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Did they make SS skulls from Silver?

Article about: by d'alquen "but I do not believe it means "pure."" I apologise, I bow to your superior German knowledge, my dictionary must be wrong. rein; echt; schier; bar {adj}: pure

  1. #41

    Default Re: Did they make SS skulls from Silver?

    Evidence presented in a clear, factual and polite way.

    And that Ade, is what does set this forum above the rest, and I think also that is why, some of the more knowledgable collectors will post here

    And it's all down to the hard work of the mods too

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  3. #42

    Default Re: Did they make SS skulls from Silver?

    Bob's explanation makes an awful lot of sense to me. The tarnishing aspect makes the insignia totally impractical. It also explains why the badges disappear from the price lists so quickly and totally.
    d'alquen

  4. #43

    Default Re: Did they make SS skulls from Silver?

    Indeed, that is a very good point. It had not crossed my mind before, yet it is an obvious practical drawback.

    Cheers, Ade.

    PS: thanks John.

  5. #44

    Default Re: Did they make SS skulls from Silver?

    Quote by Adrian Stevenson View Post
    Indeed, that is a very good point. It had not crossed my mind before, yet it is an obvious practical drawback.

    Cheers, Ade.

    PS: thanks John.
    If memory serves on the piece in Delich's collection, the badge is removable, if this means anything.

    I would also mention the following, that for those from the old armies, such polishing of insignia was a normal part of military life (Flick und Putzstunde) that filled garrison life. Granted that many of our SS men had prior military service before 1918, the onerous task of polishing would be but a normal part of one's demonstration of military bearing, just as a spit shine was the same until the invention of these repugnant corfam shoes made such things apprently obsolete.

    Such insignia may no longer be used in the US armed forces, or in the Bundeswehr, either, but they were used in the 19th and early 20th century in the Prussian and Bavarian and Saxon armies.

    Such polishing was especially true of buttons, actually. As it was also true of the Beschlag on leather helmets, which were designed to be removed and polished. That is, helmet plates.

    As regards my point above, you can read about garrison life in the endless accounts of same in the German language til hell freezes over.

    It is also true that like the Reichswehr, the SSVT especially wanted to break with a great deal of tradition, and discard much of the barracks square of former life for a more athletic and training oriented soldierly existence, in which such inane aspects of formal discipline (as it was called...) were downgraded or abandoned.


    Let me make another point, which is likely to fall on blind eyes and deaf ears, but it merits repeating. I grew up with a lot of gossip and old wives tales from collectors, which I later found to be wrong and even destructive. When I was younger, I was very credulous and deferred to such assertions, and in retrospect, I was in error to do so. I do not wish to insult any personage, and surely I know Mr. Toncar to be an honest man. Secondly, I am not sure Mr. Wanek understood the point I am making above with my word "persuaded," In fact, in reading Mr. Toncar's welcome post, I believe he agrees with me, which he is surely under no compulsion to do. His experience stands. I, too, have been witness to more fakery on two continents than I would have liked. I recall many moments in Vienna of Third Man like mischief, which is wholly in accord with the story of the New York dealers.

    But there is something else here much more profound.

    In fact, without putting too fine a point on it, there is a fundamental question here whether we are engaged in a "hobby" or whether you and I treat these things as evidence of the past, to which we apply an analytical method to answer our questions.

    The latter path is far easier now because of the internet, whereas the habits and customs of describing collecting Nazi regalia as a "hobby" must withstand a more acute and complete scrutiny in the present.

    This fact unsettles "hobbyists" who have restricted their frame of reference and generalization to what is today a too narrow basis. Such is a normal phenomenon, surely, and I wish no discourtesy to anyone who would describe themselves as a "hobbyist."

    Mr. D'Alquen and I are professional educators, which in North America is usually then a cause for scorn among others who resent education as being impractical and somehow besides the point among a class of doers. But this anti intellectual attitude is wrong and destructive.

    Mr. D'Alquen has amassed a remarkable amount of primary research material connected with this regalia---more than anyone else I know. I am grateful to him that he shares primary documents of the highest value here, and I have tried to do my part. I have recently caught up with my nifty CD, which has shattered in my own experience a great of "hobbyist" gossip and old wives tales that rely on really flawed information that masquerades as knowledge.

    I say that the methods of the historian can well aid a collector, and even a "hobbyist," disinclined to do the research in primary sources. We have tried to make this site where the analytical approach as well as the methods, practices, and theories of historical study can play a role in Uniformkunde in the 21st century.

    The Germans took the study of uniforms seriously, treated it as a sub discipline of the study of the past, and used evidence as we are trying to do it here. In their meetings, the gossip and old wives tales of certain figures, whoever they might have been, would not have weighed much in the analysis of an issue.

