Maker: M1/8 Ferdinand Wagner
Base Metal: “CupAl” (Copper Coated Aluminum)
Product Description: A Beautiful SS Visor Cap Eagle made by the firm of Ferdinand Wagner. The eagle rates overall, in excellent to excellent plus condition. The base metal of the skull is made from the what metal collectors call “CupAl”. A brief explanation of “CupAl” can be found in the historical description below. The exterior of the eagle is finished in a high quality electroplated silver, with areas of the reddish copper showing through the high points from wear. The reverse of the skull is also finished with the same silver electroplating. A raised “RZM” mark and an “M1/7” mark, the manufacturers RZM code for Wagner, can be found on the reverse of the eagle. Two flat wire attachment prongs are attached to the reverse for mounting to a visor. Both prongs are original to the skull and have no repairs. This is a beautiful SS Visor Cap Eagle that would make a great addition to an insignia collection, or visor!
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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