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msdt

French Adrian Helmet - Coloniale

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msdt

I'm posting pictures of 2 Adrians I got together recently. The dealer said they came from the same source in France. I have reservations as to whether they have been 'worked on' for the market, so would appreciate thoughts from others. With these 2 helmets it is the badges and liners in particular, and I am somewhat influenced since I saw the references to WW1 badges that have been copied or restruck:

http://www.world-war-helmets.com/fiche.php?q=Casque-Francais-Adrian-Mle-26

 

The first is Coloniale badged. The liner seems too big.

 

Cheers,

Tony

 

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CROONAERT

To be honest, I'd also be a little dubious about that one (sorry!). The helmet shell itself looks OK, but it appears re-badged to me. One certainty is that the comb has been refitted with a later rivet/stud. Is the helmet shell very small? (or is the badge over-sized... I've never seen one fill the front of an Adrian like that and the bottom of the badge, as far as I've ever seen anyway, never overlaps the 'roll' as yours seems to on a mle.1915... though I have seen larger badges and overlaps (usually at the top though) on Mle.1926's).

 

Dave

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msdt

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the input. I don't think the comb has been off, the front rivet is a replacement, the others are OK and the paint matches. But the fact that this different rivet has been put in does lend evidence to the 'worked on' theory. But would anybody take the trouble to age the badge like that? And the paint on it does seem to match the helmet.

Cheers,

Tony

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CROONAERT
38 minutes ago, msdt said:

...would anybody take the trouble to age the badge like that? ...

 

Yes they would.... whether purposely done or just 'storage aging', I don't know, but only last week, a number of rusty replicas were available on a couple of internet auction sites. Can't find any apart from the below (not too bad) example at the moment,  but there were about 6 or 7 in 'worse' condition last time I looked properly.

 

Fair point on the comb... just noticed that one of my own has exactly the same and another has a broken rivet (must be a common repair...they're not the strongest!)

 

Dave

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msdt

Hi Dave,

 

What's the key identifier that the badge is a replica?

 

My final photo above shows the upper badge clip. It does seem to have paint on it, have done a close up.

 

Cheers,

Tony

 

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CROONAERT
39 minutes ago, msdt said:

...What's the key identifier that the badge is a replica?

 

 

 

 

It used to be easy, but less so nowadays!

 

Replicas tended to be slightly off-size and were of an inferior steel (which made them rust easier in storage if they were unpainted... which, itself was an obvious giveaway). I think they may still generally be either inferior (though some are 'too good' , being made of a better grade metal and too crisp) or offsize, but some, nowadays, are near-perfect and actually look 100 years old!  Some of the replica 'bombs' also appear to be based on later (or Gendarmerie) patterns/manufacturers also.

 

Re: colonial badges... there used to be a direct give-away for a replica for many years (no space between the bottom of the 'bomb' and the bottom of the anchor), but this error seems to have been eradicated.

 

By the way... just seen another Mle.1915 with an 'overlap'... the badge looked too big on this one too, but it was just a small helmet shell (funnily enough, I've never come across many of the smaller sizes). It appeared 'right', so yours probably is too (and I wouldn't worry too much about the liner... they were often replaced when needed).

 

Dave

Edited by CROONAERT

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msdt

Cheers Dave, will measure the helmet shell at the weekend to see if it is small.

Tony

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msdt

Hi Dave,

Have measured the helmet, it is a B medium, so not the smallest. The more I handle the helmet, the more I think it is OK. The paint on the badge looks to match the helmet well enough. Actually the helmet just seems to have 1 brush coat of dark blue.

How common is the Coloniale pattern?

Looking at my infantry examples I notice quite a variation in badge height. I assume that this is due to different manufacturers of the badges, rather than the slot placement on the helmet shell.

Cheers,

Tony

 

 

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CROONAERT
On ‎08‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 22:35, msdt said:

 ...The more I handle the helmet, the more I think it is OK. ...

 

...How common is the Coloniale pattern?...

 

...Looking at my infantry examples I notice quite a variation in badge height. I assume that this is due to different manufacturers of the badges, rather than the slot placement on the helmet shell....

 

 

Hi Tony.

 

Apologies for the delay (I seem to quite regularly lose track of threads in this new forum format)...

 

Handling the item is really the only way to be sure. Photos are OK, but angles can give false images of sizings (for example, there is a seller of Adrians whose photographic angles make it look like every helmet he sells has an absolutely HUGE front peak!), colours can be 'odd', etc etc....   So long as you are happy with it, then that's all that matters really.

 

Badges do vary slightly in size (also 'prong' positioning), but there also does appear to be a slight variation on slot heights dependant on manufacturer (though I must still say that the badge on your helmet still appears to be a little 'outsize' to me.... maybe a photographic effect as mentioned?)

 

The Coloniale pattern isn't particularly rare (it's ,maybe, about the 3rd most commonly encountered?), but they do appear to be demanding higher and higher prices these days (then again, the same can be said for the standard infantry helmets too).

