Maker: Augustin Hicke – M1/167
Base Metal: Zinc
Product Description: This SS Visor Cap Eagle by Augustin Hicke has a great finish. It’s made of zinc. The front of this bird has great original luster and much more of the original heavy silver finish than one typically sees with these. It shows some minor wear, but retains lots of detail. The back of this SS Visor Cap Eagle by Augustin Hicke is also fantastic, with all of the original factory applied lacquering. All three of the original attachment prongs remain fully intact, with no issues, just some typical minor bends. It appears that this was likely installed on a cap at some point. The reverse is very well marked with the RZM logo of the Reichszeugmeisterei as well as the maker code M1/167 indicating manufacture by the firm of Augustin Hicke. The overall condition is excellent. This SS Visor Cap Eagle by Augustin Hicke has a ton of eye appeal and is a very desirable piece of SS regalia.
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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