200 GBP.
The next one is… well it must be some sort of joke. This feuerschutz helmet received two nasty looking fake decals and costs 1500 GBP !
They also sold this other upgraded feuerschutz helmet with a fake TENO decal.
WEBSITES FOR MILITARIA TOURISTS
There is so much Low quality replica Third Reich stuff for sale it is a crime. Websites like Reich relics and Spandau are made in a way that as a total newbie you are drawn in by their self proclaimed expertise.
When browsing their websites it’s like you have found the holy grail when in fact they are showing a fata morgana. Nothing is what it seems in these shops and you will be lucky to walk out with something that will be worth something a month later.
We really need to spread the word about these shops. Every new collector that spends his money there is a collector lost when he realises he bought junk.
It’s the same like those antique shops in Bulgaria that are filled with poor swastika engraved cigarette cases , flasks and watches. You walk in and you think wow I’m lucky I’m first in this shop. Your heart beats faster and you cash out and once home you review your treasures , do some research and discover it is all junk.
QUALITY OF OFFERINGS IS INCREASING
To end on a good note , I do see some online dealers that appear to have cleared out the fakes from their inventory. When I started to buy helmets online myself back in 2004 it was generally accepted that dealers had mixed inventories (good and bad mixed up).
The popularity of online forums however brought this practice much more into the limelight and dealers not paying attention to what they were selling (let’s be gentle) basically got repeated bad feedback.
Once you have the “crook label” it is hard to shake it off again.
I’m sure it has made an impact on some to rethink their business model. (or to at least keep the helmet inventory clean because the helmet collector community has a big online presence).
Persistence pays off and so does sticking together as a community. If you haven’t joined yet I can recommend signing up at one of the forums here.
Have a great sunday.