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Early style Totenkopf.....ok?

Article about: I just bought this totenkopf in Germany. I could not find any maker's marks on it. Is it legit? Thanks, Pablo.

  1. #21
    ?

    Default re: Early style Totenkopf.....ok?

    Many thanks for your replies. I assume the fakes would have some of these makers numbers on the "prongs" as well. Is there a more acceptable term for that? This was my first totenkopf.....fake.

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  3. #22

    Default re: Early style Totenkopf.....ok?

    Prongs is the correct term, Friedrich uses it in such a manner in reference to his jaded attitude to the discussion of such things. You'll notice you never see prongs in his photos... only insigina attached to their caps. It's the way we'd all like to own them I think, it's a shame these days that it's generally not a realistic ambition for most to make that a reality. Don't be put off by the fact you bought a fake, use it at an experience to learn from. Many will tell you they've been in the same position. I was looking for a 2nd pattern Totenkopf for 3 years before eventually finding a genuine example (display picture) at an affordable price... though were it not for this forum, I'd have a nice collection of fakes by now. In fact, I'd have passed on buying the genuine one out of inexperience at the time had it not been for confirmation of it's originality by members here. I've learned a lot about these insignia from this forum, and one thing that's helped that Ade advised I do was to collect photos for reference: I have two folders, 'real totenkopfs' and 'fakes' which I fill with photos when I come across examples on here with confirmed verdicts. You could make a start by looking in the 'sticky' thread about skulls and eagles at the top of this forum section.

    Mat

  4. #23

    Default re: Early style Totenkopf.....ok?

    F-B...I'm not quite understanding what the point you wish to make is. Yes, you do, indeed, post much authentic material-but I have rarely, if ever, been able to see the much important back details of the skulls you present. I no longer collect such things myself, but I do know, that if I were contemplating investing an extraordinarily large amount of money into purchasing a cap skull as so many of these modern day collectors are, that I would want, by all means, to know that it was absolutely genuine, and hence the large amount of threads we see posted here so often. They post their potential specimens they are interested in and hope to find out if they are being offered a fake or not. They are much needing to hear just Why the piece in their sights is genuine or why it isn't. They need to not only hear the specifications of the markings(or lack of) that they should be looking for, but they really also should be able to See them as well. They need to have clear photos of both sides of the genuine pieces to compare and educate themselves with, so that, someday they will have no need to annoy and pester the old time experts with the same questions over and over again. To make matters worse, they usually have low-quality photos to go by and make a important judgement call with as to whether to invest hundreds or more dollars in a piece that they would like to acquire. If it isn't an easy thing to do for an Expert, it is especially so for the newer collectors. It isn't like they can go out and pick up the "How to identify and authenticate an SS cap skull" book and look it up themselves. They rely on the only resources they have-and that's usually one of the old time collectors who have been seeing and handling this type of material for many years. It may, at times, seem to be an annoyance to those of the collecting world who spent decades acquiring this knowledge the old fashioned way, but as frustrating as it may be, the simple of it is, that times have now changed and radically so with the advent of the internet. What was once hard earned hands-on knowledge, is now part of the computer world of instant gratification. That we don't Like it or agree with it, does not mean, however, that we should embrace the "Let them hunt it down and learn it the way I did it or I'll die and take it to my grave and then they'll Have to!" mentality. Or worse even yet, the "If you want to know what I know-then Pay me!" way of thinking. With the age of the computer upon us, the "authentication for a paid fee" lot has nearly universally vanished nowadays. It may well seem that the young collectors are "cheating" somehow by skipping in line and not "earning their stripes" as we all did, but that's just the way the World is and if you and I and the rest don't like it...well, there really isn't much that can be done about it apart from vocally making known the annoyance of it all, but that's about it. Younger novice collectors have always and always Will pick the brains of the old timers. The computer and the world wide internet have expanded this aspect by an astronomical amount. One must also keep in mind too, that the collectors of today have much more to manage than we did a half a century or more ago. Certainly, there were fakers and frauds back then, and-yes, we occasionally stepped into the leg-traps so cunningly laid out by them to snare us and our hard earned money, but Today, the fakers have escalated things to a monstrously high level. Such pieces appear here almost daily and, indeed, fool even a good number of the experts. We Had no such incredibly dedicated counterfeiters as they do today. They Need our help. Do they appreciate the help they get? Of course they do. It may not be heaped on by the barn shovel fulls at times, but they definitely Do. This site has saved Untold thousands of dollars for countless collectors. Where were sites like this back in the day when We were out there emptying our wallets for treasures that we were learning about and hoping to have found as good. We Had nothing like this. Should we be small and resent the next generation? Or should we try to Help them avoid the pitfalls and minefields We found in our leagues of travels and experiences and teach them to avoid the better and better traps the new predators are daily laying out for them? I don't know about You, but I, Myself, do not want to die with a smirk on my lips thinking of the legions of hapless novices out there that "should have known better". If what I've seen, done and owned-or Not owned over my lifetime can save even One person from making a disastrous decision, then you Bet I'll put a hand on their shoulder. Why Wouldn't I? Do I want or expect a reward for doing a good deed? What kind of person looks for that? The deed in itself is reward enough. What a person might perceive as a slight or an insult is just the sad state of society today. It isn't Intentional and that's a major thing to keep in mind. When they Want to be insulting, Ohhhh yes-you'll See insulting. Just ask Ade why he Bans so many hostile and nasty people from here. A person today can't be so fast to pick up on hostility or insolence. What we see so often as a slight isn't that at all. People of our generation are fast fading away,FB. The World is a different place now than when we ruled the show! But...I don't want to fade away bitter. There's much that I'd give to see things as they were still, but that just isn't going to happen anymore. 50 years from now...who's going to care what we thought about anything,hey? Take a deep breath every now and then and help the kids on their ways and hope for the best. It's all we can do... William
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  5. #24

