Winning Bid: $14,400
US Navy Mark V DESCO Diving Helmet – Never Used!:
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.
This helmet was made by one of those famed and iconic manufacturers of the 20th and 21st Centuries, the Diving Equipment & Supply Company (DESCO). Located in Milwaukee, WI this company would start making diving helmets and related equipment in the late 1930s. Starting in 1943 they become a supplier to the US Navy, including the Mark V helmet. DESCO is still in business today making the highest quality helmets and offering repair services.
The helmet was made during the month of September in 1977 and is the very same configuration as ones made decades before. This helmet was purchased brand new by the Divers Academy International school along with another. The other Mark V became the schools primary training helmet while this one never touched the water in 44+ years! The result is a time capsule of a Mark V with a documented history that we will pass along to the next lucky owner.
As can be seen in the photos, the helmet is virtually brand new in appearance. Many people do not realize that Mark Vs made for the US Navy required that they have a tinning covering the entire copper body. This tinning prevented saltwater corrosion. This tinning gives the helmet the grey finish you see. The tinning is not applied to the brass hardware, such as the brails and window guards. This helmet is what a DESCO Mark V looks like after forty four years of being cherished and never used!
Securely mounted inside the bonnet is the reproducer. We are not sure if DESCO installed this or not, but it is a new old stock example from World War 2 with a US Navy inspection stamp! In addition the helmet comes with a DESCO non-return valve, air cap, and communication elbow cap. Other components present are the four brails, 12 wing nuts, spitcock valve, BTE exhaust valve and chin button, dumbbell safety latch, air vents, glass. The only minor parts we noted that are missing is a cotter pin on the dumbbell safety chain and four copper brail shims.
The helmet is serial numbers matching. DESCO placed the serial number on both inside neck rings and ID plate. The spun copper body of the helmet is in wonderful condition as well as other components. Very minor surface imperfections from handling and age are the only flaws. It is unusual to have an opportunity to own a Mark V helmet where the entire lineage of ownership is documented like this one.
All helmets sold & auctioned by Nations Attic Inc. will come with a certificate of authenticity (COA). This COA will have a serial # on it that will match the # on a tamperproof holographic decal placed on the inside of the helmet. This level of security and long-term assurance of the helmets authenticity is un-matched in the industry and very important to us.
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. A shipping quote prior to the auction can be provided by emailing your postal code.