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S014879 GENDARMERIE NCO'S SHAKO WITH COVER. (Tschako mit Tschakobezüge) 

BACKGROUND: The origins of the distinctive Shako has been somewhat shrouded with the passing of time with some military historians accrediting the French with its development in the 1780's, based on the design of the civilian top hat, while others acclaim that it was based on the Austro-Hungarian or Bavarian Casquette headgear that was introduced at roughly the same time. It is known, however, that the Shako was originally adopted by the Prussian army as a experimental model in 1801 and was the standard headgear utilized by Jäger and Schützen personnel during the Napoleonic Wars. The 1801 pattern shako went through numerous modifications and in March 1854 a new pattern was officially adopted by Jäger and Schnelle Truppen, (Light Infantry and Mobile Troops). Further minor modifications to the Shako occurred in 1860, 1888, 1891, 1892, 1895, 1897, and 1915. 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. As a result of this appointment and the restructuring of all the separate German state police into a single national police force new regulations were instituted on June 25TH 1936 to bring about uniformity in dress for all police through-out the country. One of the new dress regulations introduced a slightly modified version of the Shako for wear by all civil police personnel with minor variations. The minor variations included brown vulcanfibre Shako fittings for either Gendarmerie, (Rural Police), or Polizeibeamten, (Police Officials), personnel and black vulcanfibre Shako fittings for the Ordnungspolizei (Order Police), the Schutzpolizei, (Protection Police), and Gemeindepolizei, (Local Municipal Police). NCO ranks utilized the appropriate colored leather chinstraps while officers ranks of Polizei-Leutnant up to Polizei-Oberst utilized silver/aluminum "lobster tail", chinstraps and Generals ranks of Generalmajor to Generaloberst der Polizei utilized gilt "lobster tail", chinstraps Of Note: Police Officers holding the rank of Polizei-Leutnant to Generaloberst der Polizei were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and headgear and could purchase them through the SS-Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system which was originally established in Munich in 1935. The Officers were allotted a one time clothing allowance from the government with the amount varying depending on the individuals rank. The ranks of Polizei Unterwachtmeister to Polizei-Obermeister were issued their uniforms and headgear although they could also choose to purchase privately tailored items of higher quality although the price may have been restrictive. Also Of Note: The German Police had no enlisted ranks with the lowest rank being an Unterwachtmeister which was equivalent to the German army rank of Unteroffizier.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, private purchase, 1936 pattern, Gendarmerie, (Rural Police), NCO’s Shako consisting of a molded, black vulcanfibre body with a slightly mottled, police green wool covering to the exterior. The body of the Shako has an extruding, humped curve, reverse with a mid-brown lacquered, downward sloping front and rear vulcanfibre visors and a circular "coffee can" style top. Both the front and rear visors are secured to the Shako by a narrow horizontal strip of mid-brown lacquered leather which is machine stitched all along the top edge. The circular, mid-brown lacquered vulcanfibre, "coffee can", style top is also secured to the Shako by a row of horizontal stitching running through small, evenly spaced, puncture holes. Each side of the Shako body has two, small, green painted, screened, alloy ventilation holes situated just below the crown seam, with internal, sliding, alloy vent closure panels permitting the forward vent to be closed. The front center of the Shako has a large, silver washed, high relief, stamped, aluminum alloy, second pattern, (Circa June 1936-May 1945), wreathed, Police eagle emblem with outstretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted swastika in it’s talons. The eagle shows nice detailing and is nicely convexed to fit the contours of the line Shako. The eagle and wreath retain about 95% of their silver wash and are still quite clean and bright. The eagle is secured to the Shako by two, small, screw threaded, retaining post being inserted through two small holes in the body with retaining nuts that are visible in the interior. Only one screw and nut remain. The front center of the Shako also has a small, stitch reinforced, horizontal slash to accommodate the national tri-color cockade retaining wires. The Shako has a stamped aluminum, vertically oval, national tri-color cockade, with five, silver washed, simulated twisted rope outer edge encompassing a single, black painted, simulated twisted rope inner edge, a single silver washed, ribbed, inner trim and a red painted recessed centerpiece. The bottom edge of the cockade has an extended wire loop to secure it to the Shako. The silver wash and black and red paints are all retained about 85%. The reverse of the cockade is well marked with the stamped, manufacturer’s initials, "S.R.M.", and the date, "1937", indicating an unknown manufacturer in 1937. The Shako has a mid-brown leather chinstrap with dual, natural aluminum, sliding, length adjustment buckles and natural, aluminum retaining rings. The retaining rings are secured onto extended, M1891 pattern, natural aluminum, chinstrap side posts which are positioned on each side of the Shako’s body. The interior of the Shako has a nine finger, natural tan leather construction liner fully intact. The liner is in overall very good condition with minimal chafe wear and age and usage toning. The leather to the liner is still quite supple and the original leather tie string is still intact. The reverse, interior visor has a sequence of unknown numerals that appear to have been burnt in place, "43/832". The interior crown of the Shako has a printed manufacturer’s label with in black and red with tan script that includes the manufacture’s acronym, "Erel", name and location, "Robert Lubstein Berlin NO 55, Heinrich Rollerstr. 16-17" , "Fiber-Tschako", (Fibre-Shako), and the size, "56". The Shako is in overall very good condition with minor age and usage toning, some minor moth grazing to the police green wool covering resulting in spots of light nap wear and a couple of pinhead sized holes, and some light surface cracking and spotting to the mid-brown vulcanfibre visors and the circular "coffee can" top. The shako comes with a protective, mottled, green and tan cotton construction protective cover with machine stitched seams. The five panel cover consists of two side panels, a circular top panel and both forward and rear visor panels. The front center has a small, vertically extended, compartment to accommodate the tri-color cockade. Both of the side panels have a small, dual-ply, semi-circular panel with a tunnel looped elastic at the bottom edge, positioned where the chin strap attachment posts would sit on the shako. Both the both forward and rear visor panels have an internal, natural cardboard stiffener to assist in securing to cover to the shako. The interior of the rear visor panel is well marked with the blurred, illegible, black, manufacturer’s inkstamp, the date, "1939", and the purple inkstamped size, "57". The cover is in overall very good condition with minor age and usage toning. Also included is a roughly, 10 1/4" tall, 10" diameter, pressed cardboard carrying/storage case with a simulated brown, grained, leather covering. The case has a central, horizontal closure zipper and a top carrying handle. The case appears to be of 1950's manufacture but the shako fits in it perfectly.

GRADE ***3/4                             PRICE $1,775.00 (Or Best Offer)

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