Feather Helmet - 1959
Somewhere from up above Mr. John T. Riddell must be looking down and proudly smiling at this beautiful 1959 Redskin helmet. It has all the subtle individual characteristics that assembled together gave the early Riddell helmets a unique look and personality that will forever be intertwined with the significant progression of team uniform stylization that occurred during this special era. As if created by a sculptor, this virtually flawless "RK" model has an art-like slightly flared shaped shell. The contour of the shell is further enhanced by the attachment of an original Riddell Plexiglas facemask which preceded the more common "BD-9" plastic two-bar facemask. An original two tone all leather Riddell chinstrap provides the finishing touch to give the helmet its period look. The helmet interior is just as interesting as the exterior. Special order concussion padding compliments the standard factory six point suspension webbing (redesigned as a twelve point in the early 1960s). The leather jaw pads are permanently riveted to the shell and flip upward to provide access to the facemask hardware. The all leather crown piece is etched with the Riddell logo and predates the molded rubber crown piece used on later models. Rather than the standard "battleship" gray painted interior found in all 1960s era helmets the shell interior is meticulously painted with a most interesting shade of mango. The shell exterior has been painted with custom colored Redskin lacquer paint which is somewhere between burgundy and plum with a subtle brown tint. The famous razor thin multi-part Redskin decal is properly mounted underneath the two rear center rivets which gives it a clean factory applied look. The only dilemma one encounters with this truly fine helmet is whether it ultimately belongs in a sports museum or an art gallery. For now the best place for it is on Helmet Hut where it can best be appreciated by their loyal readers.