Product Description: This is a great, textbook original example of the distinctive SS Italian Volunteer Collar Tab worn by members 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. It does look to have glue residue, from being mounted in a photo album. This SS Italian Volunteer Collar Tab is a desirable piece of Waffen-SS foreign volunteer insignia.
Historical Description: Collar insignia, in the form of collar tabs (Kragenspiegel) or simple woven Litzen, were very widely used by many German civil, political, military and paramilitary organizations, before and during WWII. In some cases, for example on collar tabs of the Luftwaffe, the collar insignia were rank specific, with devices or rank Tresse that changed as a soldier was promoted. In other cases, such as the pre-1938 Litzen used on enlisted field tunics of the German Army, the collar insignia had no rank identifier, but bore “Waffenfarbe” branch colors that identified a soldier’s unit type. Some German collar insignia were adorned with unit or branch specific metal emblems, while others featured hand or machine embroidery, and still others were made using hand applied wire bullion. Less commonly, collar insignia emblems could be directly applied to the collar itself, rather than being a removable patch. Collar insignia intended for field use was often different from the formal dress insignia used by the same organization. It is no exaggeration to say that many hundreds of different collar patterns were in use during the Third Reich, with some organizations having multiple patterns as regulations changed during the 1933-45 period. Some collar insignia, which was mass produced for large organizations, remains relatively common today, while other insignia types such as those for officers of the highest ranks, or for small organizations, are very scarce.
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