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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. #51

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    On the daggers site of yore, Hritz posted a large file of real Deschler "sculls" which I downloaded, but I am not sure the images are here in order. And as some of you know, I do not like these "scull" threads, although out of civic duty I post images in the hope of aiding the innocent.

    Hritz does not really post here anymore, despite being a moderator, so someone should ask him to re do his old feat.

    Or ask Brad Wanek here to do the same, perhaps.
    damit, basta.

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  3. #52

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    Thank you very much for your help, I shall definitely pass on it. It looks like all original examples have crisp detailing, unlike this one. A happy new year to you too!
    The search continues...

    -Mat

  4. #53

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    Quote by ToxicGas View Post
    Thank you very much for your help, I shall definitely pass on it. It looks like all original examples have crisp detailing, unlike this one. A happy new year to you too!
    The search continues...

    -Mat
    Thanks. The sign of doom with your piece is its reverse. You can see that the stamp or dye or whatever punctured the metal, and the general form of said object especially from the reverse is a monstrosity.

    The Deschler pieces of early make are wonderful pieces of handicraft, such as they were.

    These badges make me think always of how unfair and hierarchical is the world, that is, the 1st estate with the badges, and the other estates without the badges.

    I suppose I should spend more time with a lupe looking at them, but I am afraid that I will damage them and all of mine are on caps, which are fragile anyway.

    Someone else here among our merry band can be of aid to you, as well.

    Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    damit, basta.

  5. #54

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    I am in the process of reading all of Uniformenmarkt from 1934/5 until 1945, and I am reading the cap articles first. There are hundreds of same, which will take me a while. Then I propose to read the articles on metal regalia, insignia et cetera. There are hundreds of articles on this theme, too. I will report on what I find that I think might be relevant to this thing.

    I imagine that said material holds some keen insights for this ever popular and more conflicted theme of NS regalia.

    The nice thing about Uniformenmarkt is the transparency it awards to the firms and personalities who made these things. Each edition has spot light articles on certain personages. One could then take all of this a few steps further with additional research and find out more data, but it would take time and much effort in Germany and Austria. But there was quite a structure to the regalia trade, with leading typical Nazi personalities, who I am sure have left behind some trace of their existence. Or, a way to speak to someone who actually knew the answers to the questions we pose. But that is a different project.

    One thing that struck me among many remarkable things therein was a sample sales register of RZM articles from a brauner Laden for a given month, broken down by branch (i.e. SA, SS et cetera) and the SS rubric had the smallest Umsatz, i.e. gross. All other branches netted more commerce, which I think is indicative that, as a rule, SS presence in a given normal municipality was not high, save for a garrison.
    damit, basta.

  6. #55

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    I look forward to hearing anything you find on the matter. I find it fascinating that much of what is known about these things is what's discovered by collectors, and not necessarily historians in a professional sense. To contribute to such research would be a rewarding thing to do for those who have such opportunities.

  7. #56

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    Quote by ToxicGas View Post
    I look forward to hearing anything you find on the matter. I find it fascinating that much of what is known about these things is what's discovered by collectors, and not necessarily historians in a professional sense. To contribute to such research would be a rewarding thing to do for those who have such opportunities.

    There are collectors with the capacity to learn and interpret what they find, and there are those collectors who will not or cannot.
    There are also limited cases of professional historians who happen to be collectors, and apply the art and craft of the former to the latter.

    The other thing about Uniformenmarkt is that with other articles it reminds us, until 1945, the study of uniforms in Germany was a branch of historical inquiry with its own tradition and certain prestige at least in some parts of society. This phenomenon was an expression of the general militarism in society, but such also reflected the high standards of historical study at the same time. I imagine that Uniformkunde came to its flowering in the later 19th century and among nationalists in the Weimar Republic, but there some gravitas to it.

    I had some exposure to the legacy of same in my professional life, and my goal has been here to resurrect some of this same approach, such as it is. I have not been particularly successful, though.

    If an older person may give a young person advice here, if you are serious about all of this, do yourself a small favor and learn German. The effort will repay endless rewards.
    damit, basta.

  8. #57

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    It makes little sense to me, that someone would seek to collect these things and have no interest in their context, significance or history.
    I understand the usefulness of professionals who apply their knowledge to collecting however- I'm applying for a course in Palaeontology, and also collect fossils. Right now, my amateur interest in my collecting will aid the professional aspect, but if things go according to plan, my profession will become the main source of knowledge from which my collection will benefit.

    The prestige of a uniform's history and militarism of society as you put it seems to explain why German kit is so visually distinct and impressive aesthetically- the image of a soldier was that of a fanatical supporter defending an idea, and not just a man carrying out a mandatory task. Such an attitude seems to match more closely to ancient or medieval cultures than others contemporaries in a way.

  9. #58

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    Quote by ToxicGas View Post
    It makes little sense to me, that someone would seek to collect these things and have no interest in their context, significance or history.
    I understand the usefulness of professionals who apply their knowledge to collecting however- I'm applying for a course in Palaeontology, and also collect fossils. Right now, my amateur interest in my collecting will aid the professional aspect, but if things go according to plan, my profession will become the main source of knowledge from which my collection will benefit.

    The prestige of a uniform's history and militarism of society as you put it seems to explain why German kit is so visually distinct and impressive aesthetically- the image of a soldier was that of a fanatical supporter defending an idea, and not just a man carrying out a mandatory task. Such an attitude seems to match more closely to ancient or medieval cultures than others contemporaries in a way.
    Your young career augurs high promise and you already have good insight into the greater meaning of these artifacts. We look forward to your contribution to Uniformkunde in this century. If you are seriously interested in scholarship in the question above, I can furnish many fine books to read on same.

    Merry Christmas and happy new year.
    damit, basta.

  10. #59

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    I think the best work on SS ideology is that of Bernd Wegner on the Waffen SS, of which an English translation was made in the beginning of the 1990s.

    The leading UK historians on Hitler's Germany are Ian Kershaw and Richard Evans. The former is the leading biographer of Hitler, with a focus on society. The latter has a fine, readable history of the III. Reich in three volumes. Also very sound is Mark Mazower, who recently wrote on Nazi Europe. He takes Nazi ideas seriously.

    George Mosse is of an older generation, and wrote wonderfully on the roots of Nazi ideas and symbolism, but I think I cited him here before. I know I wrote about him in one of these threads.


    The specialized work on the SS is more in German nowadays, so I won't list those works.

    As to militarism and German society, the best works are also in German, but let me think about that I offer something.

    Klaus Juergen Mueller wrote on the above in earlier works in English, and you can look for his works.

    The key to all of this is the effect of industrialized warfare, mass society, and the climax of the 1914-1918 war. It is vogue nowadays to exemplify warfare in antiquity as emblematic of all war, which I think, personally, is as much an anachronism as anything.

    That is, your focus should be the transformation of war from the middle of the 19th century through the 1st qtr. of the 20th century.

    The key here is the Entgrenzung des Krieges and die Entgrenzung des Soldatischen. The SS particularly was the latter.

    With the data bases on books as well as Google, you should have an easy time of it.

    Happy reading in a happy new year, especially if reading makes you happy.

    If not, then the other websites have nice threads on the haute couture of Hogan's Heros and ground dug "crimped prongs."
    damit, basta.

  11. #60

    Default Re: SS Totenkopf badge- Genuine?

    the skull posted on post #21 looks like a cast reproduction to me.

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