 

Dave

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trenchtrotter

Re prices generally they have been underrated for along time and now rising. Finding nice French helmets harder now.

 

TT

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msdt

Hi Dave,

What do you reckon to be the 2nd most common?

I've been interested in these helmets for just under 2 years now. Of course the infantry ones are the most common to see for sale in the UK, but after that I'd put the Engineers and Artillery about equal (though haven't seen many of either really). My Coloniale is the first I've seen; I've seen one Chasseur (but too pricy); and the 2 Sante that I now own. These are all at fairs, I haven't been looking on the internet.

Cheers,

Tony

 

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CROONAERT

I'd have said artillery was the 2nd most common (at one point  - not too long ago - it seemed that every other Adrian I looked at was an artillery helmet!). Engineers are far less frequent these days and seem to have been matched by colonial patterns in blue (whether they're were all originally badged that way is another matter!). I'd put these two in joint 3rd... then Chasseurs, then medical (maybe swap these two over at the moment?) followed by Naval and Zouave badged helmets (haven't seen a genuine naval version for yonks!). Colonials repainted in genuine mustard colour don't seem too common these days.

 

(I've seen 8 (blue) colonial helmets (plus 1 mustard), about 20 infantry, 10 (ish) artillery, 1 Zouave, 2 Engineers, 1 Chasseur, 6 or 7 unbadged plus a rake of 'debateables' (Russian, Siamese, Polish, US, etc) on Ebay (internationally) and Delcampe over the past month)

 

Now, if you've got money to burn and want to 'complete' an Adrian collection, check out the 'La Tranchee du Poilu' militaria shop in Verdun... when I was last in his shop (about 8 weeks ago), he seemed to have at least two or three (genuine) example of (nearly) all the French patterns for sale (not horrendously priced for what he's selling, but certainly not cheap!). ... ... He didn't have a Naval version though! :(

 

Dave

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CROONAERT
On ‎05‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 22:55, msdt said:

 

What's the key identifier that the badge is a replica?

 

 

Further to my earlier posts, here's a good example of a replica colonial badge.... rope too thin, ball (slightly) too big. I think this has used a gendarmerie grenade as it's model.

 

(The helmet is genuine (colour variation due to flash) ... it's one I've just renovated!)

 

Dave

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Edited by CROONAERT

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msdt

Hi Dave,

Certainly a good replica badge though! Was a bit concerned at first as it looked similar to the badge on mine, but actually the flame is quite different.

What was involved in the renovation?

Cheers,

Tony

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CROONAERT
On ‎06‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 15:15, msdt said:

What was involved in the renovation?

 

 

Unfortunately I don't have any 'before' photos as it was always just intended as a display item that looks good on my shelf!

 

Anyway, basically, it was a rusty, un-badged wreck (the shell was still very solid though and had about 10% original paint... I've left it 'as was' internally) picked up for a couple of quid on a junk stall. I removed the (loose) comb and gave the whole thing a good wire-brushing and sanding. While still in bits, I undercoated the component parts, then painted them all in a Horizon Blue paint ('Bleu Horizon Mat 1915' is the tone... I obtained this from a specialist dealer in France). After re-riveting the comb into place and attaching the (replica) badge, I gave it another coat... et voila!... the result is aboveI'm going to make a chinstrap for it next (these are easy to make... no need to pay the extortionate prices of replicas from dealers for one of these) , but may have to purchase a liner and spacers (I say 'may' as, being just a display piece, the internals will not be visible anyway, so might not bother).

 

Dave

Edited by CROONAERT

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Keith_history_buff

Hi, I have two questions on the Adrian as worn by the Troupes Coloniales:

1. I have seen images of some helmets with just an anchor and no grenade; was this adopted between the wars?
2. Helmet colours. Would the colour of both the helmet and the uniform be moutarde for the tirailleurs indigenes, and horizon blue for the rest?

Regards

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davidmorris1995
On 07/11/2016 at 17:25, CROONAERT said:

 

Unfortunately I don't have any 'before' photos as it was always just intended as a display item that looks good on my shelf!

 

Anyway, basically, it was a rusty, un-badged wreck (the shell was still very solid though and had about 10% original paint... I've left it 'as was' internally) picked up for a couple of quid on a junk stall. I removed the (loose) comb and gave the whole thing a good wire-brushing and sanding. While still in bits, I undercoated the component parts, then painted them all in a Horizon Blue paint ('Bleu Horizon Mat 1915' is the tone... I obtained this from a specialist dealer in France). After re-riveting the comb into place and attaching the (replica) badge, I gave it another coat... et voila!... the result is aboveI'm going to make a chinstrap for it next (these are easy to make... no need to pay the extortionate prices of replicas from dealers for one of these) , but may have to purchase a liner and spacers (I say 'may' as, being just a display piece, the internals will not be visible anyway, so might not bother).

 

Dave

when you riveted the comb back onto the helmet what rivets did you use? i have recently picked up a mle26 helmet for ww2 and it is in need of a restoration. (the comb has obviously come off at some point and is only attached with one rivet and is also backwards) thanks

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