S011079 WATER CUSTOMS OFFICIAL’S VISOR CAP WREATH. (Schirmmütze Abzeichen)

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). 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 including the Customs service. As a result of this appointment new regulations were instituted, in July 1936, to bring about uniformity in dress and included new insignia for the Customs personnel. The Water Customs officials were distinguished from the Land Customs officials by wearing gilt insignia as opposed to the standard silver insignia.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Water Customs Officials visor cap wreath encompassing a three piece national tri-color cockade. The die stamped alloy construction alloy acanthus leaf wreath with a gilt wash features embossed leaf veins and six small circular flowers, with a subtly pebbled background field. The reverse of the wreath is a mirror image of the obverse and all attachment prongs are intact. The wreath encompasses a separate, three piece national tri-color cockade consisting of a black fluted, alloy base, a stamped, silver washed, alloy roundel, and an inset red felt center dot.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $238.00 (Or Best Offer)

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