Maker: RZM Tag, TK Button Marked – RZM 1194/40
Product Description: This is an impressive, all-original example of the Allgemeine-SS black sidecap. This was the “field cap” worn with the iconic prewar black SS uniform. It shows only minimal wear, with some slight discoloration to the gray rayon artificial silk lining, and extremely minor nap wear to the exterior. There is one small, approximately half-inch long area of moth damage, along the top of the flap on the rear right part of the cap. The original, Bevo woven SS cap eagle is neatly hand stitched, a typical application style for these early sidecaps. The eagle shows no fraying or damage. This Allgemeine-SS black sidecap also retains its original metal button, with the “Totenkopf” death’s head emblem of the SS. The button shows only very light wear with some minor spots of discoloration, and is manufacturer marked RZM 1194/40 to the reverse. Inside, the cap still has its original factory applied oilcloth RZM tag. The tag bears the SS runic emblem, and labels the cap as “Feldmütze für SS” (Field Cap for SS). The manufacturer of the cap is identified by the number “4.” The liner is neatly ink stamped with the cap size: 56. This Allgemeine-SS black sidecap is an extremely desirable piece of early SS headgear that is rarely encountered, and displays extremely well.
Historical Description: The “sidecap” was a part of the uniform worn by nearly all military, paramilitary, political and civil organizations in the Third Reich. It was a narrow hat that could be folded flat and tucked into a belt or haversack. This was, at the time, a very stylish type of uniform cap; in the German Army, it replaced the round “pork pie” style of field cap used in the Great War. The German name for this cap, in most organizations, was “Feldmütze”- field cap. Despite the name, it was often worn as a daily service cap by postal workers and other personnel who would never be deployed to the field. The men and women who wore the sidecap gave it the nickname “Schiffchen,” meaning little boat, due to its shape. The sidecaps were made in the same type of fabric as the uniforms, in the uniform color particular to each organization. The sidecaps were adorned with branch-specific insignia, usually bearing some form of the German eagle and swastika national emblem. Many sidecaps also bore red, white and black national cockades. The insignia were usually embroidered or woven, but metal devices were used on some caps as well. Officer caps generally were distinguished by silver braid along the top edge and/or on the upper part of the flap at the front of the cap, and were often custom tailored from fine fabrics. The German military, and many other organizations, had broadly replaced the sidecap with a new, more practical cap featuring a brim, by 1943. But the sidecap continued to be worn by some troops until the end of the war.
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