S016772 CUSTOMS VISOR CAP. (Schirmmütze)

BACKGROUND: The German Customs Service can be traced back to 1834 when a Customs Union was formed to allow the separate German States to trade amongst themselves without trade and tariff taxes, while still imposing import trade taxes on other European nations. With the unification of the German States into a single nation in 1871 the Customs Service became a national paramilitary organization, under control of the Reichsfinanzministerium, (National Finance Ministry), in Berlin. The national Customs Service was still responsible for imposing and collecting import trade taxes but was also tasked with border defence duties. In 1936 the Customs Service was reorganized and given further policing responsibilities including the apprehension of individuals attempting to escape from the NSDAP’s yoke. The German Customs service was divided into two separate branches with one branch consisting of the Landzollbeamte, (Land Customs Officials), which was subdivided into the Zollgrenzschutz, (Land Customs Border Guards), and the Wasserzollbeamte, (Water Customs Officials), and the second branch consisting of the remaining Zollbeamte, (Customs Officials). 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 including the Customs service. As a result of this appointment new regulations were instituted, in July 1936, to bring about uniformity in dress and included new insignia for the Customs personnel.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, private purchase, post-1936 pattern, police green wool construction visor cap with a dark green badge cloth centerband with dark green wool truppenfarben, (Branch of service color), to the crown edge and both the top and bottom edges of the centerband. The front center of the cap features the distinctive Customs style, stamped alloy national eagle with a silver wash. The right facing eagle features out-stretched wings with upwardly flared wing tips with a roughly, 70mm wingspan. The eagle is clutching a canted wreathed swastika in its talons. The front center of the centerband has a stamped, silver washed, alloy acanthus leaf wreath, encompassing a high relief, three piece, national tri-color cockade. The national tri-color cockade consists of a black fluted, alloy base, a stamped, silver washed, alloy roundel, and an inset red felt center dot. The cap has a green chin cord. The chin cord is secured to the cap by two, small, silver washed, pebbled sheet metal buttons. The cap has a black lacquered vulcanfibre visor which has a subtly raised lip near the forward edge. Stitching to the visor was pulled out about ½ the way and will need to be re-sewn. The interior of the cap is fully lined with rayon to the body. Celluloid sweat diamond is missing but the maker name is still present. The interior of the cap also has a wide tan leather sweatband with ventilation perforations to the front forehead section. Other than the stitching repair that will need to be made to the visor, very nice example. Roughly a 56"     (Ex Philippe Gillain Collection)

GRADE *** 3/4                             PRICE $595.00

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