S010179 LAND CUSTOMS OFFICER'S SWORD PORTEPEE. (Portepee für Offizier)

BACKGROUND: The German Customs Service can be traced back to 1834 when a Customs Union was formed to allow the separate German States to trade amongst themselves without trade and tariff taxes, while still imposing import trade taxes on other European nations. With the unification of the German States into a single nation in 1871 the Customs Service became a national paramilitary organization, under control of the Reichsfinanzministerium, (National Finance Ministry), in Berlin. The national Customs Service was still responsible for imposing and collecting import trade taxes but was also tasked with border defence duties. In 1936 the Customs Service was reorganized and given further policing responsibilities including the apprehension of individuals attempting to escape from the NSDAP’s yoke. The German Customs service was divided into two separate branches with one branch consisting of the Landzollbeamte, (Land Customs Officials), which was subdivided into the Zollgrenzschutz, (Land Customs Border Guards), and the Wasserzollbeamte, (Water Customs Officials), and the second branch consisting of the remaining Zollbeamte, (Customs Officials).

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The portepee consists of a black/grey leather strap with a triple, interwoven, silver/aluminum wire stripes. The strap has an black leather slide interwoven with silver/aluminum threads. The stem is constructed silver/aluminum wire with opened sections revealing an underlaying silver base. The crown and ball are both constructed of twisted silver/aluminum and green braid mounted on an internal wooden base. The bottom of the ball has an oval depression with a green wool insert. Near mint. Scarce.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $440.00

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