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SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

Article about: I've been wanting to start collecting Totenkopf badges for a while, but I've held back so far since I don't have enough knowledge to confidantly distinguish between real examples and fakes,

  1. #21

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    Here is mine..just came in today!

    Thanks Matt for pointing me to this one
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?   SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?  

    SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?  

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  3. #22

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    I wonder where that was originally obtained, since it wasn't ground-dug? It's a nice clean example anyway!

    My 2nd TotenKopf arrived yesterday also, found in the same location as my first, which I think is quite interesting. It's patina is nicer than the last, and It has good aesthetics to it. At the risk of sounding like your typical ebayer: the pictures don't do this justice. As far as I know, this pattern is associated with Panzer crewmen, though that might just be because that's the only context I've come across these in... can anyone develop on that? And were these badges produced at the same time, or is one a later model? I'd guess if so, this would be the later. Anyhow, let me know what you guys think!
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?   SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?  

    SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?  

  4. #23

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    They are Imperial badges and were worn by the SS in the early days.

    These badges were also worn as tradition cap badges in WW2 by Cavalry Regt 5 and all units of 4th Cav Div expect the 41st Cav Regt. There is no association with Pz units. They are not collar badges.

    The two variants seen would have been produced at roughly the same time.

    Cheers, Ade.

  5. #24

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    Ok, thank you for the info. Here's an example of one of the texts that led me to believe that these badges were associated with Panzer units:

    -This text refers to a TK badge for sale, same as mine:

    'Found Prokhorovka , Kursk Russia
    Most likely a relic from the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte
    Who Fought there with Tiger Tanks under the command of SS-Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittman.'

    Judging by this and what you said, I presume that it's SS Panzer Commanders who wore the badge as well as other SS men, and that it's the Totenkopf standard that is related to a Panzer division and not this badge. The text above also logically leads me to the conclusion that these badges were still used around 1943 and not just in the early days of the SS. Have I got this right, or is that description I quoted incorrect?
    I'm attempting to research all of these things, but I find it to be very difficult, especially with specifics. Could you point me towards a good resource for photos of these badges being worn by contemporaries (if one exists)?
    Sorry for the bombardment of questions, I greatly appreciate your help though!

  6. #25

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    Clearly there is a lot of misinfomation being put around by people desparate to make a sale. Just look at the "key words" in that sales pitch? Sorry for being so cynical. But honestly these are good badges which don't need this kind of "hype", but it is put there simply to sell to the un-educated new collector. Please don't think I am putting you into this category! Asking questions is good. Please fire away!

    There are some photos on the forum posted by "FB" showing this pattern of skull in wear and on extant caps.

    The rough basic timeline on these is:

    Imperial use until 1918.

    Early SS use until the mid 1930's. SS-VT and Waffen SS useage was rare as the 1934 pattern had replaced them.

    Heer Tradition Cavalry use until 1945.

    Hope this helps?

    Cheers, Ade.

  7. #26

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    It doesn't suprise me at all that these things are over-hyped as you say, which is partially why I'm so cautious! I got used to this kind of thing years ago when I started collecting fossils: the same problems plague that interest also, fakes and misrepresentations. You'd be amazed how close a dinosaur is related to T-Rex when there's a potential sale. My most significant purchase was a dinosaur egg, and it took me weeks of research before I committed to it confidantly. I definitely agree though, I can appreciate these badges for what they are.

    I shall look into the photos you mention.

    That timeline does indeed help, it's good to be able to put them into context. The history of the badge and how it's meaning essentially was changed by the SS is very interesting... these particular examples seem to be the transition between traditional and Nazi association. It's great to be able to own such pieces and learn about them, I'm very pleased with them!

    I think my questions are just about answered for now!

  8. #27

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    thanks a bunch ade,
    always nice to get some more info on these.

    The info i received from someone that these (mat's n mine) were made by firma schneider, is based only on a rumor..

    Done some searching myself, and i based on what a found i am thinking that these are made by Assmann. This is the only manufacturer on wich i can find more known unmarked early type totenkopf badges..

    Hope that maybe some other member knows?
    will keep searching, cause i really want to know who made it.
    when i find more info ill post it.

  9. #28

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    I am glad that helped a little

    The whole adoption by the SS of the symbolism of an earlier Germany is fasinating.

    I love anything historical. Fossils and early bronze age / Roman artifacts are something I do find really interesting, but I just don't know enough about any of it to buy any examples. What you have just told me has confrmed my worst fears.

    Cheers, Ade.

  10. #29

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    other examples in context.
    Attached Images Attached Images SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine? 
    damit, basta.

  11. #30

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    The Danziger Husaren Totenkopf was used by irregular paramilitary formations after 1918 (i.e. Freikorps) as well as by those entitled to wear the uniforms of the old army (veterans groups and the like), to include the period of the III. Reich. Further, the badge was also used by the German army after 1933 in the Traditionspflege of specific units entrusted with the lineage and honors of the Danziger Husaren. The SS began use of same ca. 1925. The badge varied from maker to maker, although there exist types with the mark "Ges Gesch" and an RZM mark that are wholly authentic.

    I am beginning to think that the field of collecting SS regalia is confined solely to cap badges and their black magic.

    The image below is courtesy of my learned Canadian colleague
    Attached Images Attached Images SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine? 
    damit, basta.

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