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    Description

    Probably the Finest Early Federal Period New England Militia Helmet to Appear on the Open Market Since the Sale of the Iconic William H. Guthman Collection. Stands almost 12" in height including the feathers on the comb. All black leather. The body of the helmet formed in two halves that are stitched together at the top along the base of a 3/4" extension that holds the tin comb. The edge/visor of the helmet is also attached in two pieces, stitched to the body along the base. The rear portion forms a curved 1 1/8" edge, while the front portion flares out to form a visor which is 2" at the front. The rear edge retains about half of an original narrow brass edging. Body and base of the helmet near perfect with just a few cracks to the finish on the visor portion and along the back edge but no flaking. The actual body of the helmet is perfect. Around the base of the helmet is a 1 1/2" wide thin leather band painted red with yellow edging that terminates at the back in a bow. The right side of the helmet mounts a 5" high, fan shaped leather cockade, with incised line decoration, in about perfect condition. Attached at the back of the cockade is a 7" high white feathered plume. The left side of the helmet features an inverted V of 1/8" wide gold bullion tape that terminates at the top with a 1/2" plain brass one piece button. The pierced tin comb stands 2" high at the front and tapers to a point at the rear. Ten individual piercings, with the entire comb exhibiting gilt paint decoration with red painted edging and accents. The comb terminates in the front in a 3" disc which is painted red, with a gilt painted pinwheel in the center, with additional gilt highlights. The disc is surrounded by a 1" wide tin gilt painted 'frame'. The entire top of the comb, from just behind the disc to the tip at the back, is covered with a voluminous white feather crest. The 7" high tin tombstone shaped, curved, front plate bears a gilt painted spread wing eagle in the center, with black detailing and American shield on the breast, with eight five pointed stars. Above the eagle are 22 five pointed white stars, all of this painted on a blue background edged with red. The gilt painted border, 1" wide on the edges and 1 1/2" wide at the bottom is painted in red "Lt INFANTRY" across the top and "14th REGT" across the bottom.

    All of the original paint is 95% intact, with just some very minor scattered flakes/ chips. A truly stunning example of what is likely the rarest and most attractive of all American military headgear and this example certainly dates no later than 1800.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2012
    9th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,464

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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