H048079 ARTILLERY OFFICER’S VISOR CAP. (Schirmmütze für Offizier)

BACKGROUND: Visor caps were a standard item for all Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), personnel during the Third Reich period, (Circa 1933-1945), and regulations dictated the form of dress they were to be worn with based on the individual’s rank. Originally the insignia worn on the visor caps consisted of the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era, pattern oak-leaf wreath and cockade and a blackened leather chinstrap for all ranks. In February 1927 new chin cords for Officer’s ranks were introduced with silver cords for the company and field grade officer’s ranks of Leutnant to Oberst and gilt cords for the ranks of Generalmajor to Generalfeldmarschall. On March 14TH 1933 the Reichswehr’s oval black, red and gold cockade was replaced with a circular cockade in black, white, and red and on February 17TH 1934 the Third Reich pattern national eagle for the army was officially introduced for wear on the visor cap. In March 1935 a new, more detailed, pattern wreath and cockade and a second, larger pattern national eagle were also introduced for wear and in late 1935 regulations altered the Reichswehr era field-grey colored centerband to a dark blue/green coloration which was utilized until the end of the war. Further regulations of February 26TH 1936 also permitted senior NCO’s who were Officer Candidates to wear the Officer’s twisted, silver/aluminum chin cord on their visor caps as opposed to the standard EM/NCO’s leather chinstrap. The different branches of service within the army were allocated a specific, identifying, waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with bright red being chosen for Artillerie, (Artillery), personnel which was displayed as piping on the visor cap for EM/NCO’s and Company and Field grade officers. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own caps and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the army’s Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s could choose to purchase their caps from the armed forces clothing depots or to privately purchase visor caps of higher quality. Although enlisted personnel were issued their caps from government supplies they were also permitted to purchase privately tailored caps although the price may have been restrictive.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, private purchase, visor cap with a field-grey doeskin wool body and crown and a blue/green badge cloth centerband with bright red wool waffenfarbe piping to the crown edge and both the top and bottom edges of the centerband. The internal crown stiffening wire, internal padding and a vertical stiffener to the interior front are all still intact and retain the caps oval, "Sattelform", crown shape with a high, central, forward peak. The front center of the cap features a second pattern, (circa 1935-1945), frosty, silver washed, stamped alloy, national eagle with out-stretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted, swastika in it’s talons. The eagle retains over 95% of it’s frosty silver wash and is still quite clean and bright. The eagle is secured to the cap by three, bent over prongs on the reverse. The front center of the centerband has a second pattern, (circa 1935-1945), frosty silver washed, stamped alloy, oak-leaf wreath encompassing a separate, high vaunted, three piece, stamped alloy, national tri-color cockade. The national tri-color cockade consists of a black fluted alloy base, a bright silver washed alloy, roundel and an inserted red wool center dot. Both the wreath and cockade roundel retain about 95% of their original silver washes and are secured to the cap by bent over prongs on the reverse. 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 chin cord is slightly shorter the usually found and may be a replacement. The cap has an extended, forward, black lacquered, vulcanfibre visor with a subtly raised lip near the forward edge. The interior of the cap is fully lined in subtly textured, golden/tan rayon. The interior crown lining has a clear celluloid sweat diamond fully intact. The lining beneath the diamond is well marked with the grey printed, manufacturer’s name and location in Gothic style script that appears to be, "August Zimpel Eimen". The interior of the cap also has a wide, natural tan, leather sweatband, with ventilation perforations to the front forehead section with an inserted strip of orange foam rubber padding to the reverse. The reverse of the sweatband has an unknown, black inkstamped marking, "3x". The sweatband is in overall very good condition with some minor moisture staining. The cap is in overall very good condition with minor age and usage toning and some light nap wear to the crown and the waffenfarbe piping. The cap is roughly size 57cm, (22 1/2"), interior diameter. Nice cap by a very seldom encountered, "cottage" manufacturer.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $1,329.00 (Or Best Offer)

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