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SS Officer Skull

Article about: Some photos to ponder over in regards to who was to suppose to wear which totenkopf and when they were supposed to do so.. Period photos always make a mockery of all our "textbook"

  1. #31
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    Default Re: SS Officer Skull

    Some photos to ponder over in regards to who was to suppose to wear which totenkopf and when they were supposed to do so..

    Period photos always make a mockery of all our "textbook" theories...
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  3. #32

    Default Re: SS Officer Skull

    The top left photo of the boy with the Luftwaffe eagle and totenkopf cap insignia combination is interesting, I've seen that somewhere before. I assume the totenkopf collar tab isn't worn in an official manner either? I'm not familiar with that.

    Mat

  4. #33
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    Default Re: SS Officer Skull

    Official maner? well of course not, according to the rules, it's utterly absurd that he should be wearing them..

    But that is my point. Granted, this guy might be considered as unique but how do we know for sure? His whole regiment might have dressed the same way as far as we know. We only have this one photo TODAY to proove that this guy did it.

    The more I collect and the more period publications I read, the less sure I am of all these collector rules that I've heard over the last 10 years.

    No matter, or actualy, despite the size of any army in history, that army is made up of individuals and individuals couldn't give a damn about what collectors, 70 years in the future consider as being the correct thing that they should have worn according to regulations.

    However, it all comes down to what you've been told and what you are comfortable with in this day and age. Within this hobby, what we've been told and the rules that we collect by have very little to do with the true subject matter and history of the period that we plunder.

    If we all did really, truly, respect and understand that period in history, we would all realise that one liitle metal totenkopf on it's own, detached from any item that it was designed to be attached to, has absolutely no historical meaning at all! It's like collecting the door handles of a Model T Ford. The only difference being that these things were stamped in the shape of a skull and human nature is drawn towards such macabre artifacts.

    Why else would the skulls badges of the era fetch such ridiculous prices these days whilst the matching cap eagles are worth half? Any rime of reason in that? of course not, i's just that our human brains are attracted by that scull motif and always have been for centuries.

    But actualy, I'm straying off the intended path yet again.

    The world if full of sellers who will glady sell you a Danziger skull for twice the price and call it an SS skull.

    Personaly, I don't give a damn if they want to try and do that.

    I do give a damn though when threads like this fizzle out after some inaccurate information has been posted.

  5. #34

    Default Re: SS Officer Skull

    Quote by BenVK View Post
    If we all did really, truly, respect and understand that period in history, we would all realise that one liitle metal totenkopf on it's own, detached from any item that it was designed to be attached to, has absolutely no historical meaning at all! It's like collecting the door handles of a Model T Ford. The only difference being that these things were stamped in the shape of a skull and human nature is drawn towards such macabre artifacts.

    Why else would the skulls badges of the era fetch such ridiculous prices these days whilst the matching cap eagles are worth half? Any rime of reason in that? of course not, i's just that our human brains are attracted by that scull motif and always have been for centuries.
    -Trust me, I (and most collectors I'm sure) would love to own a cap to which these insignia belong, but unfortunately I don't think I ever will. To say they have no meaning at all in this state is something I disagree with, all historical artefacts are as meaningful or meaningless as you want to consider them... whether on a cap or not, these things (or the complete uniforms) had little to do with the historical events.
    I own four Totenkopfs, two of which I know were never on caps, and one of which I know was removed from a cap in 1945. As for their significance and desirability in their loose form, I do not feel they are diminished in any way; they are insignia, symbols, strong visual elements meaning the same regardless. The skulls, eagles and runes do not lose potency. Contrast that to removing a non-descipt button from a uniform- still from a uniform that as a whole is of great interest, but it's medals / awards / insignia that attract my attention either way. I realise that this will be different for some, but I speak generally here.
    As for your reason behind the popularity of these skulls, I totally agree with you on your point with the attraction to the macabre. I do not deny that I was drawn to such imagery way before I had a particular interest in history, and it's partly the Nazi use of visuals of an overtly strong and intimidating nature that interests me. As a person of an artistic nature, my collecting is driven by the interest in aesthetics as much as it is history.
    In regards to the idea that the eagles are less popular, this may be generally true, but it's certainly not the case for me. I collect them too (eagles from all organisations) and find them just as interesting. I don't think the SS eagles are any easier to find than the skulls though, or cheaper for that matter, as I have yet to come across a genuine 2nd pattern eagle for a good price.
    I'm not sure what you're referring to with 'when threads like this fizzle out after some inaccurate information has been posted.' but we are both guilty of inaccuracy in this thread, none of which was intentional, and I have learned. Such is the nature of things.

