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

    Fakes and Reproductions:  Reproduction Helmet Labels

Reproduction Labels

Reproduction labels of many different types or styles can sometimes be found in counterfeit civic or combat model helmets when the artist has attempted to replicate something he thinks is rare or original in overall appearance.  In most cases, the reproduction labels themselves are largely 'fantasy' items in the sense that they do not represent anything that was historically applied or used on original helmets.  In general, the use of cloth or paper labels was very uncommon with German helmets. Even so, enough original helmets exist with unit or personalized name tags that replicating them often appeals to those involved in counterfeiting helmets.

When examined closely, reproduction labels generally do not show the proper age of the rest of the helmet or its component parts.  Counterfeit labels will often show indications of being recently made using non-historical techniques.  This can include the use of modern ball point ink markers, stickers, or hand printed cloth tags.  For example, the label depicted in the photo below is in fact printed on parchment paper using a modern ink-jet printer.  The label appears to be a composite of several images either scanned or replicated using already existing artwork that was combined to create the label.  Once glued to the interior of the helmet, it appears as though the label was covered in a clear coat material to help bond it to the surface of the paint.  Of course, this label is a complete fantasy and in no way is original to this or any other helmet.

When examining any label, it is necessary to explore the very fine surface details to determine if the material is of similar age to the rest of the helmet and its components.  A fine magnifying glass will clearly show the dot matrix pattern of a modern ink jet printer, water-slide or dry transfer decal.  In some cases, the aging techniques attempted on reproduction labels often involves burning them to make them look brown with age.  Smearing labels with grease or motor oils in addition to using chemical agents that yellow the cloth or paper are also common.  Reproduction labels with German lettering can sometimes have words that are spelled incorrectly.  While maker's labels were sometimes used on original civic model helmets, even these have been counterfeited with reasonable quality.  Labels for the well known 'Erel' firm have been observed in repainted light-weight parade helmets in an effort to make them more convincing to the potential buyer.

 

This SA label attempts to depict the type one might hope to find in a rare SA-Feldherrnhalle helmet.  However, no labels of this kind were ever used indicating that this helmet is clearly a reproduction.  Note the word 'Feldherrnhalle' is also spelled incorrectly.  This is clearly the work of someone who is not familiar with the German language and who forgot to check their own work before attempting to pass it off as original.  Such errors are common on counterfeit helmets even when the artist is attempting to do the best job they can at faking a helmet.

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 Decal Topics

Detective Techniques

Repro Photo Gallery

Things to Remember

Tools to Have on Hand

    Reproduction Topics

Fakes & 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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