Antique Swiss leather and felt Shako helmet


This incredibly well-preserved Swiss helmet boasts an interesting history and would make a thoughtful gift for those interested in the military past.


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This fantastic piece of Swiss headgear provides a fascinating insight into the history of Swiss military practice in the 19th century.  

The central body of the helmet is made of pressed black felt over a leather shell, with black leather front and rear visors. The rim is cast in silver, the top of which features a central metal pompon with a triumphant horse-hair aigrette.

The front of the helmet has an eight-sided silver star, adding a touch of engraved detail to the otherwise refined piece. The star has a Swiss Cross in the middle, overlaid on a wreath, and there is the number 20 in the centre to signify that this helmet belonged to a member of the 20th cavalry. On each of the side rims, there is an embossed circular seal of a lion.

The helmet is a shako-type: the word shako originated from the Hungarian name csákós süveg ("peaked cap"), which was a part of the uniform of the Hungarian hussar of the 18th century. From the 19th century onwards, the shako became a common military headdress, worn by the majority of regiments in European and American armies. Unlike previously used lighter helmets, the shako was able to retain its shape, with the heavy felt and leather providing protection for the soldier’s skull and the visor shading their eyes.

Filled with historical details, this exceptionally preserved piece of military headgear would be a great addition to the collection of anyone interested in military history.


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
19th Century
19th Century
Militaria / Military
Felt, Leather, Metal
Black, Silver


30 cm / 11.8 inches
20 cm / 7.9 inches
26 cm / 10.2 inches


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