    Default re: Early style Totenkopf.....ok?

    Thanks for your thoughtful post.
    damit, basta.

  6. #25

    Default re: Early style Totenkopf.....ok?

    Quote by ToxicGas View Post
    Prongs is the correct term, Friedrich uses it in such a manner in reference to his jaded attitude to the discussion of such things. You'll notice you never see prongs in his photos... only insigina attached to their caps. It's the way we'd all like to own them I think, it's a shame these days that it's generally not a realistic ambition for most to make that a reality. Don't be put off by the fact you bought a fake, use it at an experience to learn from. Many will tell you they've been in the same position. I was looking for a 2nd pattern Totenkopf for 3 years before eventually finding a genuine example (display picture) at an affordable price... though were it not for this forum, I'd have a nice collection of fakes by now. In fact, I'd have passed on buying the genuine one out of inexperience at the time had it not been for confirmation of it's originality by members here. I've learned a lot about these insignia from this forum, and one thing that's helped that Ade advised I do was to collect photos for reference: I have two folders, 'real totenkopfs' and 'fakes' which I fill with photos when I come across examples on here with confirmed verdicts. You could make a start by looking in the 'sticky' thread about skulls and eagles at the top of this forum section.

    Mat

    Rather than you collecting images, which, of course, we have enabled many at no cost to do in a way unthinkable fifteen years ago or so, is for the "scull" savants to make you a tutorial. Part of the reason I have an irritated attitude to these threads is my endless request of those who are truly expert to offer an analysis in a succinct and clear manner of this material. My own effort in what I can claim some knowledge of, has been to offer such knowledge so an outsider can fathom same. However, I also think that it is nearly impossible to collect this material without the actual encounter with authentic items.
    Finally, I do not pull the insignia off my hats. Anyone who does is an historical vandal, and does huge damage to what little of the past survives.
    If any of you seriously expect me to deface my collection, please think again. There are those here with large collections of cap insignia, who are perfectly able to offer images, but they do not do so for their own reasons, and that is their right which no one can impugn.
    I do not collect loose insignia, which perhaps is my own failing. I collect caps with the badges on them, and also black tunics with the badges on them, as well.

    An example of the high frontier to which we can aspire is the Muetzenfabrik thread on the cap forum here. begun by one of the moderators here, and carried on by some sixty odd posts of original, historical material of high value. Never has such a thread appeared as concerns these cap badges. At most, there is an in- accurate list, with a handful of illustrations. Nothing more. This lacuna over a matter of years also intrigues me that the state of knowledge about these items is pretty incomplete and insufficient. This fact is all the more astonishing, since as recently a four or five years ago, persons who had worked at Deschler in Muenchen-Feldkirchen in the era were still alive and quite capable of giving someone with the energy and time to do so (I have the energy, but never the extra three or four days in Munich to do so...) to extract some profound truths versus the gun show old wives tales that masquerade as knowledge in this stuff.
    damit, basta.

