A nice example with strong gilt on furniture, and full horsehair plume.
This is a nice example of the 1881 mounted artillery officer’s dress helmet, with this one being worn by an officer in the 1st Regiment. The helmet furniture; officer’s plume socket and base, two-piece helmet plate with applied silver numeral, side buttons (1872 pattern), etc. retain nearly all of the original gilt. The bullion helmet cords, on the helmet are separate from the extension that drapes from the left side and worn on the uniform, ending in its two “waffles” and knots.
On this helmet, the officer placed the bullion tassel which is suspended from the left side of helmet at the center of the helmet cords, on the snap hook used from mounting on the helmet. This was done by many officers allowing the helmet to be set down, while leaving chest cording in place. All of the bullion in is very good condition, with a few spots of wear to the color toned with age. The bullion loop for hanging the cords on a button on uniform has come unraveled, but enough remains to create a new loop. The chin chain is backed by leather, and although came with the helmet is not correct; most likely a USMC enlisted chin chain. The brass ringed chain has no gilt finish. Officers chin chains were almost always backed with black velvet or wool backing.
The cork body covered in black wool was made by Baker & McKenny, New York. The helmet was originally worn by an officer in the New York 22nd Separate Company, and was state inspected in 1900. At some point this officer, or the helmet was “federalized” with the present furniture, The sweat band shows little wear, the green leather lining on the visors and joining base is in fine condition, have the sizing label (71/8). . The black leather trim around the base of the helmet shows almost no wear, usually chipped and worn from handling over the years. The two vents on either side are firmly held in place.
Setting off this helmet is a magnificent full red horse hair plume, having most of the original fullness.
The helmet is not named.
From the Robert Borrell Artillery Collection.