The spiked german helmet is called a Pickelhaube and upon learning that as a kid I couldn't decide if the name was awesome or hilarious – I later learned it basically translates to "pointy hat" and not "pickle holder" as I had assumed. This isn't to suggest that you couldn't stick a pickle on to the spike to save it for later.
|Otto Von Bismark in pickelhaube|
An imperial double headed eagle as tall as the rest of the helmet is pretty magnificent. I suppose the spectacular hat is to make up for the fact that he is the cavalry drummer and in about a decade the Russian army would face a Japanese army armed with machine guns.
|Russian Army (from here)|
While the practicality of a giant feathered plume on your hat might be questioned by some. I wonder if its use waned because it would go embarrassingly flaccid in the rain?
|French army helmet circa World War 1|
The French WW1 helmet above has a decorative hump attached, although it was much less extravagant than the golden age. As the steel protective helmet took off the decorative features become less common.
The age of fantastic hats was also an age of proud facial hair. Although the fellow above may be making a statement with his lack symmetry.
|German Lancer 1914|