Tracking the fakes #6

Some bigger names feature in this episode of Tracking the fakes. It’s incomprehensible to me why some helmets get posted for sale while there are viable concerns with originality or some which are at least worth a serious discussion.

A helmet that does not follow factory logic must have some kind of provenance if you want to sell it as 100% certified real. Previous ownership is not provenance , it can be part of it but it is not the start of it. The same with extremely rare helmets no-one so far has done any meaningful research on and which exist more as copy than authentic. You just don’t sell helmets you think are real , you sell helmets that are real.

Enjoy this article and thank you in advance for your comments.


Gottlieb Militaria auctions

This a typical dealer that I have seen selling fakes between the good stuff for decades.

A couple of years ago he also started an auction website for militaria , it has come up with selling fakes quite often (and I just look at helmets).

Like most dealers he wrote a book. It is every dealers dream to be considered an authority on a subject. Gottlieb wrote about SS honor rings. Of course he is no authority on honor rings but now some people think he is. You can read more on the subject if you click (and register) here.

Below some fakes that have been caught , just this year only. The DD Heer was auctioned of just recently.

Fake SS helmets and a fake camo helmet , all courtesy of Gottlieb auctions

Militarische Antiquitaten , a FAKE WEBSITE

Don’t get caught by this website :

This website came to my attention a few months back when someone put one of their helmets up for discussion on a forum. The lower than normal price for that helmet (and other items on the website) are a huge red flag. Other than that I did not think much of it but recently this website popped back up on my radar because of Nick the administrator of the Lowlands militaria forum. He had contact with the owner of the website on some of his items and received very odd answers to his questions.

It reads like a ‘how to spot a fraud’ pamphlet

  1. You could not get more detailed photos of any of the items on the website , the reason being that the items were stowed away in boxes. A pretty stupid business model I would call that.
  2. You can not go there and look at the items (or pick them up)
  3. The website states as location Luxemburg but the items are not in Luxemburg or so the owner claims
  4. Prices are suspiciously low

On the Wehrmacht awards forum you can read a topic of a victim of this fraudster. You can read it here if you are a paying member.

If you are a victim of fraud you can report it to the Police.

Regimentals UK

Watch out for this transtional helmet with fake Kriegsmarine decal. Priced at 2500 GBP.

German Helmets Inc

A popular site from a dealer that wrote a pretty good book on German helmets.

But this helmet ?

This is a late rear marked Q66 single decal army helmet with a three-color spray camouflage pattern applied. The helmet shell took some sort of hit at the top from which a significant crack developed. I have to say that this helmet is by no means a “one-looker”; given the condition of the paint. I took some time with this and scrutinized it fairly well. I believe it is a good one. Although I can just hear the forum guys calling me names over this one. $1250.00

German helmets Inc

It’s by no means a one looker original , I agree. But it is a one looker fake.

Starting with the brand new paint , the crack that has zero paint loss along the edge and yes a late war Q shell , rear stamped Q mark with a lot number past the decal application point. This helmet is not even worth a discussion let alone 1200 USD.


This site has some strange offerings , first off this Wolfsangel SS runes M42.

It’s being sold as an I think it is original. Quite funny that. Here’s what the dealer says.

 I have never owned one, but in hand this helmet has every appearance of pre-1945 manufacture and wear. (Additionally worth mentioning, NS is the sole known maker for another very unusual helmet type, the ‘Sauerland’ organization’s helmet.) The liner shows a lot of use but is supple. There are no markings discernable. Sale includes my COA. 5950 USD

SS steel website

If it sells for 6K I am sure we will see many more “I think it is original” helmets popping up on dealer websites.

Truth be told if this can be proven as a genuine Wolfangel helmet it’s worth far more than 6K. But that’s just the problem. So far no-one has done an indepth study into these decals and as often more fakes than originals are around to study. Still I believe at least this decal should exhibit the same traits as any other Third Reich printed decal.

It is just typical of how money nuts the militaria world is that a helmet can be sold without even knowing if the decal is real. The fact that the Sauerland decal has been observed only on NS shells has zero bearing on this helmet.

