Ersatz Preußen Infantry Tin Pickelhaube
 
Ersatz Preußen Infantry Eisenblech (tin plate) Pickelhaube. The Eisenblech Ersatz-Helme most closely resemble the M1895 Pickelhaube as they consist of a front and rear visor secured to a helmet shell by spilt brads and lacquered black. The metal for the shell is quite thin and would offer little more protection than the leather Pickelhaube it was destined to augment.

At first glance, it appears that regular M1895 fittings are mated to a tin shell, but Eisenblech Pickelhaube have several very unique features. The brads for holding on the spike base are artificial and are actually pressed into the spike base, while the spike itself is pressed onto the helmet skull. The rear spine stops short of the spike base, and is void of the M1895 sliding vent. As well, these helmets have an interesting "barrel" method for attaching the plate onto the helmet.
These helmets are often referred to now by collectors as 'kit helmets", as they were shipped to the front Bekleidungsamt (Clothing Depots) to be assembled by hand. The helmet body and visors are made from thin Eisenblech (tin plate) and painted in black enamel. The factory supplied holes in the shell for the other fittings, such as spike, Wappen, rear spine, and the M91 posts for the chinstrap. The design was actually ingenious; the shell had a ridge around the base of the circumference into which the liner and rear visors were snapped into place, and secured with brads.
A view of the front Wappen on the helmet.
A view of the unique method for attaching the front plate onto the helmet. Note that there has never been Model 1895 loops soldered on the plate, indicating that the plate was manufactured for the Ersatz tin Pickelhaube.
A side profile of this example.
The rear profile of this example showing how the rear spine stops short of the spike base, and is void of the M1895 sliding vent.
A view of the unique artificial brads on the top of the spike base. They are pressed into the spike base and the spike itself is pressed onto the helmet skull. This results in a gap between the helmet body and the spike base.
The liner is similar to a standard leather Pickelhaube, but attached by rolling it under the metal edge.
The helmet is marked "R.v.d.H. Berl Sch" on the front visor.