    I suggest that we adhere to the former standards of these experts in Uniformkunde in the early 20th century, where the sources (to include the voices of the contemporaries...and not what we think 70 years later through the lense of corporate revolution in business principles) are not merely a certain fraction of all the pieces that ever existed that by accident are in a small number of collections in one geographical location.

    And a final point which verges on the abrupt: the fact that the historical approach might unsettle "hobbyists" leads in some cases to the latter to engage in an aggressive, provocative and otherwise unhelpful posture. The websites are full of it to a nauseating degree. I have long experience as a teacher in graduate study with some very tough and proud figures, and I well know that when someone's knowledge is challenged, aggression is often the result. I have dealt with this phenomenon for around 35 years, and an old hand at it.

    Such aggression, deployment of red herrings and otherwise unhelpful interventions have no place on this site. They belong on the other sites, which some of us left in total disgust in order to think and reflect here without selfsame asinine nonsense that other moderators promote and which presently, as internet law becomes more sophisticated, will result in legal sanction.

    Why these exchanges about these trivial cap badges excite this fundamentalist frenzy is a mystery to me, and it has no place here whatsoever.

    Adrian and I asked that some of you aid this site with a little homework to answer the leading questions and otherwise catalog knowledge and, finally, to share the burden that is not equitably borne on this site.

    When I find the article with the mention of "echtsilber" cap badges, I will post it.

    May your Tombak, Neusilber, Echtsilber, Goldgespinst, and whatever shine brightly.
    damit, basta.

  6. #45

    Default Re: Did they make SS skulls from Silver?

    Quote by John Brandon View Post
    Evidence presented in a clear, factual and polite way.

    And that Ade, is what does set this forum above the rest, and I think also that is why, some of the more knowledgable collectors will post here

    And it's all down to the hard work of the mods too

    Thanks, John, and Adrian and that is precisely the precious atmosphere we wish to uphold. The Germans say: "as you call into the forest, so resounds the echo." The echo here should reflect exactly the principles outlined above.
    damit, basta.

  7. #46

    Default Re: Did they make SS skulls from Silver?

    This is what I have in mind as regards the prototypes in early 20th century Germany. There are account here of lectures held in Berlin's Zeughaus, i.e. the Prussian war museum, on aspects of Uniformkunde, which are really historical studies of society, war, politics, culture and the objects themselves.
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    damit, basta.

  8. #47

    Default Re: Did they make SS skulls from Silver?

    I spent a couple of hours looking for the article on Werkstoffe for cap badges, but I found these images of textile and garment exhibits..instead....they have more merit than some things and deserve a place here, do they not?

    This here was already a pretty nice collection of hats, which would not have cost nearly as much in 1936 as in 2010 or so....
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    damit, basta.

  9. #48

    Default Re: Did they make SS skulls from Silver?

    Here are the steps necessary to make a cap, though this list is not exhaustive, as well as the list of the necessary materials.

    This extract also mentions my favorite book, a copy of which I found last year, and also another book, which I have not heard of.

    Read and reflect.

    Postscriptum: this is apparently the list a certain author personage used, but the text suggests that, in fact, this list does not comprise all the steps in cap making. Also, these passages are lifted out of the Hempe book, Muetzenmacherei.
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    damit, basta.

  10. #49

    Default Re: Did they make SS skulls from Silver?

    And here is something you have seen less frequently than stupid, inane, and repetitive pictures of "sculls" and asinine fights about them in the digital age.

    That is: a cap factory or workshop.

    In one image, the inner linings are being hand stitched and the insignia and chin straps are being affixed, and in another, the caps are being steamed and ironed.

    Here is the nice woman to ask whether the "prongs" penetrate the lining......!

    Donnerwetter.
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    damit, basta.

  11. #50

    Default Re: Did they make SS skulls from Silver?

    Finally, fellow readers and devotees of head wear here is proof of a very particular kind as to why SS regalia is rare. It was seldom sold in the III. Reich to begin with, apparently.

    This is a briefing graphic from a training session in 1936 on the challenges of running a Nazi uniform retail shop. I include images of the shop window and interior of such an establishment. The UM included a lot of best practices in business and retail, with very fruitful discussions on the ups and downs of such trade. This is a gold mine, and also totally beyond the realm of the gun show gossip and old wives' tales so mentioned above.

    A lot more interesting than most of this thread, too, isn't it?


    The graphic breaks down the respective Umsatz from each category of uniform items. Notice how those of the SA compare to the SS, as well as other organizations.

    Our hobbyists did not post this graphic, nor did certain of the "scull" savants.
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    damit, basta.

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