Product Description: This Imperial Telegrapher Buckle is a hard-to-find piece from WWI. It’s a textbook example, made of die-stamped steel that was originally covered with field gray paint. Traces of the paint remain, but most of it is worn away. The exposed metal has a rich, even patina as would be expected on a buckle that is over 100 years old. The central “Gott Mit Uns” roundel shows some wear but retains lots of detail. The reverse of this Imperial Telegrapher Buckle retains traces of paint and has some built up patination. The roll bar and prong fittings for affixing this to a leather belt are complete and functional, as is the catch for the belt hook. The brackets on the front that were intended for holding a frame with telegraph wire are riveted on as is typical. This Imperial Telegrapher Buckle remains in very good condition, showing honest age and wear.
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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