The first helmet at the photographs here below was genuinely made by Christiansen in the nineteen sixties. He made this helmet for a small man and this helmet is a shorter neck then other Danish helmets. That helmet was used on Greenland.

The next 11 photographs show another genuine Christiansen helmet, this time the helmet has standard sizes which is clear when comparing the position of the side windows with the first helmet. The helmet was approved for civil diving work which can be concluded by the crown and number stamped the the helmets base. It is interesting to see that Christiansen used parts from other helmets to complete his helmets with: the side window grills are standard Siebe Gorman’s, the exhaust valve comes off a post 1942 Dräger helmet. This helmet retired as a lamp ...

The next 14 photographs show another genuine Christiansen helmet, also made at the time that helmets were still manufactured to work with. Unfortunately this helmet was never finished by Christiansen.

The last 7 photographs however show the most common Christiansen helmet on the market, these new helmets were made by him in the early nineteen eighties after they had been ordered by a dutch nautical antiques dealer. As soon as copper diving helmets became valuable as collectable items, various people including some dealers started having them copied. Sometimes the copied items are accurately reproduced and of a high quality, but more often they are of poor quality. Poor quality 'fake' helmets can easily be recognized as they are usually sold for reasonable or low prices, therefore I won’t waste time including or discussing these. However, the problem we currently face is the various helmets, knifes, boots, weights and diving tools on the market which are reproduced to a much higher standard, then sold by ‘disreputable dealers’ who pass them as genuine diving antiques. As reproduction techniques improve, new batches of 'fakes' are becoming harder to recognize. Here in Holland this problem started as long ago as the early nineteen eighties when a particular dealer had the classic 2-bolt Danish diving helmet reproduced by a man who once used to repair and occasionally build diving helmets: Mr. Christiansen of Kopenhagen. If these helmets had been sold as ‘new’ helmets back in 1984 there would not have been a problem. But in order to raise their prices, these helmets were resold by the dealer as "antique helmets which had never been used and were recently discovered in a warehouse in Kopenhagen". These helmets fetched high prices and found their way into various collections all over the world. Even a respected American collector sold several of them to other collectors in the USA and not knowing that these helmets were reproductions he even published a photo of one in a famous book on diving helmets he published in 1989, stating it was a Danish helmet from an unknown manufacturer. Unfortunately he did not know the helmets were in fact brand new reproductions: his friend the dealer had fooled him too.

Danish 2-bolt helmet specialist Sven Erik Jørgensen of the Dikkehistorisk Selskab Danmark spent some time investigating these helmets. In 2005 at the annual ‘Northern Divers Meeting’ in Frederikshavn, Denmark he gave a lecture to share his conclusions that these helmets could not have been manufactured for proper underwater use, due to their improper construction. Also he found that the name badges which were soldered onto the helmets could not have been made in Kopenhagen as was stated on them. This is because who ever engraved them did not have the knowledge to include the slash through the ‘o’ of København. In Denmark the ‘O’ of Kopenhagen is written as ‘Ø’. When the mistake was discovered by the dealer he simply used a screwdriver to hit the slash through the ‘o’. Several of these helmets have come on to the market over the years and they come in different variations, but people who are familiar with the quality of a genuine Danish helmet can easily spot these reproductions by their poor quality finish.

Many thanks to Philip Nathansen of the ‘Dykkehistorisk Selskab’ for his help with this chapter.

The Hansen ‘2 bolt’ divers helmet as made by Christiansen, Kopenhagen.

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