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When did you last see one of these....


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Not the easiest thing to come by, but I've had this one for quite a few years. Its a 1939 helmet that was done up back in the war to the very interesting and unique Malta camoflauge pattern. This usually entailed painting the helmet in a lighter sand coloured paint (often mixed with sand), and then darker brown stripes painted around it, emerging from a brown "ring" at the top. Some examples include the maltese flag, others do not.

Jim :cheers:

Edited by JimZ
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Hi Jim,

Very interesting one. it is the first time I see one of these!!! :jumping: It seems very well conservated; is the paint war time ?

Cheers.

Ch.

As far as I know.... yes! But it does looks much better in the pics then in real life :) The rust is a real rotter and there is little that one can do for it other than use a thin layer of gun oil (which also seems to help it retain its colour.

Jim :cheers:

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Hello Jim,

I owned one for many years until it was bought by Marcus Cotton, who you may have heard of. I am sorry to say that I believe yours has been painted after the war. The rust bleeding through the camo, and the lack of wear to the paint on the rim tell me the camouflage is not original to that helmet. Genuine Malta camos are, as you say, very rare.

Perhaps others care to comment.

Regards,

Steve

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When I was a kid circa 1970 I lived in Brockley, SE London, there was a gated, cobbled street leading off the High St between Wickham Rd & St Margarets Rd, as you entered the gates there was a churchyard (the church where I was christened) on the left & a row of old buidings leading away from you on the right.

The road contained enormous piles of tin helmets, covered by tarps, & crammed up against the insides of the windows of the buildings were tons of old Wolseley helmets. I strayed in through the gates a few times "lost & by accident" but was always rumbled & had to leave.

On one occassion I leaned over the wall from the churchyard & rummaged around a pile of helmets which had slipped out from under a tarp - all painted black & sand, but I was'nt keen on them as they had a little bit of rust & I wanted a nice perfect condition green one.

Years later of course, I realised that I'd been tossing around & discarding scores of Maltese camo pattern lids.........

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Hello Jim,

I owned one for many years until it was bought by Marcus Cotton, who you may have heard of. I am sorry to say that I believe yours has been painted after the war. The rust bleeding through the camo, and the lack of wear to the paint on the rim tell me the camouflage is not original to that helmet. Genuine Malta camos are, as you say, very rare.

Perhaps others care to comment.

Regards,

Steve

Hi Steve,

From the provenance of the helmet, I never had reasons to doubt if this could have been painted after the war.

Whereas I would not judge the originality of the helmet by its condition, as I have come across several mint British and German helmets in private collections, the question that you raise about the way the helmet is rusting is indeed interesting as it would seem to evidence that the helmet may have been exposed prior to it being painted over. My suspicions were always that this was a regular tommy helmet issued in 1939 that was hand painted a couple of years later to the Maltese pattern during the war.

These helmets are indeed rare, but they are still found in a number of private collections in Malta (which is where this helmet is). They are definitely rarer outside the island.

Again - other comments are definitely welcome.

Regards,

Jim :cheers:

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When I was a kid circa 1970 I lived in Brockley, SE London, there was a gated, cobbled street leading off the High St between Wickham Rd & St Margarets Rd, as you entered the gates there was a churchyard (the church where I was christened) on the left & a row of old buidings leading away from you on the right.

The road contained enormous piles of tin helmets, covered by tarps, & crammed up against the insides of the windows of the buildings were tons of old Wolseley helmets. I strayed in through the gates a few times "lost & by accident" but was always rumbled & had to leave.

On one occassion I leaned over the wall from the churchyard & rummaged around a pile of helmets which had slipped out from under a tarp - all painted black & sand, but I was'nt keen on them as they had a little bit of rust & I wanted a nice perfect condition green one.

Years later of course, I realised that I'd been tossing around & discarding scores of Maltese camo pattern lids.........

Which brings about an interesting question..... whereas it is a dead cert that some helmets were done up locally, were these also being painted and shipped over with malta cammo?

As for heaps of helmets, I remember a nissan hut in a local scrap yard with heaps of helmets when I was a kid. I of course wanted to get myself a nice perfect brown one and In doing so I missed rarer firer fighting and ARP and medic helmets in the process. Alas that scrap yard is closed, the owners untraceable as hard as I tried and I know, that inside, still lie these rusting goodies!!

Jim :cheers:

Edited by JimZ
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