Ersatz Model 1895 Preußen Cloth-Covered
Filzhelme (felt helmet)
Ersatz Model 1895 Preußen cloth-covered Filzhelme (felt helmet). These helmets are often incorrectly identified as cork helmets but there are distinct differences beyond the basic material of cork or felt. Cork helmets are cloth-covered inside and out with no trim around the visors, while this pattern of cloth-covered Filzhelme is covered in khaki cloth on the exterior and visor undersides, but the interior of the skull is exposed felt.

It appears that this pattern of Ersatz Pickelhaube was made by only one manufacturer, as surviving examples in museums or private collections are identical in every aspect. This manufacturer used an Ersatz Leather trim (cloth that has been coated on one side) sewn completely around the circumference of the visors.

A view of the standard Preußen Infantry Mannschaften (Other Ranks) M1895 pattern Wappen (front plate). This Wappen and other fittings have not been chemically darkened, they are just tarnished from age.
The Pickelhaube was manufactured as a Model 1895 with brass fittings, but without front visor trim or rear spine. The felt, however, is very thick and stiff, making it quite sturdy.
The side profile, showing that this rather scarce pattern of Ersatz cloth-covered Filzhelme is in remarkable condition.
A close-up of the green Ersatz Leather trim which shows how it is sewn around the circumference. The liner stitching is also visible. Note the leather reinforcements (cracked with age) sewn under the M91 chins strap posts.
The liner is manufactured similar to a standard leather Pickelhaube, but sewn directly onto the felt shell from the inside in the same manner as a standard Filz Pickelhaube.

In the interior the felt of the body can be seen under the leather liner.
Like the exterior, the undersides of the visors are covered in cloth with the rear visor having a stamped "JR137" for 2. Unter-Elsässisches Infanterie-Regt. Nr.137 garrisoned in Hagenau as part of the XXI Armee Korps.

I.R. 137 served in the West and Russian Fronts; it did not serve in warm climates such as Salonika or Serbia etc. Note that the Ersatz Leather trim has worn away in some areas around the edges of the visors revealing the cloth underside of the trim.