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FAMOUS HEINKE PEARL DIVER HELMET Ca 1896 RECREATION
Stand Not Included
Presented is a non-standard very rare, Ca 1896,
recreation of a C.E. Heinke three light, twelve bolt, Pear Diver helmet, but it has only ten bolts. Heinke started
business in England in 1820 and was a major factor in the diving industry until 1957 when it was acquired by Siebe Gorman.
Contemporary Heinke helmets sell for $15000 and up. The older versions sell for considerably more. Consequently, not
many people can own an authentic Heinke.
This helmet is an opportunity to own a
Heinke facsimile at a reasonable price, and have an interesting an dramatic display piece.
The whole thing is heavy brass, not the unusual copper bonnet and brass corselet. The
top may be segmented or a casting, but there are no interior soldering lines which show. The bonnet does
not come off, so the neck rings may be stuck. The side port interior shields replicate a design used in
an early Heinke (ca 1840), which did not have any holes. This feature did not meet with much success and was shortly
dropped from subsequent production.
The helmet weighs a heavy 46 lbs and is 13 1/4″ W x 16 1/2″ H. It was
bought in Burma, now Myanmar, in 2006 by an Army colonel who was a combat veteran, and later a diplomat and foreign area officer
serving in Rangoon. A brief version of his biography is below.
THIS HELMET IS NOT INTENDED FOR
inlet check valve to left
helmet – air vents
| Heinke Pear Diver helmet in use, Ca 1896
PROVENANCE: The helmet was purchased by the colonel in 2006 in
Rangoon, Burma from an antique dealer by the name of Augustine whose business caters to the city’s diplomatic and military
corps of various nations. Augustine has a reputation of honesty and fair dealing. When recently questioned he said that he
bought this helmet at a government auction in 2005 and has no knowledge of its prior ownership. He believes the piece originally
came from India and that it is was manufactured prior to WWII. Of course, Burma was under British administration up
until WWII and governed as a part of the larger colony of India. According to him, the British used Indian and Burmese
craftsmen to replicate many things at a lower cost than importing from England such as Siebe-Gorman and Heinke dive
helmets were among these. The Indians were noted for their skill in copper and brass while Burmese craftsmen were more skilled
in bronze work.
RECENT FORMER OWNER: Now a resident of Montana, Colonel Daniel N. Tarter, USA (Ret.) is a decorated combat veteran with 27-years as a light infantry
officer and foreign area specialist. His combat tours included service with the 7th, the 9th, and the storied 506th
Infantry Regiments. As a foreign area officer, Colonel Tarter served eleven years in Central and Southeast Asia as a
research scholar and military diplomat. From 2005-2008, he was the US Defense Attaché in Rangoon, Burma. After
military service, Colonel Tarter foundered Big Sky Sun Projects International, a public charity providing humanitarian aid
in Burma and Cambodia, and serves as its executive director which continues to take him to the Far East.
DIMENSIONS: 13 1/4″ W x 16 1/2″ H
Weight 46 lbs
MARKINGS: The brales read, Front, England.
The breast plate reads TAUCHERHELM over ENGLAND. Taucherhelm is German for “diving helmet”. The maker knew that Heinke
was an English company so it is puzzling that he would use German on it.
Because of its dramatic appearance, this helmet
is perfect for display in your den, office or boardroom
Breast plate bottom showing brail studs and vents
SEE BACK VIEW AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
CONDITION: The helmet is in excellent
condition except that the bonnet does not come off, and that the air inlet check valve is non functional.