Nation's Attic Diving Into History 2023

Morse Diving Equipment 4 Light 12 Bolt Diving Helmet

The auction will start in __ days and __ hours

Start price: $2,000

Estimated price: $4,000 - $6,000

Buyer's premium: 20%

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

This helmet was made by the Morse Diving Equipment Company located in Boston, MA. This company started making diving helmets and related equipment in the mid-19th Century and continues to do so in the 21st Century. Their helmets are quintessential pieces of American industrial design and iconic diving history.

This helmets design and when it was constructed could be considered the peak of copper and brass commercial helmet construction. This 4 light (windows or ports) 12 bolt helmet was made by Morse during the mid 1960s. During this time, a revolutionary change in diving helmet design was taking place using fiberglass and other materials. This classic Morse helmet embodies the look and function of an iconic design that, during the late 1960s, was on the decline.

As can be seen in the photos, the helmet is in very nice original condition. As was the custom of Morse, the helmet serial number was stamped into both neck rings and all four brails. Serial #6776 is present in all six locations. A large majority of the original factory tinning remains. The helmet retains the original brass ID plate, wing nuts, four serial numbered brails, spring loaded safety pin, port guards, glass, exhaust valve, communications & air fittings, internal air vents, neck ring gasket, and exhaust chin button.

A commercial helmet like this one would have been ordered and made to the specifications the customer requested. It is not unusual to find details of the original diver or company information on a helmet. This one has the initials CDC etched into the breastplate and the peak of the bonnet. Also etched into the breastplate is the number 09-01-09. The CDC initials are from the Commercial Diving Center, which started in 1967. In 1981, Oceaneering International purchased the company and renamed it College of Oceaneering. This helmet was well taken care of. The classic rubbing of the tinning at the shoulders from the weight belt gives this helmet the undeniable appearance of use while maintaining it clean nearly new look. There are some working dents on the top of the bonnet and one behind the divers left port. The bonnet and breastplate thread together with ease as well as the faceplate. The safety pin also functions correctly. This is a wonderful helmet with a timeless visual look.

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. The display stand shown in the photos is not included. The option to purchase one after the auction will be provided.

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.