  7. #26

    Default re: Early style Totenkopf.....ok?

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ID:	252328On the daggers dot com site, one person known to you and me offered what at the time I thought to be a fine tutorial in cap badges. I learned a great deal, but such was ten years ago, and in the meantime, our work has propelled the fakes to new heights.
    The reaction of some is to carry on regardless, and to show more and more precious details.
    I refuse to do so, in fact, though my work has been pretty exhaustive. Mollo himself refused to show details, which did not stop a whole generation of 1970s fakes from hitting the bazaars with horrendous effect on the innocent.
    Truth be told, I do not understand the cap badge thing, though I actually own a ton of them. I look at them with a glass and can never spot the details about which others wax poetic in iambic pentameter.
    In fact, I am mystified by the things they see, which put me in mind of the man in the moon or canals on Mars....
    But that is just me.
    Of course, as my colleague William reminded me, and no reminder is necessary, I am fading out, hence I cannot really see the details on these badges, nor the varieties of M1/52 on the reverse of such Deschler treasures.
    Thus, I do not volunteer my cap badges to be yanked off my caps, may I burn in hell, but I do ask that those with significant collections to arrange the images in some thematic and chronological order for the use of the novice, whom none of us wants to disappoint.
    I cannot do it, but I have shown you all a lot, and I do mean, a lot of caps. A lot of a lot, I think.
    I am not a good Fotograf, and I do know those who have extraordinary powers of observation like photo interpreters of blessed memory peering at Soviet missiles on Cuba.
    I date myself.
    In any case, I re state that the Muetzenfabrik thread is a kind of encyclopaedia, disorganized to be sure, but a concentration of information and knowledge.
    The internet breaks things up into little bits of the cosmic whole, which the seeker must somehow reassemble. I know this is a difficult task, but it is not significantly different from what we each faced in an earlier epoch, in which time was not such a conflicted thing.
    My nostalgia for same arouses my impatience with others unable to muster the patience and discipline to conquer such a conflicted and contrary thing as the bits of the past.
    damit, basta.

  8. #27

    Default re: Early style Totenkopf.....ok?

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Size:  39.7 KBIn fact, I do not own a single loose cap badge of the Hoheitszeichen or Totenschaedel variety.
    damit, basta.

  9. #28

    Default re: Early style Totenkopf.....ok?

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ID:	252338Apropos of patience: I first saw this image of Schreck ca. 1961, and it took me more or less fifty years to get a cap like his.....
    Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 10-17-2011 at 03:16 PM.
    damit, basta.

  10. #29

    Default re: Early style Totenkopf.....ok?

    In years to come, one of you will carry on where we who are fading out will pass the baton, in turn...
    damit, basta.

  11. #30
    ?

    Default re: Early style Totenkopf.....ok?

    Please allow me to offer my opinion on the cap scull threads that permeate this medium. In the last few years I have read through thousands of posts on four different forums looking for images and bits of knowledge about the uniforms and regalia of the SS. As F-B says the info is scattered here and there and requires much effort and patience to find. The scull threads are like dirt that must be dug away to expose the posts with relevant and reliable info. In order to progress in this subject effort must be made. It takes reading real books (the kind made of paper) and sifting through the jumble of internet sources and forums which is almost like a treasure hunt in itself. Showing a scull and asking for an estimation without expending some effort and asking people who have spent such effort for an appraisal without doing so yourself is uncouth to say the least. Finally, no one should cast any dispersions or accusations towards F-B. His effort to educate and share his experience with the downright mean anonymous internet world has been epic. His reward for doing so has often been mistreatment. I say THANK YOU F-B!! for your unrewarded effort. He and a few other notable people Bob Coleman, Bob Hritz, Ade (our leader on this site) and a few others have taken on the entire flighty internet world of SS regalia and their knowledge has benefited us all. Click image for larger version. 

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    Sorry only little tiny baby sculls in this response.

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