BACKGROUND: The origins of the distinctive Shako has been somewhat shrouded with the passing of time with some military historians accrediting the French with its development in the 1780's, based on the design of the civilian top hat, while others acclaim that it was based on the Austro-Hungarian or Bavarian Casquette headgear that was introduced at roughly the same time. It is known, however, that the Shako was originally adopted by the Prussian army as a experimental model in 1801 and was the standard headgear utilized by Jäger and Schützen personnel during the Napoleonic Wars. The 1801 pattern shako went through numerous modifications and in March 1854 a new pattern was officially adopted by Jäger and Schnelle Truppen, (Light Infantry and Mobile Troops). Further minor modifications to the Shako occurred in 1860, 1888, 1891, 1892, 1895, 1897, and 1915. On June 17TH 1936, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler was appointed to the newly created position of Chef der Deutschen Polizei im Reichsministerium des Innern, (Chief of the German Police in the National Ministry of the Interior), effectively giving him full control of all police agencies within Germany. As a result of this appointment and the restructuring of all the separate German state police into a single national police force new regulations were instituted on June 25TH 1936 to bring about uniformity in dress for all police through-out the country. One of the new dress regulations introduced a slightly modified version of the Shako for wear by all civil police personnel with minor variations. The minor variations included brown vulcanfibre Shako fittings for either Gendarmerie, (Rural Police), or Polizeibeamten, (Police Officials), personnel and black vulcanfibre Shako fittings for the Ordnungspolizei (Order Police), the Schutzpolizei, (Protection Police), and Gemeindepolizei, (Local Municipal Police). NCO ranks utilized the appropriate colored leather chinstraps while officers ranks of Polizei-Leutnant up to Polizei-Oberst utilized silver/aluminum "lobster tail", chinstraps and Generals ranks of Generalmajor to Generaloberst der Polizei utilized gilt "lobster tail", chinstraps Of Note: Police Officers holding the rank of Polizei-Leutnant to Generaloberst der Polizei were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and headgear and could purchase them through the SS-Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system which was originally established in Munich in 1935. The Officers were allotted a one time clothing allowance from the government with the amount varying depending on the individuals rank. The ranks of Polizei Unterwachtmeister to Polizei-Obermeister were issued their uniforms and headgear although they could also choose to purchase privately tailored items of higher quality although the price may have been restrictive. Also Of Note: The German Police had no enlisted ranks with the lowest rank being an Unterwachtmeister which was equivalent to the German army rank of Unteroffizier.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Excellent quality, private purchase, 1936 pattern, Gendarmerie, (Rural Police), officer’s Shako consisting of a molded vulcanfibre body with a police green wool covering to the exterior. The body of the Shako has an extruding, humped curve reverse with a mid-brown lacquered, downward sloping front and rear vulcanfibre visors and a circular "coffee can" style top. Both the front and rear visors are secured to the Shako by a narrow horizontal strip of mid-brown lacquered leather which is machine stitched all along the bottom edge. The circular, mid-brown lacquered vulcanfibre, "coffee can", style top is also secured to the Shako by a row of horizontal stitching running through small, evenly spaced, puncture holes. Each side of the Shako body has two, small, screened ventilation holes situated just below the crown seam, with internal, sliding, vent closure panels permitting the forward vent to be closed. The front center of the Shako has a large, two piece officer’s, high relief, stamped, natural aluminum, second pattern, (Circa June 1936-May 1945), wreathed, Police eagle emblem with outstretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted swastika in it’s talons. The eagle shows nice detailing and is nicely convexed to fit the contours of the Shako. The eagle and wreath are still quite clean and bright. The eagle is secured to the Shako by two split pin retaining tabs with original washers. The front center of the Shako also has a small, stitch reinforced, horizontal slash to accommodate the national tri-color cockade retaining wires. The Shako has officer’s pattern, vertically oval, national tri-color cockade is silver bullion wire and black fabric. Mint set of officer’s pattern aluminum chinscales. Full, mint leather sweatband and original two piece silk liner. The interior crown of the Shako has a printed manufacturer’s label with in black and red with off-white script that includes the manufacture’s name and location, "Robert Lubstein Berlin No 55", and, "Ges. Gesh Fibermarke". Nice large size, roughly a "60". Superb!

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $2,595.00

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