WW1 German Colonial Rollfez (Tarbusch) for Native Police in Cameroon (Kamerun). The Rollfez takes its name from its construction and manner of wearing. It is a red wool sock which is shaped by creating two rolls to attain a squat fez shape. The upper roll always goes down inside the crown from the top, creating a soft flat dome. The bottom roll always rolls up inside the fez until the two edges meet inside on a straight line which goes 360 degrees around the inside of the cap. Characteristic of original Rollfezs, there is a long matching red wool tube extending upward from the center of the dome, which is always hollow. The cord for the black tassel, which is surmounted by an ornamental woven ball, is inserted through the hollow tube and affixed inside the dome with lines of stitching of black thread. This is the classic textbook design shown in the reference book The German Colonial Troops by by Jürgen Kraus and Thomas Muller, page 435. This example has the usual Kolonial Amt (KA) stamp in black ink in a rectangular box inside the dome, with the date of issue 1907. The Rollfez was only worn by Native troops in German Cameroon (Kamerun) and is extremely rare with only a few surviving original examples. The front is surmounted by a brass Imperial eagle insignia worn only by Askaris, or native troops. The Askaris in the Native army wore a larger eagle, and the Askari Police wore a smaller eagle. This device on this example has a pin attachment which goes through the wool and appears to have been period repaired on the reverse. It has also been period tacked to the fez at four points with red thread to prevent it snagging or being pulled loose and lost. Very rare original example in overall excellent condition with some surface mothing and stains.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $

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