L010690 OFFICER'S BELT & OPEN CLAW BELT BUCKLE. (Koppel und Zweidornschnalle für Offizier)

BACKGROUND: The belt with open claw belt buckle was original worn during the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era and continued into the Third Reich with minor modifications enacted in May 1934. The open claw belt buckle was authorized for wear by almost all political and military organizations during the Third Reich period with a variety of different institution dates. When worn by political personnel the buckle color was to match the button color of the uniform worn and when worn by military personnel the buckle color reflected Company and Field Grade or General Grade Officer ranks with silver for the Company and Field Grade ranks and gold for General Grade Officer ranks. 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. The German’s concern with leather shortages was evident as early as September 1939 when issue of the traditional tall leather marching boot was restricted to personnel serving in the field. During the war further leather shortages resulted in additional regulations that limited or restricted leather usage and included the narrowing of the standard 60mm, (2 1/2"), wide Officer’s leather belts to 45mm, (1 3/4"). Originally the Officers belt with open claw belt buckle was intended for wear with the cross strap and came with a leather strip securing a "D" ring to the reverse to secure the cross strap but the cross strap and the corresponding "D" ring securing leather strip and the "D" ring were all discontinued as per regulations of February 12TH 1940. Of Note: Not all regulations were strictly adhered to. Luftwaffe personnel initially utilized light brown leather accoutrements but during the war the leather items were generally blackened.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, early, roughly, 54mm wide, 120cm long, mid-brown leather belt with a silver washed, open rectangular, dual claw, cast brass alloy construction belt buckle. The buckle is secured to the belt by a folded over section that is machine stitched to the reverse of the belt. The usual sliding leather loop "keeper" is absent. The opposite end of the belt has a subtly rounded, pointed tip and eight pair of punched, parallel, length adjustment buckling eyelets. The belt also has an additional three pair of punched, parallel, length adjustment buckling eyelets. The buckle has a subtly pebbled obverse and a smooth reverse and only retains hints of it’s original silver wash mostly reverting to the heavily age toned base brass alloy. The silver wash indicated the it was intended for Company and Field Grade officers ranks. The reverse of the belt has two, evenly spaced, machine stitched on, vertical leather loops with four, cut-out, vertical slashes to each, designed to secure a cross-strap. The cross-strap is absent. The belt and buckle have no visible size or manufacturer’s markings. The belt is in overall good condition with minor chafe wear and light age and usage toning and the leather is still quite supple. The belt would fit waist sizes ranging from roughly, 37" to 44" with the original buckle eyelets or waist sizes 28" to 33" with the additional buckle eyelets.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $149.00

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