German-Helmets.com  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

    Fakes and Reproductions:  Reproduction Dome Stamps

 

Photo:  A reproduction dome stamp decal.

 

Reproduction Dome Stamps

Many collectors prefer to seek helmets that contain dome stamps in the crown.  These dome stamps represent the individual inspector's mark applied to a selected number of helmets examined at each helmet manufacturing facility.  The dome stamps were applied only to a limited number of helmets.  Not every helmet produced received a dome stamp.  While not especially rare, dome stamps find appeal with many collectors seeking pristine examples of untouched wartime helmets. 

As one might guess, it was only a matter of time before those involved in counterfeiting helmets devised artificial dome stamp markings.  The dome stamp shown above is a dry transfer decal applied to the interior of a repainted helmet and then sealed with clear coat lacquer or acrylic.  The clear coat helps to bond the decal to the surface of the helmet and can assist in masking the edge that would be felt around the decal.  Collectors should be aware that dome stamps can be easily faked, especially when decals of the kind shown are available for a few dollars over the internet and various online auctions.  Other attempts at reproduction dome stamps have utilized various colors of paint and ink to simulate the originals. 

Few if any of the reproduction dome stamps found on helmets replicate the exact dimensions, wording, color, or size of the originals.  Many reproduction dome stamps are in fact classified as "fantasy" markings in the sense that what the represent is not at all historically correct.  One such dome stamp is done in white ink and applied to reproduction black Allgemeine-SS helmets. The few dome stamps that do pass as originals are often times quite convincing and very hard to detect.  In cases where a dome stamp is suspect of being a fake, collectors should inspect the entire helmet for signs of authenticy.  It is likely that other components of the helmet will show the tell-tale indications of postwar modification or alteration. 

One should immediately note that original dome stamps were never produced as decals.  A person can easily detect a reproduction decal by feeling the edges of the area surrounding the outer oval.  A more reliable method is to use a magnifying loop to examine the surface of the paint and ink directly with the eye.  Another approach would be to apply masking tape to the dome stamp to determine if it peels up when the tape is removed.  A final, more aggressive test would be to lightly scratch the surface of the suspected decal.  A reproduction decal of any kind is likely to peel under this kind of pressure. 

Overview

Each section of German-Helmets.com is divided into separate Information Tracks that outline important details, facts, and historical notes pertaining to steel helmets used by the German Armed Forces during World War II.  

Information Tracks are organized by subject matter and their content is directly related to the service arm or organization to which each topic is related.  Topic areas that bridge one subject matter to another are cross linked within each Information Track.

This Information Track provides collector facts pertaining to modern helmet fakes and reproductions.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

    Reproduction Topics

Fakes and Reproductions Main

Basic Tips for Collectors

Reproduction Buckles

Reproduction Chinstraps

Reproduction Decals

Reproduction Dome Stamps

Reproduction Helmet Labels

Reproduction Liners

How to Identify a Fake

    Collector Topics

Chinstraps

Camouflage

Decals

Dome Stamps

Factory Production

Foreign Use

Helmet History

Liner Systems

Paint

Fakes and Reproductions

Rare and Unusual

Appraisals

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