Do your research thoroughly then sell it.

Here’s another oddball from the same website. EF M42.

EF used 2 SS factory decals. The typical EF design runic shield and more uncommon the ET design runic shield.

The decal on this helmet is neither and the seller also acknowledges it. But like with the first helmet some circumstantial provenance is woven around the helmet to explain the not text book decal. It’s a Ukranian so he painted a runic shield on his helmet. Yes could be or someone painted it to increase the value perhaps ? Champagne rune scandal rings a bell ? I say painted because to me it does not look like a waterslide decal.

Here’s the seller’s text.

This rare helmet was a walk-in to a coin shop in Winnipeg Manitoba, purchased by an advanced Canadian collector friend of mine who is very widely known in the community. He sold it to another Canadian friend, who has had it for the 20 years since then. The helmet is an EF66 M42, issued commensurate with the time frame of the significant expansion of SS Volunteer forces from the occupied countries (unfortunately only two digits of the heat lot number can be discerned because of the thick paint of the inscription). With a Sryllic inscription and the fact that there are many Ukranians in Winnipeg, made it a compelling piece to collect. The shell is a size 66 with a size 58 marked liner in very good condition. The original strap is present and in very good condition. The SS runic shield is a variant, which appears manufactured, and bears a strong resemblance to the post-1940 ET pattern shield. Closeups of the design are provided. The name painted in the skirt appears to say “F.J. Nikolai.” Sale includes my 100% lifetime guarantee of authenticity

SS steel website

Military Collectibles Inc

I never quite understand what’s up with websites that can’t even post good photographs of what they are offering. Nor can I understand how they keep in business.

This M42 , even with these crappy photos has a clear fake decal. A badly upgraded M42 no decal like there are many around.

Here’s a similar helmet this time not with a fake decal but with an original Gustav Peiniger post war applied.

That’s it for now , keep hunting gentlemen.


7 thoughts on “Tracking the fakes #6

  1. The War Front October 15, 2019 / 6:11 am

    Excellent information…and THANK YOU for sharing. I have a question…. The museum side of our company recently acquired an SS M40 single decal helmet. Would you be willing to look at a some detailed photos of it and share with us your opinion? We (like many) greatly want to have an original of this type of helmet…but really want to be sure.

    Kind regards….a fellow collector,

    Lawrence A. Martin. Co-Owner of The War Front Antique Militaria Sales & Museum

    On Monday, October 14, 2019, German Helmet Vault wrote:

    > schwerpunkt73 posted: ” Some bigger names feature in this episode of > Tracking the fakes. It’s incomprehensible to me why some helmets get posted > for sale while there are viable concerns with originality or some which are > at least worth a serious discussion. A helmet that do” >

  2. sysyphus October 15, 2019 / 7:43 pm

    Keep up the good work Frank, it will be a neverending list. “Unexplicable” some of them on your art #6

    • schwerpunkt73 October 15, 2019 / 8:03 pm

      Thanks Andrea 😉 I will keep it up !

  3. ragon olivier October 17, 2019 / 8:42 pm

    HI Franck,

    I know very well Kelly Hick. He is a good friend and I just want to say he is an honest man. He served his country for almost 21 years as a green beret. NOBODY can say he is a cheater or stealer.
    Nobody knows that he has paid back for 60 KUSD all his customers to whom he had sold SS Champagnes. if he makes mistakes they are not voluntary. it is easy to criticize behind a computer but it is for me slander.
    That s all i have to say, have a nice day

    best regards

    olivier from Paris

    • schwerpunkt73 October 18, 2019 / 11:02 pm

      Dear Oliver, this article showcases bad or questionable helmets currently for sale or that have just been sold on militaria websites. Potential buyers can use my blog to avoid getting a headache when wanting to buy an authentic German WW2 helmet.
      I think buyers will want to make sure before a purchase that a helmet is authentic so there won’t be a need to ask for a refund years later.


  4. John George Crozier November 9, 2019 / 10:48 pm

    Frank, thank you for the work that you do on the behalf of others.

    Regards, John

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