Old Chilean
3 Light 12 Bolt
Dive Helmet

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OLD CHILEAN 3 LIGHT, 12
BOLT DIVE HELMET 

Chilean 12 bolt dive helmet image
A SIEBE GORMAN LOOK-A-LIKE!THE STAND
IS NOT INCLUDED!Chilean dive helmets are in a class by themselves because their
makers use techniques that went out with the Industrial Revolution. That’s why even an advanced collection
of vintage dive helmets will have one or two examples. From them you can understand the changes that have taken
place in the diving industry. DIMENSIONS:
18″H x 15 1/2″ W x 15 1/4″ D
Weight 37 1/2 pounds Presented is
aclassic example of a vintage Chilean three light, 12 bolt
dive helmet. The similarity between this helmet and a British Siebe Gorman helmet are quite obvious with the upright oval
side lights, screw in front port and the shape of the brails. The only thing missing on this one is a lack of guards over
the lights. Because of their rigged good looks, and reasonable price, a Chilean helmet is a good place to start a collection
or as a design feature in your decor. Advanced collectors like to have them to fill out their collection. This helmet is from the collection of  a second generation deep water diver who had
a collectors’ compulsion of gathering everything he could related to diving. There are no markings or numbers.A Siebe Gorman 12 bolt helmet for comparison imageThe Chilean design is from the Siebe Gorman
12 bolt which is SOLD. CONDITION:The front port rests on a rubber
gasket and the added friction keeps it from opening by us.  There are numerous dents throughout, and a
slight wrinkle on the breast plate. The right side shows more dents than the left. The right sidelight has been pushed in,
but is secure in its frame. The drop down lock on the back is missing.  No speaker is fitted. The exhaust valve
turns freely, but has not been pressure tested, nor has the check valve. The main solder seam runs down the center of the
helmet vertically. There is a heavy use of solder at all joints which is typical of Chilean helmets. The stand is not included Like
all used diving gear, this is being sold for DISPLAY ONLY. It should not be dived without having passed inspection by a certified
dive shop.
Two Chilean images of this dive helmet, side by side border=        Right
and left sides of antique Chilean 12 bolt Helmet. Easily taken for a Siebe Gorman.

PROVENANCE:
From the estate of a hardscrabble character and second generation hard hat diver, and the son of a member of
the salvage team of the 17 month project to refloat the French ocean liner Normandie on the Hudson River that completed in
1947. Not only did the deceased have an incredible hard helmet and diving equipment collection, he also, in his lifetime,
managed to assemble an amazing collection of anything related to diving.

THE
CHILEAN DIVE HELMET INDUSTRY:  Chile has a long coast line that stretches almost 3000 miles along the Pacific
Ocean. The country also has Territorial islands that extend its reach far into into the Pacific The long narrow country,
has the Andes Mountains running down its eastern border. In order to serve the needs of its population, many of who earned
their living from the sea, diving for squid and abalone, the country developed a cottage type industry producing dive helmets.
Most all were small shops who copied the helmets of the better known European makers and simplified the designs
to match their skills in casting brass and forming copper using hand labor. Because
they are made by hand, no two Chilean helmets are alike, and this one copies the style of a Siebe Gorman 12 bolt even down
to the shape of the brails and the vertical side lights. The shops’ skills did not include fine soldering and these helmets
tend to have gobs of solder wherever there is a fitting attached. Many have seams like this one right down its center where
two halves were joined together on the vertical. This indicates that the form was hammered by hand to shape on a wood
buck, the holes cut for the various ports and elbows and then soldered together as the second step in making the bonnet. Older
segmented Asian helmets were made this way, but the joints were horizontal. Helmet maker’s today spin their bonnets on
a lathe or are now using resin. The
end result is that even when new, these helmets have a lot of character and make great starter helmets for those who are looking
for a real helmet that looks expensive at a bargain price. They also are nice to add to a growing collection.

Inside of Chilean bonnet image Underside of Chilean breast plate image

Back of helmet showing the air supply and check valve in
the center. The drop down lock is missing.
Inside of  bonnet showing vents over picture of the
underside of the breast plate
three quarter rear view of the Chilean helmet image This picture highlights the air elbow and
check valve on the left and the exhaust valve on the right

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Shipping & Packaging

The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, will be calculated point to point and is an additional charge. You may email us to get these costs. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.

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If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Shipping charges are refundable if due to our error within the continental United States.

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Established in 2003

Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques