An extremely rare original British Army type B prototype helmet dating from 1915.
Only three other examples of this rare pattern of prototype helmet are known to exist. One of these is illustrated in Chris Pollendine's 'Campaign 1915' book and the resemblance of this helmet is truly striking. 100 of these helmets were produced for trials by the War Departmentin 1915 which concluded in the Type A helmet being chosen over this design.
The helmet is made from ordinary mild steel which is magnetic. It has been crudely formed, most likely on an already pre-existing former and the striations that are visible on the rim are testament to this. It is notably smaller in size when compared with the standard issue pattern of helmet and has a deeper bowl. The rim is notably smaller and features blunt sides to the front and rear which have been hand cut with hand-shear or similar. The original factory apple green coloured paint is clearly visible under the very dark green paint and this stops at the liner on the inside. The dark paint used to cover the apple green colour is very similar to that shown on page 86 of 'Campaign 1915'. That helmet, in keeping with the one offered here, features a privately purchased Hawkes Company Patent self fitting lining which was clearly fitted into both helmets prior to being repainted. The liner still retains its grey coloured woolen top section but the leather sweatband which would have borne the maker's name and patent has been removed at some stage. The chinstrap is made from khaki coloured cotton tape and features a simple twin pronged metal buckle which allows it to be adjusted. Whether this is original to the helmet is unclear but if it is not factory correct it looks to be a period addition judging by the condition and signs of age.
This is an extremely rare helmet which would make an incredible addition to any serious Great War collection.