Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 07-11-2010 at 02:27 PM.
I have found this site a refuge and have availed myself to reduce my personal stake of unknown unknowns. I have learned there is much more to learn. I have learned some things I want to learn have been forever hidden by time's hand. I have learned there is an ecology of collectors and dealers with byzantine rules, complex alliances and hidden dangers.
I am concerned for the new collector (hey that's me!) Sadly I fear many people who could develop into beneficent citizens of this hobby get sharkbit and exit the waters. Collecting is a challenge and SS collecting is an endeavor of K2, Everest and Kilimanjaro levels.
I am here because I thrive on challenge. And as indicated earlier; I am an optimist. The hobby (what a hilarious misnomer) like everything else, is being rapidly altered by the temporal/spacial distortion of the internet. I look at the strife of other site(s) as a symptom of the coming upheaval to collecting. The endeavor is being modernized and the swap meet/gunshow culture is under assault.
Look at the explosion of information available about the objects we covet. And yes it is incomplete, and yes it is often inaccurate, and yes the books are cooked. But the information is there and accessible. Collectors are able to share knowledge and gossip like never before. As anniversaries tick by and living contacts to the war are lost, institutional players will enter the collecting arena. There will be a flood of new collectors, prices will skyrocket and professional leagues will form to service insurers, investors and curators. This is what I see when I stand on the hill and peer into the night fog. Optimistic? Sure, why not.
I shall now step down from my soapbox.
Unfortunately, the key areas that would positively identify as to whether the top is original or not to the bottom, are hidden deep within the cap and to see them would mean having to unattach the side lining. When a certain member on the other site claimed to have inspected the hat and proclaimed that these key areas all look genuine to him, that didn't ring true at all. Unless he has an endoscope camera or x-ray vision that is!
The interior of this cap accords with none of the Wagner caps I own, whereby the principle enshrined in the Hempe book is: the successful cap maker (Vorarbeiter) is he or she who was able to extract as many caps from as little cloth as possible, that is, who did not waste fabric needlessly, since it was the chief expense in raw materials. Here is also once more the idea of plessier, the pleating of fabric, which was a requirement of capable cap makers.
These are not a check list of rules, and perhaps two meaningless observations. I am certain this cap with the white top is fake, as I have never seen in my very limited experience a summer cap made with the water proof lining of the contract or issue caps. Shows us a Luftwaffe cap thus, or from some other service? Moreover, the material for the white cap cover tended to be cotton, pikee, or whatever...not this dorky white wool. I am happy to be corrected in this generalization, but I have owned white Lw caps, to say nothing of Kriegsmarine caps and they are not thus.
Why wear wool on your head in high humidity and maybe 35 degrees celsius? Moreover, the point of the cap was to be light in weight, which this cap is not. The contract caps of this make are much heavier on the Kopferl than are other, more refined makes of cap. I have weighed all the caps in my collection carefully, and these Tellermuetzen type caps are much heavier. The cap illustrated in the 1936 Olympic volume for the 7 Reiter Standarte was likely custom made, and surely would have not been a lead weight, nonetheless for equestrians.
If you are seized of the urge to buy a piece of white SS regalia, then buy the tunic on Shea's site.
Happy white clothes in a grey world.
I have seen a few wool white tops which were genuine, but they were always for officer or general ranks (I have not seen a wool SS-White-Topper for any rank, and I seriously doubt those worn during those hot & humid days in August of 1936 were wool).
Here are 2 examples of the cotton pique bodies, even for SS General ranks. (The second is from the Paul S. collection, and is in the Beavor book):
NEC SOLI CEDIT
The authentic caps from Wolff and the one from the Whammond site are real treasures.
Thanks for the tutorial.
Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 07-11-2010 at 08:01 PM.
Sortiment of textiles on offer in the Kleiderkasse SS ca. 1940. These are for the Rock bezw Bluse and breeches/lange Hose, but you get my point especially with items 4 thru 7. Someone can furnish us with similar pages from the Kleiderkasse der Offiziere des deutschen Heeres or even from the Navy, which was likely to have a larger variety of textiles based on its roles and missions away from continental Europe.
For those who need a hint: Sommerstoff = summer weight textiles....
In the VA SS RZM price lists for the SS I am aware of NO white caps at all.
Finally, at the risk of being the seriously didactic and niggling personage, why don't people read the articles I laboriously proffered from the UM on the theme of "Extramuetze," that is, the spiffy, nice, best order of dress cap which was bought by the person over and above a piece issued from the supply system? The cap maker sought this market of discretionary purchases as well as the juicy nugget of contract items to state and party agencies. But by definition, the white cap was more of the former category than the latter.
Granted the brief period of time in which the white uniform was worn before the onset of war and the supplanting of the urban, garrison uniforms for those suited for a combat and expeditionary role, how many SS persons in full times billets (versus in part time billets at low ranks...) would have worn such an enlisted white cap? It is clear that the potentates in senior roles of command and leadership did so with the growing splendor of party and state representation as the regime consolidated in the last years before the war, but such a trend would not have really applied to the mass of the SS in part time billets, would it have?
It is sad that a perfectly nice cap was butchered in this connection. I suppose there are many things that happen here that would irritate us greatly if we saw them.
I am sure others know far more on this score than do I.
Well, they are up to 12 pages and 177 posts regarding that wool white-top now (for a hat that should only merit 2 pages of discussion at most.)
NEC SOLI CEDIT
Tell me about it Chris! The manions cap that you posted in 2008 that has an identical top didn't even seem to make a dent which is why I can't be bothered anymore.