Product Description: This early nickel SS buckle is a top quality piece. Between 1931 and 1936, SS buckles were made out of a nickel silver alloy, known in Germany as Alpaka. This early nickel SS buckle is made by the firm of Overhoff, who were the very first maker to design and produce SS buckles in 1931. It has a brass base, with a nickel silver finish. The obverse of the buckle retains nearly all of the original finish, with some honest wear from daily use that exposes the yellowish brass at the high points of the design. There is a mellow shine. The wear is appealing and gives the buckle nice character.On the reverse, this buckle is marked “O&C” indicating manufacture by Overhoff & Cie, in Lüdenscheid. It’s also marked “Ges. gesch.” (Gesetzlich geschützt) indicating a legally protected design. There is no RZM emblem, as this is a very early production piece, predating the RZM system. The roller bar and prongs assembly is intact and functional. The catch is also intact, and there are no repairs. This early nickel SS buckle is complete and sound. It has a great, charming look, and remains in excellent 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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