It's a known fake
I have been collecting US WWII militaria for over 30 years and my main tool to acquire items directly from WWII vets are classified ads in small local newspapers. Over the last five years I have had the heirs from two deceased WWII vets call me and I eventually purchased one small ziplock bag from each family, each with a selection of german badges, tinnies, collar tabs, etc. It appears that a "hobby" of US soldiers in Europe was acquiring these items during and after WWII. I realized that rattling around in each ziplock bag I bought was a gem of a skull shaped SS cap/hat insignia among the chaff. Here I am posting the two insignia here for the opinions of the extreme experts as to their originality and if possible a fair value for them. I am a true amateur in the subject of these items with my current knowledge coming from what I can find on the internet. BTW. The full skull insignia made by Zimmermann is about as nice of a condition as you will ever find. The other skull is also very nice, but has some finish loss on the front and no markings on the back.
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
They're indeed both good and nice to look at.
carlsson1982, Thanks for your input. Can you point me to someplace on the forum or the web which can give me an idea of a fair market value for these pieces. I am thinking seriously about letting them go to a good home with someone who will appreciate them.
Last edited by rambob; 06-22-2015 at 01:57 PM.
Sid (carlsson1982) has already authenticated these two skulls, but I'll chime in to add further support... I do not study the jawless Danziger skulls, so I defer to Sid's judgment on that one. The Zimmerman skull, however, is my favorite skull variant, and I agree that this one is authentic (and in great condition). Market price for these skulls is really a matter of supply and demand... I can tell you that dealers these days, based on what I have seen, would sell a beautiful 499/41 skull like that for $900-$1200. The fair collector-to-collector price would obviously be lower, but I'm sure someone will be along shortly to give you some advice on pricing.
On a side note, here are some photos of the "mintiest" Zimmerman skull I have ever seen, for my fellow collectors to drool over (I wish I owned this piece!):
For those who are curious, here is the rest of the contents of the ziplock bag that the Zimmermann skull was rattling around in when I bought it. BTW. A couple items appear not to be military such as the ATV Liepsig badge and the silver bow with gold crown and shaking hands. It seems the US soldiers were like pack rats, going after anything that was shiny.
The ATV Leipzig is the Allgemeiner Turnverein zu Leipzig von 1845 e.V., a sports club that is still in existence. The crown-and-hands badge is from the Evangelischer Arbeiterverein Völklingen, i.e. the Protestant Workers' Association of Völklingen.