Product Description: This M1/72 SS Visor Cap Eagle is a rare original. This pattern of eagle was worn on SS visor caps. It’s a wartime strike, made of fine zinc. The obverse retains about 80 percent of the original silver finish, with wear to high points that exposes the dull gray color of the base metal. The original finish has an attractive, uncleaned old patina. The reverse of this M1/72 SS Visor Cap Eagle is in a style that might be called “semi-hollow,” with the swastika and some other details visible in reverse, while the backs of the wings are smooth. It’s nicely maker marked, with the round “RZM” logo of the Reichszeugmeisterei on one wing, and one the other wing, the maker code “M1/72” indicating manufacture by the firm of Fritz Zimmermann in Stuttgart. Both of the original Tombak prongs are present, still held in place with the original solder, and nearly all of the original finish is retained on the reverse. This desirable piece of SS insignia remains in excellent 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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