L015866 FLIGHT MUSICIAN'S SWALLOW'S NESTS. (Schwalbennester für Musiker)

BACKGROUND: Germany has a long history of producing some of the best master musicians in the world including the renown composers Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms and Hitler's personal favorite Richard Wagner. Military bands date back to the middle ages and were originally utilized for acoustic signaling long before eventually evolving into a form of entertainment. The German government and the Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), recognized the beneficial morale effect of music and along with larger units and Headquarters bands, Luftwaffe, (Air Force), regiments and independent, battalion sized units, excluding medical units, each had band and a fife and drum corps of various sizes. Depending on the size of the band it would be led by an individual holding the ranks of Musikmeister, (Leutnant), to Stabsmusikmeister, (Hauptmann). Band members wore the standard uniform and insignia of their unit with the distinctive "swallows nest", when performing. The swallow's nest insignia was utilized from at least the 1800's if not earlier and was carried over into the Imperial, the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), and the Third Reich eras with minor variations. The Reichswehr era swallow's nests consisted of seven, wide, vertical stripes on a colored background field and all had a fringe applied to bottom edge until regulations of 1923 abolished the fringe for drummers and fifers but maintained the fringe for Drum Majors. Regulations permitted the swallow's nests to be permanently affixed to private purchased uniforms but were removable, being secured by five hooks and eyes, on the service tunics and the flight blouses. The different branches of service within the Luftwaffe were allocated specific, identifying, waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with golden yellow being chosen for personnel serving with Flieger, (Flight), units. Besides generally being displayed on the uniform shoulder straps/boards and the collar tabs the appropriate waffenfarbe was also utilized as the base color of the "swallow's nests". The Luftwaffe swallow's nests were slightly different then those utilized by the army and paramilitary organizations and varied depending on the musician's position with bright silver/aluminum tress and a roughly, 2 3/4", (7cm), long fringe for Stabshornisten, (Staff Buglers/Bugle Majors), bright silver/aluminum tress and no fringe for Musiker, (Bandsmen), and matte, blue/grey tress with no fringe for Spielmann und Spielleute, (Fife and Drum Corpsmen). Of Note: The swallow's nests for personnel serving with Hermann Göring units were slightly different then the standard swallow's nest with all personnel having assorted length fringes.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Two, matching, half-moon shaped, Flieger Musiker, (Flight Bandsmen), swallow's nests consisting of a golden yellow wool base with seven, alternating, evenly spaced, machine stitched, vertical, bright, silver/aluminum, waffle patterned, tress strips and an additional, slightly curved, horizontal, bright, silver/aluminum, waffle patterned, tress strip to the bottom edge. The waffle patterned tress strips also have a vertical raised rib at the center and near each outer edge. The golden yellow wool bases show through as a narrow, vertical, stripe between each of the tress strips. The swallow's nests have no bottom edge fringes. Original hooks are complete.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $179.00

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