Product Description: This Heer Buckle shows a lot of wear and use, but still retains its original leather tab. It’s a wartime type, made of steel. Originally, this was painted with a matte field gray paint finish, front and back. At some point, this buckle was heavily cleaned on the front, removing all trace of the factory applied paint. The bare metal surface shows some age patina, it was not recently cleaned. The detail to the German national eagle and swastika and “Gott Mit Uns” motto shows wear, likely from being buffed in the past. The reverse of the buckle retains most of the original Feldgrau paint, and exhibits some patination and surface rust. There is a manufacturer mark near the catch. Though very difficult to read, it says “Dr. F. & Co. 1941” indicating manufacture by the firm of Dr. Franke & Co., Ludenscheid. This Heer buckle is complete with its original catch and prong assembly, showing no signs of repair. The original leather tab is also present, still affixed to the prong bar with its original stitching. The tab is marked “Dr. Franke & Co. Ludenscheid” in an oval around the date of 1941, and shows heavy wear and age toning, matching the condition of the buckle. This Heer buckle is a nice example of a “combat” piece that certainly appears to have seen field service.
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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