Here we have a lovely old brass fire helmet. This is a most decorative piece, being very pleasing to the eye, it could make for a lovely antique curiosity in a hall or sitting room.
This is an original “Merryweather” helmet. It has the Merryweather brass plate on the neck guard and the plate reads
“Merryweather & Sons Firemens Outfitters – London -“
This Victorian Merryweather Fire helmet is of all brass construction, with an ornate high comb, the standard Fire Brigade crossed axes crest to front and complete chin straps.
The brass helmet comprises of a raised dragon motif comb with a three piece void over the front which acts as a vent as well as being a decorative feature of the helmet. This brass fire helmet is complete with the original badge to the front. Furthermore, the helmet has its original side bosses and a lovely linked leather backed chinstrap. The leather on the back of the chinstrap may have been replaced. The comb as previously stated has standard dragon design.
As is typical with these helmets (that date from the late Victorian era) there are some dents to the shell, the front visor and comb. Also, the cracks on the shell happened historically while the helmet was still in use. However, these were remedied with excellent crafted period repairs (see photos for details).
The interior of the helmet has the Merryweather & Sons brass makers plaque, but the lining is long since gone.
So, this is a brass Merryweather pattern fireman’s helmet with provenance. It comes from an old Irish collection and the provenance indicates that this particular helmet may have been an original fire service helmet from the Rathmines fire brigade.
Note: Merryweather helmets were used from 1868 until well into the 20th Century. To get a greater appreciation of this historic item, please click on the images.