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In 1867 an attempt at weight reduction by removing part of the front and rear peaks did not prove successful.
Some versions of the Pickelhaube worn by German artillery units employed a ball-shaped finial rather than the pointed spike.
The early Russian Pickelhaube had used the spike as a holder for a horsehair plume in full dress, a practice also followed with some Prussian models (see below).
Frederick William IV introduced the Pickelhaube for use by the majority of Prussian infantry on October 23, 1842 by a royal cabinet order.
Regimental numbers were sewn or stencilled in red (green from August 1914) onto the front of the cover, other than in units of the Prussian Guards, which never carried regimental numbers or other adornments on the Überzug.
With exposure to the sun, the Überzug faded into a tan shade.
The design of these is based on the cavalry helmets in common use since the 16th century, but with some features taken from the leather helmets.
Join us for one of our many events, or just come along to browse our collection.The basic Pickelhaube was made of hardened (boiled) leather, given a glossy-black finish, and reinforced with metal trim (usually plated with gold or silver for officers) that included a metal spike at the crown.Early versions had a high crown, but the height gradually was reduced and the helmet became more fitted in form.All-metal versions of the Pickelhaube were worn mainly by cuirassiers, and often appear in portraits of high-ranking military and political figures (such as Otto von Bismarck, pictured on this page).These helmets were sometimes referred to as lobster-tail helmets by allied forces due to their distinctive curved neck guard.