Published, Rare, Waffen-SS M35 Double Decal Helmet by EFSKU: Wspmef
This fine Waffen-SS M35 helmet is one of the scarcest that can be found, especially in this decent a condition. It is also featured in Ken N’s famous book on Helmets. The manufacturer is EF (Emailler-werke Fulda), who we all know based on the nature of their helmets, were scrambling to ramp up to production capacity in the late prewar period. This ramp up was manifested by EF using sometimes ‘mixed’ internal components–but also externally– by their use of CA Pocher runic and party shields for their SS contracts (for the couple of years prior to the development of their own ‘EF’ pattern shield). In the very limited number of EF SS M35s I have seen over the decades (and these are RARE), I was able to make several observations, among which was the use of Pochers– that in most cases, minimal or no glue and lacquer used as application techniques. Rather, they appear to have simply applied them off the paper, without any evident bonding or finishing aids. Interestingly, Pocher SS decals are of good enough quality that they seem to weather just fine without the lacquer, and sometimes far better than lacquered examples, especially in maintaining their brightness (look at how bright the Pochers tend to be on most of the reissue helmets). In any case, these decals show some service wear, and with the effects of age, getting that ‘classic’ look. The finish is the dark slate grey color expected on the 1939-1940 produced EF M35s. The untouched size 59 liner is a ‘hybrid’- a single ply band (again, a sign of the mixed up nature I’ve observed on many M35 EF products), with ‘transitional’ sharp-cornered chinstrap bales, not the rounded corners wire kind of the true M40 (they were using up leftover small parts until they could meet the new M40 specs). It is dated 1940 and would have been one of the first single ply produced, as they used some of the leftover M35 liner band components (chinstrap bales as mentioned in this case) in the production. All the liner retaining pins are flat and untouched. The chinstrap is dated ’39. All of these combine to represent the classic state of the art EF M35 product. Moreover, understanding the history of the individual characteristics of the EF producer’s production startup situation is something that makes collecting all the more exciting. A stunning helmet, great size and will dominate the M35 SS shelf! COA of course accompanies.