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Italian Helmet Help
Old 10-18-2003, 05:26 PM   #1
Peter_Suciu
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Default Italian Helmet Help

Anyone have any experience with Italian helmets. These were something I collected years ago and then sold off. But I've since been told that a vast majority of the sencils are fakes. Anyway to tell?

Any thoughts on this helmet on eBay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...&category=4079

Or any thoughts on where to find some quality Italian helmets these days?
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:29 AM   #2
Jim McCauley
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Hello Peter,

I have a few Italian helmets with stencils. I believe them all to be original.

My best advice is to get a few good books. Paolo Marzetti's "Combat Helmets of the World" (fourth edition to be released this month) and "L'elmetto Italiano", Bossi - Nogueira are my two favorites.

I have been told that stencils should match known originals exactly, with no variations, as most redone helmets are incorrect in some way. This is only true for pre-RSI period helmets. Many RSI helmets were painted by whomever the best artist in the unit was. This makes these helmets highly suspect. The RSI helmets in my collection were bought from a trusted source but I still wonder at times.

As always, if you have been collecting for a while, "gut reaction" goes a long way in deciding what you are comfortable with.

The helmet on ebay may be real. I would ask for better pictures.

Best regards.

Jim

Last edited by Jim McCauley; 10-19-2003 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 10-20-2003, 10:33 AM   #3
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Thanks Jim. I did get another photo from the seller. Any opinions. Still really hard for me to say.
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Last edited by Peter_Suciu; 10-20-2003 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 10-21-2003, 12:05 AM   #4
ccmax
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Painted/stencilled WWII Regio Esercito helmets are relatively plentiful in the Italian market, but their price is beginning to rise, somewhat like it's happening with the M1 helmets. On the other hand I would not buy any M33 helmets with stencils of the RSI period unless they came from unquestionable sources. I've seen more original RSI M33 in the hands of Brazilian veterans than in all the tables of Italian dealers during my trips to Italy put together. You may find out it will be easier to acquire a good M33 from the hands of a US veteran or their family than purchasing it from the country of origin.
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Old 10-21-2003, 07:06 PM   #5
Jim McCauley
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Hello Peter,

I think it could be an original. It does match the insignia in my referance books.

My only concern is, if you look at the insignia closely the stencil was unevenly placed on the helmet shell. The lines are thicker on one side. This could indicate a problem as original stencils were metal and form fitted to the helmet shell for painting. It may just indicate a rushed job.

If the price were right I might take the chance and go for it. The cost of shipping from Italy is murder so I would pass.

There is one Italian dealer who goes to the Union NJ shows. IMO everything I've seen him sell has been good.

Best regards.

Jim
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Old 10-21-2003, 07:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McCauley
I think it could be an original. It does match the insignia in my referance books.
I ended up retracting my bid and it sold. I'll talk to the dealer who hits Union and see what he has or can get instead.

You're right about shipping from Italy. Not only is it a fortune but I bet it wouldn't be here by the next Union show. I've bought a couple of things from an Italian dealer and it took five weeks one time and almost six weeks another time.
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