Imperial German Pickelhaube Evolution 1842-1915
The Model 1856/57 Pickelhaube
On 26 June 1856, an AKO directed that the convex brass chinscales would be changed to flat brass chinscales for all Infantry units. Cavalry and Field Artillery units, however, continued to utilize convex chinscales. For all units, the new chinscales hooked together in the center with a small ball and corresponding hole when not worn under the chin and the the long retaining bolt of 1842 was replaced by a simple threaded screw with a corresponding threaded post.

An AKO dated 24 December 1857 reduced the helmet height to make the helmet less unwieldy and more practical for use. Older Model 1842 helmets were cut down and re-sewn to comply with the new regulations. This policy of modifying older models to new regulations explains the rarity of early Pickelhaubes today.

This amazingly clear period photo of a M1857 sitting on a desk clearly shows the reduced height, flat chinscales which hooked together, and the threaded screw post.
An additional change for 1857 was the introduction of a new 75mm painted Kokarde made from stamped sheet-metal to replace the painted wool Kokarde which had proved less than satisfactory.