L004081 OFFICER'S VISOR CAP. (Schirmmütze)

BACKGROUND: Visor caps were a standard item for all military personnel during the Third Reich period and regulations dictated the form of dress they were to be worn with, based on the individual’s rank. On its inception on February 26TH 1935, the Luftwaffe adopted most of the uniform items of the earlier DLV, Deutscher Luftsportverband, (German Air Sports Association), its clandestine, civilian forerunner, including the visor cap. In March 1935 the earlier, "Tellerform", saucer shaped, caps were replaced with a new a "Sattelform" cap with a higher front peak and an oval shaped top. The insignia utilized on the visor caps consisted of the Luftwaffe style national eagle as introduced for wear by Fliegerschaft, (Pilot Base), personnel of the DLV on August 18TH 1934 and was officially adopted for wear by all Luftwaffe personnel on March 1ST 1935 along with a new winged wreath and national tri-color cockade. The visor caps for Company and Field grade Officers holding the ranks of Leutnant up to Oberst were distinguished from EM/NCO’s caps by bright, silver/aluminum piping and a silver/aluminum chin cord while Officers holding Generals ranks of Generalmajor up to Reichsmarschall utilized gold colored fittings. EM/NCO ranks visor caps utilized the appropriate waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), piping and blackened leather chinstraps. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own caps and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the Luftwaffe’s Verkaufsabteilung, (Air-Force Sales Department), 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. This example is a privately purchased cap with minor variations from the officially issued caps with the most noticeable deviation being the lack of the simulated leather trim applied to the forward edge of the visor. A photographic example of a similar cap can be seen in B. L. Davis’s book, Uniforms and Insignia of the Luftwaffe, Volume 1: 1933-1940 on page 207.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, private purchase, Luftwaffe blue/grey, wool/rayon blend construction visor cap with a subtle, whipcord weave features a black, horizontally ribbed, interwoven, mohair centerband, and bright, interwoven silver/aluminum piping to the crown edge and both the top and bottom edges of the centerband. The front center of the cap has a hand embroidered, second pattern, Luftwaffe eagle clutching a canted, swastika in one talon, in bright, silver/aluminum wire threads with bright, silver/aluminum bullion and tan accent threads mounted on a cut-out, Luftwaffe blue/grey wool base. The eagle is neatly handstitched to the cap. The front center of the centerband has a hand embroidered, winged, oak-leaf wreath in bright, silver/aluminum wire threads with bright, silver/aluminum bullion, black and tan accent threads, encompassing a hand embroidered national tri-color cockade. The national tri-color cockade is constructed in black and bright, silver/aluminum wire threads with a red wool center dot. The winged wreath and cockade are mounted on a cut-out, black wool base which is also handstitched in place. The cap has an interwoven, twisted, silver/aluminum, braid, chin cord which is secured to the cap by two, small, silver washed, pebbled, magnetic sheet metal buttons. The cap has a extended, forward, blackened lacquered, vulcanfiber visor with a subtly raised lip near the top of the forward edge. The interior of the cap is fully lined in two grades of golden tan rayon with ribbed rayon to the body and brushed rayon to the crown. The interior crown lining has a clear celluloid sweat rhomboid fully intact with the exception of a small section. The lining beneath the sweat rhomboid is marked with the faint, mostly illegible, printed manufacturer’s mark "Erel", indicating manufacture by the Robert Lubstein firm of Berlin. The interior of the cap also has a wide, grained, brown leather sweatband with ventilation perforations to the front forehead section. The sweatband has faint, mostly illegible, impressed, script which appears to include the manufacturer’s acronym, "Erel", and, "Stirnschutz", (Forehead Protection). The sweatband is torn in several places and has pulled loose from the front but is still mostly complete. Original paper size tag it still present, size marked "56". One small moth hole to the front top. Fairly scarce Erel pattern. Untouched.

GRADE *** 3/4                             PRICE $952.00 (Or Best Offer)

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