Product Description: A very nice early 1st pattern Heer enlisted buckle with left facing eagle. This buckle most likely was produced between January and March 1936. This particular version is 40mm in size and was privately purchased and authorized for use with parade and walking out uniforms. The buckle is of a two piece alpaca construction. Alpaca Silver is an alloy of copper, nickel, and zinc. Sometimes called Nickel Silver or German Silver, the usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc. The front roundel with the eagle and swastika is separately soldered to the back. On the back it looks like a very small amount of green verdigris is present, which could be removed if the purchaser choose to do so. This is a very early and sought after 1st pattern Heer enlisted buckle, in excellent plus condition.
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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