Friday, May 3, 2013

Auction Gold - 1940s Leather Helmet

Heritage Auctions continues to serve up amazing Packers artifacts. This leather helmet, since painted white, once sat on the head of a Packer hero.
1940's Green Bay Packers Game Worn Helmet.  In the sports memorabilia game, sometimes it takes a bit of uncanny knowledge and a keen eye to spot a treasure. Here we present one of those special instances, as this auction listing features one of the only 1940's Green Bay Packers game-worn helmets ever to see hobby light.
Most likely donated to a local Green Bay high school after its time in professional football was through, this leather helmet once was used by a Packers player during the later part of the Curly Lambeau era. Now baring a light application of white paint throughout, a careful look at the shell's edges shows clear evidence of an original application of yellow paint. Originally obtained from the collection of a Green Bay media personality years ago, the helmet's front portion displays an extremely faint "PAC" from what once was stamped "PACKERS," and team historians and vintage game photography will confirm that this is the exact style as worn by the team about 70 years ago. While not a perfect example, it was unquestionably worn by a Packers player in the 1940's, and it could easily be brought back to life with the proper paint restoration. LOA from Heritage Auctions.
It's an amazing piece of history.

We've discussed this helmet before, when it was in the collection of Titletown Nostalgia. Shame about the repainting, but the faint trace of the "PACKERS" stamp tells us its story. You can see similar branding on the leather of Don Hutson's helmet in this undated photo:

Here's the stamp:

Game-worn Packer leather helmets are exceedingly rare. I'm aware of four in private hands, including this one and one in my collection. The Packers Hall of Fame has some, of course, as does the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Now's your chance.

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