Product Description: This Luft Droptail Officer Buckle is a very appealing example of this iconic piece of Luftwaffe officer regalia. It is made out of nickel, and likely dates from the late 1930s. The front of the buckle features an early “droop tail” Luftwaffe eagle made of a brass alloy. The eagle retains most of its original gold finish, with some wear to the eagle’s body and wing edges. The eagle is mounted with two integral rivets to the nickel buckle body, which is in the form of an oval wreath of oak leaves, surrounding a pebbled field. There is typical light wear and age toning, but most of the original finish is retained, and there is a lot of detail in this strike. The reverse of the buckle, which was protected from wear, has a beautiful, old, dark patina from age. This Luft Droptail Officer Buckle is complete and functional, and even retains the “keeper” that mated with the integral rear hook, when this was worn on an officer’s belt. Both of the fittings for the belt are perfectly matching, with age patina to the original silver finish. The overall condition is very good. This is a great example of a scarce buckle type.
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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