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Morse US Navy Mark V - 1918 - Very Nice Patina
Without a doubt, the Mark V is the most popular helmet we handle. While challenging to find authentic examples, these were made in sizeable quantities during World War 2 and a much lesser degree during late World War 1. While many were used up, destroyed or lost, a precious few do still exist.
This specific example has a beautiful patina and is in presentable complete condition. As with most helmets that are 100+ years old, it has seen plenty of use and repairs over time, but none are visually distracting. We have this helmet priced very reasonably, especially for a 1918 example, which is explained below.
If you have always wanted an authentic Mark V but did not want to pay the huge prices for one with all the minutia of details absolutely correct, this is a unique opportunity for you. This helmet is authentic but is not 100% correct in terms of all the parts and pieces being from A.J. Morse & Son in 1918.
First, the helmet's ID plate, while correct in appearance, does appear to be a replacement in our opinion. It features the manufacture date of February 22nd, 1918. There is a lack of a serial number on the ID plate. The four brails do have the serial number of 2484. One rear brail is stamped with the A.J. Morse & Son name. These brails and the stamps appear original but do not fit the breastplate perfectly. Second, both neck rings feature a 2484 serial number. This serial number is consistent with a World War 1 production date. The serial number applied to the breastplate neck ring is a larger font than usual.
There is a US Navy inspection stamp on the communications cup. The spitcock valve, while secure, is loose-fitting. The exhaust valve is one from the WWII period. Inside the bonnet, the top air vent has been replaced, likely due to old repairs made to the helmet. There are multiple old small round repairs to the upper back of the bonnet, which are difficult to detect. The air fitting appears to be a Schrader style used during WWII. The dumbbell safety latch does engage the breastplate, but it is very tight. The safety latch is not factory original.
Overall, we feel this helmet has likely been repaired over the last 100 years multiple times with parts sourced from multiple Mark V manufacturers. We also think that the bonnet and breastplate are not original to each other. Despite these details, the helmet is presentable and an excellent display piece.
Due to the serial number discrepancies, we will not be issuing a COA for this helmet. You will receive a receipt of purchase from Nations Attic that you are receiving an authentic Mark V.