Condition: Near Mint
Maker: M1/24 – Overhoff, Ludenscheid
Product Description: An SS Cap Skull in near mint condition made by Overhoff of Ludenscheid. The skull is made out of “CupAl”, a copper coated aluminum metal. CupAl base metal was used for SS cap insignia mostly during the pre-war years of the late 1930’s. The quality of a CupAl made SS Cap Skull is far superior in every sense to the later made zinc base metal examples. The CupAl base metal of this skull received a heavy silver finish to the front side of the skull, whereas the reverse did not receive any finish and shows the reddish color of the copper coating. The prongs are securely crimped in place, and then soldered, as usually seen on Overhoff made CupAl SS Cap Skulls. The prongs are made of Tombak (Brass), and exhibit both the makers RZM code of “M1/24”, as well as the characteristic three dashes on the pin itself. It is unknown what caused these dashes, but it is a common trait on most Overhoff produced metal insignia prongs. The reverse of the skull also shows the maker mark “M1/24”, a well as the RZM Logo in raised relief. This is a nice SS Cap Skull which are getting harder to find in this condition.
Historical Description: The SS was founded as a paramilitary branch of the Nazi Party in 1925. Beginning in 1927, the SS began to wear a German national eagle and swastika emblem on their headgear. The SS were the first to adopt this practice, but the SA and other Nazi organizations soon began to use the same pinned-on metal cap eagle, which became known as a “political” type cap eagle as it was different from those used by the various military branches. Beneath this eagle, instead of a wreathed national colors cockade, the early SS wore a jawless skull emblem, sometimes called a “Danziger” skull, which was based on a traditional “Totenkopf” death’s-head emblem that had been used in the Prussian military since the time of Frederick the Great. This jawless skull is referred to by collectors as the first pattern SS skull. On October 6, 1934, the SS introduced a new pattern of cap skull that was unlike the traditional design that had previously been adopted. This second pattern SS skull was used until the end of WWII and is the iconic Totenkopf widely associated with the SS today. It was initially worn in conjunction with the political style cap eagle, but in February 1936 the SS introduced a new type of cap eagle to differentiate from other political organizations. This eagle had longer wings than the early political type, and was the pattern worn by the SS together with the second pattern Totenkopf, until 1945. Early SS cap insignia was made from a variety of materials including aluminum, which was left bare, and Tombak, a brass alloy, which was treated with a silver finish. Some examples were made of a composite material called CupAl, which is made by coating aluminum with copper sheet using a special mechanical process. Later, during the later years of WWII, SS cap insignia was generally made of zinc that was treated with a silver wash. As with all SS regalia, SS cap insignia is very collectible today.
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