H000491 EM/NCO'S BELT BUCKLE "Mathais Salcher und Söhne". (Koppel und Koppelschloß)
BACKGROUND: Military belts and their corresponding buckles date back centuries and were initially designed for attaching swords and daggers. In 1847 a new innovative box buckle with a quick release catch and corresponding belt were introduced which resulted in a Prussian, Hauptmann Virschow, initiating a new method of carrying personal equipment with the belt and shoulder straps supporting the majority of the weight. This system, with modifications, remains in use in most of the armies in the world to this day. During the Third Reich there was a prescribed form of wear of the belt and buckle with the buckle being positioned on the right side and the corresponding buckle catch on the left side. On January 24TH 1936 a new pattern EM/NCO’s belt buckle was officially introduced to replace the previously worn Weimar Reichswehr era, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), belt buckle. The basic design of the Reichswehr buckle was retained with the addition of the new Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), style national eagle. This pattern buckle was worn through-out the Third Reich period with minor manufacturing variations and different colored finishes. The colored finish was determined by regulations depending on what form of uniform it was to be worn with. Of Note: Originally military buckles produced under government contract had the addition of a leather, (canvas web for tropical buckles), tabs which were designed to help support the ammunition pouches and prevent slippage but regulations in 1942 discontinued the tabs to preserve leather although the directive was not completely adhered to.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 1940 pattern, field-grey painted, die stamped steel construction, combat box buckle features a smooth outer field with a high relief, embossed Wehrmacht eagle with down swept wings, clutching a canted swastika in it’s talons, to the slightly domed center, encompassed by an oak-leaf cluster to the bottom and script, "Gott Mit Uns", (God With Us), to the top. The oak-leaf cluster and script are on a ribbed background and are encircled by both an inner and outer simulated twisted rope border. The buckle retains a good portion of its original paint with some light surface rust in spots (should clean up OK). The reverse of the buckle is a mirror image of the obverse and the brazed buckle catch, prong bar and prongs are all intact. The reverse of the buckle is well marked with the impressed manufacturer’s logo/initials consisting of a "bell" shaped cartouche encompassing the initials, "MSS.", and the separate date, "42", indicating manufacture by Mathais Salcher und Söhne of Jablunkau/Wagstadt in 1942. Scarce maker.
GRADE *** 3/4 PRICE $169.00
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