    Mat

  6. #35
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    Default Re: SS Officer Skull

    Hi Mat, seems that it's just you and me who are interested in this discussion.

    You make valid points. What I meant by inaccurate information though was the referrence that these are exclusively SS insignia which I was trying to explain via period photos that they were not.

    It all comes down to the period and context in which they were worn.

    You mention second pattern totenkopfs as being a safe bet instead. In terms of collectability and price these days, you are completely right of course. In terms of a safe bet in regards to being exclusively worn by the SS, you are not correct. In the same way as the young Luftwaffe soldier adorned his uniform with Danziger totenkopfs, others did the same with the 2nd pattern also.

    Maybe I'm totaly out of kilter in the way I think but for me, insignia has very little connection or relationship with any part of the TR unless it's part of a uniform, whether it be a tunic or a hat or whatever. Only then does it become part of something.

    From what little I've read of period German text, I think they felt the same way. One individual item of uniform meant nothing without the combination of others. If you read my signature which was taken from the Uniform Markt, it means "Not in uniform without a hat".

    I wish FB would chip in here because I'm sure he knows what I mean and could explain my jumbled thoughts much more eloquently than I ever could..
    Last edited by BenVK; 09-16-2011 at 09:40 PM.

  7. #36

    Default Re: SS Officer Skull

    Understood. I've done further hunting for reference photos, and found a couple of Leib-Husaren (correct me if that's the wrong term) caps displaying the two types of Totenkopf we posted. I also took a picture of my examples side by side for reference.

    Mat
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  8. #37
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    Default Re: SS Officer Skull

    Well, prehaps we can help you with collecting the hats that these things belong on?

    Truthfully, there is such a rich wealth of knowledge on this forum and it's totaly wasted.

  9. #38

    Default Re: SS Officer Skull

    It seems you edited your post before I replied, I didn't see that. 2nd pattern skulls being used by other branches of the military is new to me, do you have any photos of examples? I'd like to see that, I'm trying to collect reference of these things in their different use. I'm curious as to how that would have happened too, as I get the impression the control of standards and usage of SS gear seemed to be strict. I seem to remember reading that you had to be a member of the SS to purchase from their suppliers, so I assume they weren't obtained for unofficial use this way.
    Though my point of 2nd pattern skulls being a 'safe bet' is now incorrect, I'd be still happy to acquire them regardless of whether their past is known or not, and who wore them if it was. I think that's something I've finally settled now: I'm interested in the Totenkopf as a symbol in it's many varied incarnations, not just the few SS pieces. I'll continue to collect them, and take each piece for what it is, not what it could be. I can say with satisfaction that I've been lucky enough to acquire a 2nd pattern skull of known SS origin (display picture), taken from Belsen concentration camp by a British soldier. I doubt I'll ever be that lucky again, to come across something like this with such an interesting and personal story behind it too. Here's the thread about if, if you haven't already read: http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/ss-uni...l-story-82264/
    As for help collecting the hats, it's not the will to research or collect them that I lack, it's the money I'm afraid. I know that most agree here that money going to 'quality not quantity' is the way to go here (IE saving for high end pieces) but at this stage, I feel buying various quality pieces of lesser value makes more sense. For example, I set out with the aims of initially collecting the 'basics'- a stahlhelm, iron crosses, variety of insignia...etc. I'm still working on that. Right now, I'm a University student with a job that doesn't pay enough to fund daily life, education AND the spending I would like to do on collecting. Hopefully one day, I don't do too badly now though having said that. I do like to read about the caps though, and look at people's collections.

    Mat

  10. #39
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    Default Re: SS Officer Skull

    With a little help from my friends...
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  11. #40

    Default Re: SS Officer Skull

    Thanks for posting these. I notice each is wearing them on their collar tabs, are they all doing so for the same reason, or just coincidence do you think? Their jackets appear to differ, but I can't recognise what military branches they belong to.

    Mat

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