Condition: Near Mint
Product Description: This is a great, textbook original example of the distinctive Waffen SS Italian Volunteer Collar Tab worn by memebers of the 29. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS. These non-Germanic SS volunteers were not authorized to wear the standard SS runic tab, and instead were assigned specific national emblem SS tabs. The German cadres in this Division also wore this same tab. This one is in excellent condition, showing only slight age. The Italian fascist emblem is machine embroidered in light gray thread on typical SS black badge cloth. On the reverse, the light tan buckram stiffener is visible. The white stitching on the back of this tab is typical of the late war pieces found at Dachau in 1945. There is some age toning, but no moth damage or other major condition issues. This SS Italian Volunteer Collar Tab is a desirable piece of Waffen SS foreign volunteer insignia.
Historical Description: Regulations for the SS Collar Tab went through quite an evolution in just a short 16 year period. The first SS Collar Tabs were introduced in 1929 by Heinrich Himmler as part of the newly introduced SS uniform code. Initially, tabs were worn by both lower rank SS men and their senior leaders. Lower ranks would wear a rank tab as well as a numbered unit identification tab, with senior leaders wearing their rank tabs on both collars. In 1933 the well known “SS” runic tab was adopted by Hitler’s personal body guard detachment, the “Leibstandarte” or “LAH”. The LAH used this runic tab in lieu of the numerical unit identification tab to identify them as members of the elite unit protecting the “Führer”. In 1934 the runic “SS” tabs were again adopted for use by the early “SS-VT” units. This adoption eventually led to the wide spread use of SS runic tabs by German Divisions; the later non-German volunteer units would not be permitted to wear the runes, and bore their own unit designed patch instead. SS Collar tabs can be found in an extraordinary variety of numbers, designs, and pipings depending on unit and rank, from hand-embroidered tabs worn by officers to mass produced embroidered and machine woven types that were used on combat uniforms.
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