Unfortunately macro photos can be "false gold". Old bullion is salvaged from period garments. An inexpensive blank cufftitle can be embroidered into something rare. A fake can have mechanical wear and particulates added to mimic correct items. Often the photography can only tell you something is made of old parts. There is great value in photography, but it is not a silver bullet.
Last edited by Tricot; 03-23-2014 at 05:48 AM.
03-23-2014 02:06 AM
Sad to say, but the plethora of Allgemeine SS cuff titles that poured forth in the past couple of years provide an excellent basis for cunning fakes.
There is no guide in all of this save the actual item, which for many who read this, is a bridge too far.
The SSTV material was rare and hard to find in 1935, and it is the special object of a cottage industry of fakers with special viciousness and limitless greed.
I especially rely on how such authentic embroidery looks in different light, though surely very close images of such a thing are helpful.
There is a constant tendency here either by means of technology or by means of dogma to seek to eradicate the imponderables in all of this.
Such an effort is often bound to failure, though I applaud those with technical expertise. Those whose main instrument is dogma furnish themselves with their own rewards of failure.
I have collected SS hand embroidery for almost fifty years and have accumulated more than some. Others have much more, and much more subtle things.
But what I have done is encourage David Delich to share his collection here with us, which is likely the definitive one and
this resource he shares freely and kindly with us all. With such visual references you are all much farther along than I was at any point.
I thank CTN for sharing his things with us and encourage him to keep at it.
Such ups and downs as these are just normal.
I am fairly certain this item is authentic. These are a science in themselves, and I am not expert. This item is not mine. Photo courtesy Grenadier Military Antiques
This is why i find Bullion so difficult each piece can have very slight differences with them being hand embroidered.
I will have to learn a great deal more before veturing into the more complex examles.
Yes, I can see the difference. That's a detail I would have surely missed.
You can really see the difference between the skulls here. The skull in my example looks poorly made by comparison.
Thank you all for contributing!
Looks in mint condition. The waving is a good reference against the "houndtooth" weaving
It's probably of no consequence anymore, but just for the sake of accuracy, it should be noted that the "Death's Head" cuff title was the second model cuff title for the SSTV Standarte "Oberbayern", replacing in 1938 the Gothic-script "Oberbayern" one shown by Friedrich-Berthold, whereas the later block-letter "Totenkopf" cuff title was for the eponymous W-SS division, so it's technically not accurate to consider them "versions".
(The "Death's Head" cuff title was widely worn by personnel of the SS-T division prior to the introduction of the divisional cuff title in 1942, but this was merely a carryover from the SSTV days. Apparently, even division members who had not been with the original "Oberbayern" regiment tried to get their hands on that cuff title.)
Unless I am very much mistaken, the "Death's Head" cuff title is significantly rarer than the "Totenkopf" one. It was certainly authorized for a much smaller number of personnel than the latter.
Last edited by HPL2008; 03-23-2014 at 06:39 PM.