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I added this hessian helmet cover to my collection a few months back and IMO it shows genuine usage and age it is slightly stained black in a few locations and shows one spot were it would appear a little rust has bled through the material.

The textiles are consistent with period known example I have compared it to at the Nanaimo Military Museum and it is rather stiff and has retained its shape ( memory ) from were it has been sitting on a Mk II for some time the draw string that was used is as well produced from a single strand of heavy burlap material and has been woven through the cover quite tightly.

For the most part it is thought they were produced at a unit level and or locally by either a seamstress and or other persons that were accustomed to working with textiles.

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I do know that there have been fakes and reproductions produced of these over the years and they can be some what of a nightmare to authenticate as period originals but feel this example stands a very good chance here are a few more mounted on one of my Mk II's were it resides today on my shelf.

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I would appreciate any other thoughts and or opinions on this cover from you gents.

Regards Mark

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It certainly looks the part and has features I like.  That said, you will always, I think, get doubters on such as this without stone cold provenance proving it is a period item.  They did exist but by their very nature it would be very difficult to say 100% either way.  If the price was relatively cheap, then fine, but I doubt that it would ever command the price or desirability of one with a known history.  Still, it looks good and obviously displays well.

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Thanks Jerry it does feel right in hand and has been in place on a Mk II for a number of years IMO .

As to how long as you have stated who can tell it did not break the bank as it were and came from the same seller that I picked up my tropical tan moscitoes cover from.

Regards Mark

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Looks good to me, but then again, how can you date Hessian? When were these used? I always though WW1 not WW2.

I saw what I believed to me a Worcester Regiment example a while back from a dealer, but he wanted a silly amount for it, and not that I would justify over £200 on one, how can you tell if its orgininal?

 

Smell? faded colour? dirt in creases? What are the signs?

Oli

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Thanks for chimbing in Oli they were used early on in WW II by Canadian and British soldiers alike but fell out of favor quite early on as they were seen as possibly posing a potential decontamination problem .

I would think that gas would have been the main problem they were concerned with there is an excellent image in Tin lids that shows IMO the near exact cover being used circa 1941 during training in Newfoundland Canada there are other images on the net of Sandbag-Hessian covers being used in the theater of operations by British and Australian soldiers alike that bare a striking resemblence in construction with some small differance being noted in the construction characteristics ie foliage slits and or bands that have been added .

Regards Mark

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All:

 

Hello! Another interesting topic, thank you for starting topic Mark. I enjoyed reading the interaction between Jerry, Ocad, and you. HWMF is a place where constructive input and a helping hand is just one post away, thank you gentlemen.

 

Best regards,

John

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A very tough call from the image above but IMO there would either appear to be strips of oilcloth (America Cloth)and or foliage attached to the outside of some of the covers some of which are quite thread worn and tattered the image shows a group of British prisoners in North Africa take notice of the German soldier in the background

and so if the case I would expect these to be Hessian covers as the tan cotton tropical covers were devoid of slits for attaching extra materials to break up the helmets out line.

 

Regards Mark 

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I know this is an old thread....but hessian covers could also be found on the Brit Home Front during the pre-invasion period to hide the wearers seniority and/or reduce the risk to the wearer of machine gun strafing from planes.....at least, that's what the archives say......I kid you not!

 

...although, the chances of one of those finding itself across the Atlantic is pretty thin..........they're like hens teeth HERE!  🙂

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