Condition: Near Mint
Base Metal: Gilded Brass with Burnished Highlights
Product Description: This Bavarian Forestry Official’s Buckle is a rare find. Few of these private purchase officer buckles were ever manufactured, and they are very tough to find today. This is a killer example, in outstanding, near mint condition. This very attractive Third Reich buckle features a Bavarian lion, surrounded by a wreath. The bottom of the wreath is adorned with the German national swastika emblem. The buckle is made of gilded brass. The burnished highlights of the swastika and outer rim contrast handsomely with the matter gold finish elsewhere, giving this buckle a really striking appearance. The reverse of this Bavarian Forestry Official’s Buckle has some minor age patina and some verdigris. The part of the buckle that would affix this to a belt has a very minor bend, indicating this was likely removed from a belt at some time. The catch is intact and unrepaired. The keeper that would have mated with the catch on this is absent. This Bavarian Forestry Official’s Buckle is a choice example of a seldom encountered piece of regalia, that would be very hard to upgrade.
Historical Description: The belt buckle was an important part of the regalia worn by all uniformed military, civil, political and paramilitary organizations during the Third Reich. The belt (“Koppel”) was part of the uniform, and would always be worn while on duty. The belt buckle (“Koppelschloss”) was generally specific to each organization, with many organizations having separate belt buckles for officers and for enlisted personnel, sometimes with different colors and finishes to further denote specific purposes. The buckles were adorned with various mottos and designs specific to the organizations for which they were intended. Many designs used the German national eagle emblem, in a variety of forms. Belt buckles were worn with uniforms ranging from finely tailored officer parade uniforms, to the issue uniforms of enlisted soldiers in combat. Generally speaking, most German belt buckles of the Third Reich were made with two prongs on the reverse, to allow the buckle to be worn and adjusted on a belt. The buckle had a catch that would mate with a hook on the belt, when worn. The earliest Third Reich buckles were often made of brass, or nickel silver. Later, aluminum became very common, and was used on private purchase as well as enlisted buckles of the German military, with or without a painted or plated finish. After WWII began, most enlisted military buckles were steel. Nazi belt buckles were popular souvenirs for Allied troops who served in Europe. Some types were made by the millions and remain quite common today. Others were made in limited numbers and are very rare.
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