Product Description: This Cupal SS Visor Cap Skull is a top quality piece. It’s made of a mechanically bonded alloy of copper and aluminum, an early production style. This is a Type 2, Variant 1 style, with U-shaped clamps at the base of the pin attachments. The obverse of this is has a gorgeous surface, with intact original silvering visible. It shows scattered tiny marks from wear, with light, uncleaned age patina. The nasal opening of the skull has been slightly drilled out, perhaps affixed to something to display at one time. The reverse of this Cupal SS Visor Cap Skull is the expected copper color with even age toning and patina. It’s well marked with the round RZM logo and the maker code “499/41,” all in raised lettering. The code identifies the maker as the firm of Fritz Zimmermann in Stuttgart. This skull would have had two flat brass attachment prongs, which are missing. This is a textbook piece, with a weight of 2.9 grams, a height of 29 mm, and a width of 30 mm. These Cupal SS skulls are rare and very desirable.
Historical Description: The SS was founded as a paramilitary branch of the Nazi Party in 1925. Beginning in 1927, the SS began to wear a German national eagle and swastika emblem on their headgear. The SS were the first to adopt this practice, but the SA and other Nazi organizations soon began to use the same pinned-on metal cap eagle, which became known as a “political” type cap eagle as it was different from those used by the various military branches. Beneath this eagle, instead of a wreathed national colors cockade, the early SS wore a jawless skull emblem, sometimes called a “Danziger” skull, which was based on a traditional “Totenkopf” death’s-head emblem that had been used in the Prussian military since the time of Frederick the Great. This jawless skull is referred to by collectors as the first pattern SS skull. On October 6, 1934, the SS introduced a new pattern of cap skull that was unlike the traditional design that had previously been adopted. This second pattern SS skull was used until the end of WWII and is the iconic Totenkopf widely associated with the SS today. It was initially worn in conjunction with the political style cap eagle, but in February 1936 the SS introduced a new type of cap eagle to differentiate from other political organizations. This eagle had longer wings than the early political type, and was the pattern worn by the SS together with the second pattern Totenkopf, until 1945. Early SS cap insignia was made from a variety of materials including aluminum, which was left bare, and Tombak, a brass alloy, which was treated with a silver finish. Some examples were made of a composite material called CupAl, which is made by coating aluminum with copper sheet using a special mechanical process. Later, during the later years of WWII, SS cap insignia was generally made of zinc that was treated with a silver wash. As with all SS regalia, SS cap insignia is very collectible today.
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