Product Description: This is a choice example of a very desirable, early nickel SS Buckle O&C. The obverse is extremely appealing and only a very light age patina. All of the original detail is intact, and the attractive nickel silver base metal has a pleasant, mellow luster. There never was any paint, which is correct for these. On the reverse, this early nickel SS buckle O&C is complete and sound. The round wire catch for the belt hook is intact, and the steel roller bar and prongs assembly for affixing this to a belt remains functional, with some plating wear and age patina with light corrosion. Near the catch, this buckle is marked with the maker mark “O&C” indicating manufacture by the firm of Overhoff & Cie, in Lüdenscheid. It’s also marked “Ges. gesch.” (Gesetzlich geschützt) indicating a legally protected design. This early SS buckle displays exceptionally well, and has wonderful eye appeal. The condition is excellent.
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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