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Nation's Attic 2024 Diving Into History

1945 US Navy Mark V Diving Helmet DESCO w/ USN Stamp

The auction will start in __ days and __ hours

Start price: $2,500

Estimated price: $7,000 - $9,000

Buyer's premium: 20%

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

The US Navy Mark V is arguably the most iconic helmet design ever made. Its style and history have made it one of the most popular helmets among collectors worldwide. The model was made for the US Navy from 1916 till the mid-1980s. After the US Navy adopted the Mark 12 helmet for use, there were still three makers of the Mark V helmet for commercial and recreational use, Morse & DESCO (Diving Equipment and Supply Co) and recently Schrader.

One of those famed and iconic manufacturers of the 20th and 21st Centuries, the Diving Equipment & Salvage Company (DESCO) made this helmet. Located in Milwaukee, WI, this company started making diving helmets and related equipment in the late 1930s. Starting in 1943, they became suppliers to the US Navy, including the Mark V helmet. DESCO (Diving Equipment and Supply Co) is still in business today making the highest quality helmets and offering repair services.

As can be seen in the photos, the helmet has been beautifully polished. The helmet was made on January 15th, 1945. DESCO would stamp a serial number on the brass ID plate as well as on the inside of the bonnet and breastplate neck rings. The serial number 2143 is present on all three locations – proof the major components are matching and original to each other. Also featured on the ID plate is a US Navy inspection stamp. This stamp shows the helmet was inspected and put into US Navy inventory during World War 2.

This helmet retains its original components, which include the four brails, 12 wing nuts (6 are flanged), spitcock valve, BTE exhaust valve, chin button, dumbbell safety latch and related hardware (latch is secured with a brass screw), air vents, and glass sealed with red lead. Inside the bonnet the original air vents are intact. A vintage reproducer (telephone speaker) is present inside. The outside of the bonnet feature the typical tinny working dents, none of which are deep or large. A neck ring gasket is present.

This helmet professional polishing, matching serial numbers, and US Navy inspection stamp make it a very special United States Navy Mark V helmet. If you have been looking for that impressive visual statement piece that will look good anywhere it is displayed, this one is it!

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. International bidders are advised that some countries do not allow the importation of knives. Nations Attic is not responsible for shipping charges going or coming back if your countries customs denies delivery. Rejected items can be consigned into a future sale as there are no refunds.