Presented is a dive helmet which could easily be mistaken for a US Navy MK V helmet
even though some of the critical details are missing. It has a great looking, rustic appearance and has none of the overly
polished machine made parts of contemporary reproductions which sell for around $1500.00. It was handmade made in South
Korea, and brought to the States by its original owner. The helmet’s good looks are enhanced by its attractive, natural patina
of age which varies in colors and the extensive verdigris. Since not many people can own an authentic Navy MK V helmet that currently sell
for $6000 and up it makes this a very attractive alternative.
bonnet is made from spun copper with rough brass castings. It’s front port opens, but the movable parts need
some freeing up. The bonnet is mounted on the breast plate using traditional interrupted threads and turns freely. Lacking
on the back is a locking device to keep the bonnet from turning. The exhaust is of a Korean design and there is no spit cock
as on a MK V. The brales have no markings and the tag is only partially legible. There are air vents inside, a chin
button air release valve, and the remnants of a nondescript speaker. For a helmet of this type it weighs a heavy 37 pounds.
Close examination shows that the helmet would not hold air, and would
leak. It is being sold for display only and no attempt should be made to dive it.
THIS HELMET IS NOT INTENDED FOR DIVING
front port and MK V guards
style exhaust valve
tag partially illegible
DIVING APPARATUS COMPANY: The Toa company was founded in 1909
in Minamisenji Japan as a maker of diving equipment. In 1924, it was established as a corporation making all kinds of
diving equipment. In 1944, the Imperial Navy took over the factory management and workforce of 50 men and women.
It gradually grew to be largest diving and equipment manufacturer in Japan, and also had a school for training
divers. They manufactured 12 bolt helmets with round breastplates and also the square pearler type breastplates. The
Company may still be in business to day.
MARKINGS: There are no markings.
This helmet is an opportunity to own a Navy MK V facsimile at a reasonable price, and have
an interesting an dramatic display piece.
Breast plate bottom showing brail studs soldered over
CONDITION: The bonnet seems
to be made of an inner and outer layer of copper. Some of the castings show voids and other irregularities. All of the
guards, but the top front are MK V style. The studs and nuts holding the front door are iron. The two nipple weight holders
are too close together. The edges of the breast plate are turned over a metal band showing hand made work, and the underside
of the brails have been drilled to lighten them. The name on the tag is partially illegible. The top
port has screws from the inside holding it compared to the back of the breast plate’s studs which are soldered.
There is some sort of a speaker inside which may have been added later. The exhaust is Korean style, and not a MK
V type banana exhaust. Other deviations are noted elsewhere in the narrative.
Back of helmet with speaker wires, wing nuts and no lock
& PACKING: Due to the nature of this item, special protective packaging is used for shipment. We price
shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling. In the continental
U.S. shipping a helmet of this weight will generally cost $80.00.
About Land and Sea Collection™
The Source for the Finest Nautical Antiques, Affordable Marine Art, Vintage Dive Helmets, New Sextants, Antique Sextants, and beautifully executed Antique & Vintage Boat, Ship and Aircraft Models.