S000691 OFFICER'S BELT BUCKLE. (Feldbindenschloß für Offizier)

BACKGROUND: The Allgemeine-SS, (General-SS), was originally formed in May 1923 under the auspices of the SA, Sturm Abteilung, (Storm/Assault Detachment), as the Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler (Shock Troops), and was re-designated Schutz Staffel, (Protection Squad), in April 1925 with the official acceptance of the name verified on the second anniversary of the failed Munich "Beer-Hall" Putsch on November 9TH 1925. As a subordinate unit to the SA early SS personnel wore the standard SA style box belt buckle. It is believed that Adolf Hitler personally designed a new pattern box belt buckle specifically for wear by SS EM/NCO personnel with the manufacturing patent being originally granted to the Overhoff & Cie. firm in Lüdenscheid. This new style buckle was adopted for wear by EM/NCO personnel in late 1931 or early 1932. Although the SS EM/NCO personnel’s belt buckle was officially introduced in late 1931 or early 1932 it is unknown if the circular Officer’s buckle was introduced at the same time. The SS Officer’s buckle was worn on a blackened leather belt with the field uniform and a brocade belt for the parade, dress and walking-out dress uniforms. Of Note: SS Officers were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms including the brocade belt and belt buckle and as a result the SS established the SS-Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system in Munich in 1935. The Officers were allotted a one time clothing allowance from the government with the amount varying depending on the individual’s rank. The Officers could also choose to purchase privately tailored garments of higher quality although the price may have been restrictive. With the rapid expansion of the Waffen-SS, (Armed -SS), after the outbreak of the war the SS-Kleiderkasse also expanded to include no fewer then nine main offices with offices located in some of the occupied countries including, Poland, Norway, France, Czechoslovakia and Russia. Also Of Note: The RZM, Reich Zeug Meisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster), was officially founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA Quartermaster’s Department. The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized. Starting in late 1934 items manufactured for the SS came under the quality control of the RZM and as a result were to be marked with the RZM/SS approval/acceptance mark or tag. In 1943 the Waffen-SS assumed full control over their uniform item production and no longer fell under the authority of the RZM.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 1 7/8", (4.9 cm), diameter, silver washed, drop forged, aluminum alloy construction, circular belt buckle features a high relief, stylized, national eagle with outstretched, downward curving, wings, clutching an oak-leaf wreath which encompasses a static swastika. The background of the eagle is slightly pebbled and the top half of the buckle has a simulated, rope like border. The bottom half of the buckle has an embossed banner with the embossed, Gothic scripted motto, "Meine Ehre heißt Treue", (My Honour is Loyalty). The reverse of the buckle is a mirror image of the obverse and has a raised, circular, center piece with crimped edges to hold the buckle catch and crimped retainer for the prong bar and prongs. The prong bar and prongs are both intact. The reverse of the buckle catch is well marked with the impressed, RZM logo within dual, circular, borders, the SS runes within a single, circular, border, the contract numeral and date, "36/39", within a single, circular, border and the stylized manufacturer’s logo/initials, "oLc" within a diamond shaped border, indicating manufacture by Overhoff & Cie of Lüdenscheid in 1939.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $1,985.00

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