Nation's Attic Diving Into History 2023

1920s Miller Dunn Divinhood Shallow Water Style 2 Diving Helmet

The auction will start in __ days and __ hours

Start price: $3,250

Estimated price: $6,500 - $8,500

Buyer's premium: 20%

Sales Tax: On the lot's price and buyer's premium

Regarded by many as the most desirable shallow water diving helmet ever produced is the Divinhood Style 2. This unique helmet was made by the Miller Dunn Company located in Miami, Florida. Miller Dunn started out in 1915 with the Divinhood, a simple helmet that became popular with civilian and military divers. In 1925, Miller Dunn introduced the much improved Divinhood Style 2, which would become the US Navy standard shallow water helmet.

The Style 2 Divinhood utilized two angled glass windows on the front protected by brass bars. The large angled windows provided a great field of view but also created a distorted vision when looking straight ahead. Regardless, the model would be made for well over 10 years and proved popular in all sorts of underwater professions and activities.

This fantastic example is an early one. The first Style 2s featured a slightly narrower shoulder flange that this helmet has. In most cases, dating a Miller Dunn helmet to a specific period is impossible.

As can be seen in the photos, the helmet is in very nice condition. A patina has formed over the copper body and brass hardware. The old glass is intact with the white lead caulk still inside. The window guards and frame with original brass hex bolts are complete and in great condition. The air fitting below is in good condition. The brass ID plate is clear and legible. The brass carry handle on top is bent slightly. The front left edge of the copper body has a very minor bend. The right edge at the peak of the shoulder where the copper is rolled over is separated slightly. Overall, this nearly 100 year old helmet is in great shape!

Unlike the Style 1 and Style 3 Divinhood, the Style 2 was made in between World Wars. This resulted in only limited US government orders and now in the 21st century very few surviving examples. The helmets unique design also make it a highly desirable model that rarely comes to the market. Having the opportunity to own an early production example is also a rare occurrence.

All diving helmets in this auction will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Nations Attic. The certificate will have a unique number that will match the number on a tamperproof hologram decal placed inside the helmet. This information will be kept on permanent file at Nations Attic and help ensure the provenance of the helmet and authenticity.

All items will be shipped with a signature required upon delivery and full insurance either via FedEx or the USPS Priority Mail. Worldwide shipping is available; however, no ocean freight will be offered on large items. DHL Express is an option for international shipments under 600 pounds via air. Payment via bank wire for customers outside the USA is required. A shipping quote prior to the auction can be provided by emailing your postal code.