Condition: Near Mint
Product Description: This gorgeous and eye-catching SS Officers Bullion Sleeve Eagle is an extremely rare original. It’s beautifully hand embroidered in bullion wire over a cardboard underlay, on a backing of typical black SS wool fabric. The extremely skilled maker of this used two different types of bullion wire, adding contrast and visual appeal. The detailing on this piece is superb, and the bullion is nice and tight, as one would expect. Black thread accents were used to set off the wing feathers as well as the eagle’s eye. The reverse of this SS Officers Bullion Sleeve Eagle retains virtually all of the original black backing paper, with a couple of minor tears. The condition of this extremely desirable eagle rates as near mint. There are no stitch holes, no visible wear, and no indication this piece was ever affixed to a uniform. The woven wool backing is pristine, with no damage or fraying, and the bullion wire has only extremely slight age toning. This is a very fine piece of SS regalia, that makes for a handsome display.
Historical Description: The German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht), as formed in 1935, and as they existed until the end of World War 2, consisted of the Army (Heer), the Air Force (Luftwaffe) and the Navy (Kriegsmarine). The Waffen-SS fell under the command of the Wehrmacht during the war. Each of these branches of service had a unique eagle design that was worn on both the formal dress and parade uniforms, and the field uniforms, of the members of that branch. These eagles were worn on soft headgear, including service and field caps, as well as on the uniform jacket. In the Heer, the Luftwaffe, and the Kriegsmarine, this eagle was worn on the chest of the tunic; collectors have termed these “breast eagles.” The Heer and the Luftwaffe generally used the same eagle style, though variations in color of the eagle or the backing distinguish between the two. The Luftwaffe used their own flying eagle emblem. The Waffen-SS sleeve eagle (and cap eagle) had wings that came to a distinctive tapered point. The cap, breast and sleeve eagles used by the various military branches were manufactured in many variations. There were machine-woven and machine embroidered versions, usually used by officers and NCOs. Hand-embroidered bullion wire eagles were typically for officers. There were metal eagles, for caps, or for uniforms that were intended to have detachable insignia. There were even eagles embroidered on camouflage fabric, intended for use on special field uniforms. There were also eagles in specific colors for use on tropical uniforms. Some of these eagles were mass-produced, and are still common today; others were and are very rare.
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