H048179 INFANTRY NCO, OFFICER CANDIDATE’S VISOR CAP. (Schirmmütze für Offizier Anwärter)

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 white being chosen for Infanterie, (Infantry), 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. In order to retain conformity, caps privately purchased by EM and junior NCO’s had to be inspected and approved by the individual’s unit prior to being worn.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, private purchase, visor cap with a slightly mottled, field-grey doeskin wool body and crown and a blue/green badge cloth centerband with white wool waffenfarbe piping to the crown edge and both the top and bottom edges of the centerband. The internal crown stiffening wire has been removed but an internal padding and a vertical stiffener to the interior front are all still intact and retains 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 is secured to the cap by two, 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 are secured to the cap by bent over prongs on the reverse. The eagle, wreath and cockade roundel all retain about 90% of their original silver washes with a light yellow age patina. 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 chincord appears to have been replaced with a small, hole to each side of the cap remaining as evidence. 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 rhomboid with about one third of the securing stitches absent. The sweat rhomboid is well marked with the silver printed, manufacturer’s acronym/logo, within a diamond shaped border, "Peküro", indicating manufacture by the Peter Küpper firm of Wuppertal-Ronsdorf. The sweat rhomboid also has additional, silver printed, script that includes, "Stirndruckfrei", (Forehead Pressure Free), and "Deutsches Reichspatent", (German National Patent). The sweat rhomboid also has additional, faint, impressed, faded brownish, script that appears to be the name, "Max Seidel", and the location, "Siegen", which is presumably a cap distributor or retailer. The interior of the cap also has a wide, natural tan, leather sweatband, with ornate ventilation perforations to the front forehead section. The sweatband is in overall very good condition with some minor moisture staining and a couple of small rips and tears. The reverse of the sweatband is well marked with a faint, black, size inkstamp, "56", and a faint, purplish/red inkstamp that appears to be, "Geprüft d./J.R.57", (Inspected by the 57TH Infantry Regiment). Of Note: The 57TH Infantry Regiment was an integral component of the 9TH Infantry, (later Volksgrenadier), Division. Also Of Note: The "Geprüft", inkstamp indicates this cap was a private purchase item that had been inspected by the unit, conformed to the appropriate clothing regulations and was approved for official wear. The "Geprüft", inkstamp and the replaced chincord would seem to indicate the cap was a private purchase item by an officer candidate. 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. 

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $1,250.00

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