Product Description: This Turnverein (Gymnastic Association) Buckle is a very nice example of this early buckle pattern. Wear of this buckle type ceased in 1934. This is a high quality piece, made of nickel silver. The obverse retains all of the original detail and shows only a very slight patina. The reverse of this well-made buckle features an early type one piece roller bar and prongs, and a soldered catch, all made of brass. There is a bit of old uncleaned verdigris. This buckle is well marked near the catch, with “Ges. Gesch.” indicating a legally protected design, as well as the letters “MK” within a diamond. This is the maker mark of the firm of Matthias Kutsch. This Turnverein (Gymnastic Association) Buckle is complete and sound, with no damage to note. The condition rates as excellent.
Historical Description: The belt buckle was an important part of the regalia worn by all uniformed military, civil, political, and paramilitary organizations during the Third Reich. The belt (“Koppel”) was part of the uniform and would always be worn while on duty. The belt buckle (“Koppelschloss”) was generally specific to each organization, with many organizations having separate belt buckles for officers and for enlisted personnel, sometimes with different colors and finishes to further denote specific purposes. The buckles were adorned with various mottos and designs specific to the organizations for which they were intended. Many designs used the German national eagle emblem, in a variety of forms. Belt buckles were worn with uniforms ranging from finely tailored officer parade uniforms, to the issue uniforms of enlisted soldiers in combat. Generally speaking, most German belt buckles of the Third Reich were made with two prongs on the reverse, to allow the buckle to be worn and adjusted on a belt. The buckle had a catch that would mate with a hook on the belt, when worn. The earliest Third Reich buckles were often made of brass, or nickel silver. Later, aluminum became very common, and was used on private purchase as well as enlisted buckles of the German military, with or without a painted or plated finish. After WWII began, most enlisted military buckles were steel. Nazi belt buckles were popular souvenirs for Allied troops who served in Europe. Some types were made by the millions and remain quite common today. Others were made in limited numbers and are very rare.
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