Product Description: A beautiful SS Totenkopf Cap Insignia made by the firm of Deschler & Sohn, München. This SS Totenkopf is in excellent condition. The base metal of this Deschler SS Totenkopf is made out of “CupAl”, which is a copper coated aluminum that was used for SS insignia primarily in the late 1930’s, just prior to the war. SS Totenkopf made out of CupAl are far superior in quality to their later zinc brethren. The skull received a thick silver electroplated finish which shows some of the copper on the high areas from use. The reverse of this SS Totenkopf has the makers RZM code of “M1/52”, as well as the RZM logo in raised relief. Both attachment prongs are firmly intact, and rest upon round solder bases. The prongs are twisted in such a way that is is very likely this SS Totenkopf was removed from a cap at some point. This is a very nice skull, by the premier maker of SS Totenkopf Insignia, Deschler.
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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