BACKGROUND: The Allgemeine-SS, (General-SS), was originally formed in May 1923 as the Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler (Shock Troops Adolf Hitler), and was redesignated Schutzstaffel, (Protection Squad), in April 1925 with the official acceptance of the name verified on the second anniversary of the failed Munich "Beer-Hall" Putsch on November 9TH 1925. On January 6TH 1929 Heinrich Himmler was appointed as Reichsführer-SS, (National Leader {of the} SS), and on July 20TH 1934 shortly after the, June 30TH 1934, purge of the SA, Sturm Abteilung, (Storm/Assault Detachment) on the "Night of the Long Knives", the SS was rewarded by Hitler by being granted the status of an independent organization under direct control of the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party). From its inception the SS began an aggressive policy of expansion which resulted in the formation of the SS-SD, SS-Sicherheitsdienst und Sicherheitspolizei, (SS-Security Service and Security Police), in June 1931, the SS-VT, SS-Verfügungstruppe, (SS-Special Purpose Troops), and the SS-TV, SS-Totenkopfverbände, (SS-Death’s Head Units), in March 1933, which would eventually evolve into the Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), in December 1939. Originally members of the fledgling SS had no official uniform or headgear until April 1925 when they adopted, what was to become known as the, "Tradition Uniform" and personnel were outfitted with the same brown shirt uniform and kepi as the SA. In 1923 the Stabswache (Headquarter Guards), was the first SS unit to adopt the Imperial Prussian Danziger style skull for wear on their headgear which was extended to all SS personnel in April 1925. In November 1925 personnel of the newly formed SS adopted a black Kepi to distinguish them from their SA counterparts and in 1927 the SS were the first to adopted the national eagle insignia for wear on their headgear. In 1932, the first black SS service visor caps were introduced for wear to replace the kepi as the standard headgear for all ranks. Originally, SS personnel wore the Danziger style skull and the 1927, political pattern national eagle on their visor caps. In an attempt to distance themselves from the SA, the SS introduced a new pattern cap skull to replace the previously used Danziger style skull on October 6TH 1934 and in February 1936 a new SS pattern national cap eagle was introduced. Both these pieces of insignia were worn through-out the war. Originally all ranks wore white piping on the visor caps until regulations of June 23RD 1934 introduced silver/aluminum piping for the ranks of SS-Oberführer up to the rank of Reichsführer-SS while the ranks of SS-Anwärter to SS-Standartenführer continued to utilize the white piping. Also originally all ranks utilized a blackened leather chinstrap until regulations of 1935 introduced silver/aluminum chin cords for the ranks of SS-Oberführer up to the rank of Reichsführer-SS. After the outbreak of WWII the black service headgear was eventually phased out of wear for all but Allgemeine-SS personnel. SS Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and headgear and as a result the SS established the SS-Kleiderkasse, (SS-Clothing Account), system in Munich in 1935. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s were allotted a one time clothing allowance from the government with the amount varying depending on the individuals rank. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s could also choose to purchase privately tailored garments of higher quality although the price may have been restrictive. The RZM, Reichzeugmeisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster), was officially founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA Quartermaster’s Department. The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized. Starting in late 1934 items manufactured for the SS came under the quality control of the RZM and were marked with an RZM/SS approval mark or tag. Of Note: In 1943 the Waffen-SS assumed full control over their uniform item production and no longer fell under the authority of the RZM.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, issued, black wool construction visor cap with a whipcord weave a black, whipcord weave centerband and white wool waffenfarbe piping to the top crown edge and both the top and bottom edges of the centerband. The internal crown stiffening wire and an additional, vertical, stiffener to the front center of the cap are still intact and give the cap a nice shape with a high, central, front peak. The front center of the cap has a second pattern, silver washed, stamped alloy construction, SS style national eagle, with out-stretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted, swastika in it’s talons, as introduced in February 1936. The eagle retains about 75% of it’s original, age dulled, silver washed finish with small spots of wear to the base alloy. One of the attachment prongs may be repaired. The front center of the centerband has a second pattern, silver washed, stamped alloy construction Totenkopf, as introduced in October 1934. The Totenkopf features detailed eye and nose cut-outs, two rows of teeth and a bottom jaw, superimposed over crossed bones. The Totenkopf has subtle cranium and bone detailing and retains about 40% of it’s original age dulled, silver washed finish with spots of wear to the base alloy. The cap has a blackened, leather, chinstrap with two, black painted, sliding, rectangular, sheet metal, length adjustment buckles and a central, rectangular, sheet metal, joining clip. The chinstrap is secured to the cap by two, small, black painted, smooth finish, sheet metal buttons. The reverse of the chinstrap is well marked with the purple inkstamped RZM logo an unknown manufacturers code, "L10/9", and the date, "39". The cap has a forward, extended, black lacquered, vulcanfibre visor with a raised lip near the forward edge. The orangish/tan bottom edge of the visor has a subtle, repeating diamond patterned and is well marked with black inkstamped SS runes encompassed by the initials, "RZM". The interior of the cap is fully lined with orangish/tan oil cloth to the crown and orangish/tan cheesecloth to the body. The crown lining has the original, clear celluloid, sweat diamond fully intact. The crown lining beneath the sweat diamond is well marked with the gilt printed, circular bordered, outline of the SS runes encompassed by a second circular border and the size, "58". The interior of the cap also has a wide, tan alkor sweatband with ventilation perforations and an underlying orange foam rubber pad to the front forehead section. The sweatband is in overall good condition with some minor surface creasing. The cap has a black, oilcloth, RZM/SS tag with white printed script and the purple inkstamped manufacturer’s numerical code, handstitched beneath the sweatband near the reverse of the cap. The script on the tag includes the RZM logo, the designation, "Tuchmütze für SS", (Cloth cap for the SS), and, "Gesetz vom 20. 12. 1934 Uniformteile müssen sichtbar das Schutzzeichen der RZM der NSDAP, tragen. Bekanntmachung von 16. 1. 1935 Reichzeugmeisterei der NSDAP ", (Decree of December 20TH 1934. Uniform items are obliged to carry a visible trade mark of the RZM of the NSDAP. As per the proclamation of January 16TH 1935 of the National Equipment Quartermaster of the NSDAP). The reverse of the sweatband also has an additional, illegible black inkstamped marking. The cap is in overall very good condition with minimal age and usage toning.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $5,500.00

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