Heer Bullion Breast Eagle

Condition: Very Good

SKU: JW0377 Category: Tags ,


Product Description:  This Heer Bullion Breast Eagle was at one time worn on the chest of a German Army officer. These were typically hand embroidered in wire bullion over a cardboard underlay, and this one is no exception. It’s neatly executed, with different types of bullion wire used to set off the details, all hand done on a textbook dark green wool backing. It has been further embellished with contrasting dark green thread, including a cross stitch across the body to simulate the feathers on the eagle’s chest. This Heer Bullion Breast Eagle was worn on a tunic, and there are faint traces of the small stitch holes on the edges, from the original application. It shows some wear, with the cardboard Unterlagen (underlay) peeking through in some small spots. There is also some minor and typical oxidation to the bullion wire. The reverse of this Heer Bullion Breast Eagle shows the many hand stitches needed to construct this type of insignia. Despite the traces of wear and age, this remains a very solid piece that displays handsomely on its own, or that could be used to restore a tunic for a field officer.


Historical Description: The German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht), as formed in 1935, and as they existed until the end of World War 2, consisted of the Army (Heer), the Air Force (Luftwaffe) and the Navy (Kriegsmarine). The Waffen-SS fell under the command of the Wehrmacht during the war. Each of these branches of service had a unique eagle design that was worn on both the formal dress and parade uniforms, and the field uniforms, of the members of that branch. These eagles were worn on soft headgear, including service and field caps, as well as on the uniform jacket. In the Heer, the Luftwaffe, and the Kriegsmarine, this eagle was worn on the chest of the tunic; collectors have termed these “breast eagles.” The Heer and the Luftwaffe generally used the same eagle style, though variations in color of the eagle or the backing distinguish between the two. The Luftwaffe used their own flying eagle emblem. The Waffen-SS sleeve eagle (and cap eagle) had wings that came to a distinctive tapered point. The cap, breast and sleeve eagles used by the various military branches were manufactured in many variations. There were machine-woven and machine embroidered versions, usually used by officers and NCOs. Hand-embroidered bullion wire eagles were typically for officers. There were metal eagles, for caps, or for uniforms that were intended to have detachable insignia. There were even eagles embroidered on camouflage fabric, intended for use on special field uniforms. There were also eagles in specific colors for use on tropical uniforms. Some of these eagles were mass-produced, and are still common today; others were and are very rare.



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