I picked this hat up off of eBay recently for less than the price the seller paid for shipping! I have had my eye out for a good deal on one of these hats for quite some time. The prices can range all the way up into the hundreds of dollars for one of these. I'm glad I was at the "right place at the right time" on this deal!
The hat appears to be in nearly unissued condition. There is some slight staining on the lining in the brow area, showing that it was worn, but only lightly used.
There is not much in the way of hard documentation on Swedish military uniform and equipment items, but from my research, it appears that these hats were manufactured and issued from the early 1900's through WW2. They are known in Swedish as "Palsmössa m/1909". They are mostly pictured in photos of the Swedish Volunteer Forces, Svenska Frivilligkåren, of the Finland Winter War of 1940. Swedish_Volunteer_Corps-Winter_War
These hats were worn in Sweden during the same period, but there just aren't photos to be easily found.
Here is a photo of my hat to compare to the two previous photos that were taken during the Winter War in Finland.
It is dated 1941, the year after the Winter War.
The unit and date stamps inside the hat are not perfectly clear due to wrinkles in the fabric when it was stamped, but careful lining up of the print reveals a clear stamping.
I have sketched the stamping so that you can more clearly see the details:
Along the lower, interior edge of the hat lining, there is another stamping that appears to be "62 cm". This is definitely not the hat size, so I am not sure what this means. I have not seen this stamp mark on any other photos of existing Winter Hats. You can see the stamping in the photos above. Here is a sketch to show it a bit clearer. The first letter in the stamp could possibly be a "c", but I can't be certain.
These hats are quite unique in that they incorporate a leather visor that can be folded away inside, between the quilted lining and the sheep's wool exterior. There is a snap and eyelet system that allows the inner "visor pocket to be snapped shut after the visor is positioned, tucked inside, or out.
It is interesting to note that in all the photographs that I can find, the visor is worn inside the hat. The leather visor is finished in natural brown leather on the top and dyed black along the edge and bottom side.
The hat also has a natural leather adjusting strap on the back side. The buckle is painted with brown enamel paint. The hat fits like a size 58 or 59 with the strap fully expanded.
The hat is sewn with a domed top, however it appears in all the photos as a "flat topped" hat. The dome on the top is "popped in" to form the crisp rim and flat top when worn.
It appears that there was some sort of ribbon and cockade worn on the front of the hat during the Winter War, but I have not found any clear photos or documentation that shows it clearly.
Here are a few more photos of the hat showing it being worn.
August 5, 2015 Update: I acquired an original photograph, circa 1915, that shows two Swedish soldiers wearing the pre-WW2 uniforms and the Sheep's Wool Winter Hats. Here is a link to that posting:
And to finish things up, lets take a look a collection of Winter War photos showing the hat being worn by the Swedish Volunteers.
|The soldier on the left appears to be wearing the hat backwards! Adjusting strap is on the front.|