ITEM# 02062011-2
Description  French 1st Empire Dragoon Officerís Helmet, ca. 1812
Price $ 2950.00


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Reconstruction by Turner & Laughlin of a French First Empire Dragoon Field Grade Officerís helmet ca. 1812-1815, built using a mix of original and reproduction parts as well as superb salvage and raw materials. The helmetís stamped brass body is an original Minerva casque--the shell with a more Greco-Roman profile than its predecessors--in vogue from 1812 through Waterloo. Minor dings scattered randomly over its surface afford a vintage "been there" look. All metal parts are heavily gilded (yes, Virginia, thatís real gold) and present a mellow, aged appearance.

The cimier adorning the bombe is of appropriate dimensions and ornateness for a senior officer, and is constructed of a mix of vintage components. Its horsehair crinier is also appropriately lush, full, long and jet black. The marmouset atop the crinier is one of several popular types, also ornate, and its tuftís black horsehair matches that of the crinier. The helmet is encircled by a turban of real leopard skin (in this case an animal dispatched more than sixty years ago, so grandfathered and totally legal in most states--check your local regulations), with extraordinarily vivid patterning and lovely colors. Scale chinstraps are, once again, one of the more ornate types, decorated with a series of convex lobes on each scale, lined with fine kipskin, and tied at center-front with gold and silver bullion cords and tassels. They are secured with typical officerís star-in-rings rosettes. The final touch is provided by the lush scarlet cock feather plumet, handcrafted of hundreds of rooster saddle hackles.

Liner is of black oiled kip, in the multi-lobed pattern common in such officersí helmets. See Malvauxís superb "Les Casques des Dragons de la Garde Imperial de 1806 a 1815" in multiple issues of Tradition magazine, 1990-93, for many images of similar original helmets. If $30-40K for an original example is a little outside of your price range for historic headgear, this one-of-a-kind piece is absolutely the next best thing.