S002587 WAFFEN-SS OFFICER'S VISOR CAP. (Schirmmütze für Führer)

BACKGROUND: The Allgemeine-SS, (General-SS), was originally formed in May 1923 as the Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler (Shock Troops Adolf Hitler), and was redesignated 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. On January 6TH 1929 Heinrich Himmler was appointed as Reichsführer-SS, (National Leader {of the} SS), and on July 20TH 1934 shortly after the, June 30TH 1934, purge of the SA, Sturm Abteilung, (Storm/Assault Detachment) on the "Night of the Long Knives", the SS was rewarded by Hitler by being granted the status of an independent organization under direct control of the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party). From its inception the SS began an aggressive policy of expansion which resulted in the formation of the SS-SD, SS-Sicherheitsdienst und Sicherheitspolizei, (SS-Security Service and Security Police), in June 1931, the SS-VT, SS-Verfügungstruppe, (SS-Special Purpose Troops), and the SS-TV, SS-Totenkopfverbände, (SS-Death’s Head Units), in March 1933, which would eventually evolve into the Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), in December 1939. Originally members of the fledgling SS had no official uniform or headgear until April 1925 when they adopted, what was to become known as the, "Tradition Uniform" and personnel were outfitted with the same brown shirt uniform and kepi as the SA personnel. In 1923 the Stabswache (Headquarter Guards), was the first SS unit to adopt the Imperial Prussian Danziger style skull and crossbones for wear on their headgear which was extended to all SS personnel in April 1925. In November 1925 personnel of the newly formed SS adopted a black Kepi to distinguish them from their SA counterparts and in 1927 the SS were the first to adopted the national eagle insignia for wear on their headgear. In 1932, the first black SS service visor caps were introduced for wear to replace the kepi as the standard headgear for all ranks. Originally, SS personnel wore the Danziger style skull and the 1927 political pattern national eagle on their visor caps. In an attempt to distance themselves from the SA, the SS introduced a new pattern cap skull and crossbones to replace the previously used Danziger style skull and crossbones on October 6TH 1934 and on February 15TH 1936 a new SS pattern national cap eagle was introduced. Both these pieces of insignia were worn through-out the war. Originally all ranks wore white piping on the visor caps until regulations of June 23RD 1934 introduced silver/aluminum piping for the ranks of SS-Oberführer up to the rank of Reichsführer-SS while the ranks of SS-Anwärter to SS-Standartenführer continued to utilize the white piping. Also originally all ranks utilized a blackened leather chinstrap until regulations of 1935 introduced silver/aluminum chin cords for the ranks of SS-Oberführer up to the rank of Reichsführer-SS. In 1938 the first earth-grey versions of the service visor cap were introduced for wear with the newly introduced field-grey uniform and the first field-grey version caps followed in 1939. Although the Waffen-SS adopted waffenfarben, (Branch of Service Colors), in 1939, the appropriate waffenfarbe was only displayed as piping on the shoulder straps and the base of the shoulder boards. Regulations of May 10TH 1940 introduced assorted waffenbfarbe piping for Waffen-SS visor caps for the ranks of SS-Anwärter to SS-Standartenführer but the order was rescinded on November 5TH 1940 and the white piping was reinstated for all ranks up to SS-Oberführer. After the outbreak of WWII the black service headgear were eventually phased out of wear for all but Allgemeine-SS personnel. SS Officers and certain Senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and headgear and as a result the SS established the SS-Kleiderkasse, (SS-Clothing Account), system in Munich in 1935. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s were allotted a one time clothing allowance from the government with the amount varying depending on the individual’s rank. The Officers and certain Senior NCO’s could also choose to purchase privately tailored garments of higher quality although the price may have been restrictive.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, field-grey wool/tricot blend construction, (Post-1935), high peaked, oval topped, "Sattelform", shaped visor cap with a subtle whipcord weave features a wide, black velvet centerband and wide, white wool piping to the top of the crown edge and narrower white wool piping to both the top and bottom edges of the centerband. The internal crown stiffening wire is intact and retains the caps oval top and high forward, central peak with overlapping side panels. The front center of the cap has a silver washed, stamped magnetic sheet metal, SS pattern national eagle as introduced on February 15TH 1936. The nicely detailed, left facing eagle features out-stretched wings and is clutching an embossed, wreathed, canted, swastika in its talons. The front center of the centerband has a silver washed, stamped alloy, SS style Totenkopf, (Death’s Head), and cross bones as introduced on October 6TH 1934. The skull features detailed eye and nose cut-outs, two rows of teeth and a bottom jaw, superimposed over crossed bones. The skull also has subtle cranium and bone detailing. Both the eagle and the skull retain about 90% of their silver washed finishes. The cap has a twisted, silver/aluminum chin cord which is secured in place by two, small, silver washed, pebbled, magnetic sheet metal buttons. The cap has a extended, forward, black lacquered, vulcanfibre visor with a subtly raised lip near the forward edge and a tan bottom with a repeating cross-hatched pattern. The interior of the cap is fully lined with a grey oil-cloth lining to the body and a field-grey rayon lining to the crown. The crown lining has a clear celluloid sweat diamond almost fully intact with one small tear. The interior of the cap also has a wide, tan alkor sweatband with ventilation perforations to the front, forehead section fully intact. The alkor sweatband has a few wrinkle ceases and one fair sized tear. The cap has no visible size or manufacturer’s markings. The cap is in overall very good condition with light age and usage toning and a couple of pun-head sized moth nips to the white wool piping. The cap is roughly size 57.5 cm, (22 1/2" diameter).

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $

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