Type 1 SS 8-Year Service Medal (Dienstauszeichnung)
I am currently at a militaria show, and I finally came across an authentic SS 8-year service medal. This is a type 1 variant (originally referred to as a "Deschler"). The dealer explained that he purchased this medal directly from the family of the person who brought it back. Now, here is a point I would like to discuss: this medal has a ribbon that is 32mm wide. I have heard from many collectors that the original ribbon width for these medals is 35mm. However, others state that a variety of widths have been used. I have brought up this topic before, and I have never seen any definitive proof that the 35mm ribbon is the only authentic width for these medals. I have seen MANY authentic, original SS service medals with narrower ribbons. In fact, I have seen more authentic medals with ribbons less than 35mm wide than I have seen WITH the 35mm ribbon width. It just seems odd to me that the argument is that all these medals with narrower ribbons have had their ribbons replaced, or have "inauthentic" ribbons. So, here's my question: do you guys think this is an original ribbon, even though it is only 32mm wide? Here are some pictures (I apologize for the orientation of the pictures -- I am uploading them from my phone, and it seems to want to rotate them) :
05-16-2015 06:08 PM
I personally don't see why not Dave. Afterall one could easily imagine a holder using whatever he could get his hands on at the time if he needed a replacement ribbon and as long as the colour was correct, who knows or cares?? The same could have happened if the award supplier had run out of stock imo, just make do with what's available. If you look at many aspects of TR awards the rules on wearing them were widely flouted or "interpreted",and the actual design not meeting standards laid down yet still being produced by makers. For instance known cases of Gold Wound Badges being produced in hollow format for a time until the PKZ stepped on them spring to mind.
That's just a couple of points, what I'm trying to say is that rules and regs may not have been as rigorously implemented as at first appears. Sometimes you have to adapt to situations or on the other hand it depends on how they are interpreted by whomsoever.
I have no problem believing this could well be the case.
Last edited by big ned; 05-16-2015 at 07:49 PM.
'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'
In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.
for me no problem with ribbon,nice medal.
Thanks, guys. My original reason for creating this post was simply to show one of MANY authentic medals that does not have the commonly accepted 35mm ribbon width. I have yet to see any original German manufacturing document that states that 35mm was the official ribbon width for these medals. There are a few websites that claim this is the case, but as far as I can tell, they are simply based on the observations of a few collectors. If those collectors didn't personally come across any medals with narrower ribbons, it could easily explain why they adopted 35mm as the "true" width for these ribbons. I feel like this information has been taken as gospel when the majority of medals on the market suggest that various widths were used. I can guarantee that if you were to make a list of all the authentic SS 8-year medals being offered on reputable dealer sites right now, you would find more with ribbons in the 30mm-33mm range than you would with the 35mm ribbons. To me, it just isn't realistic to explain this by proposing that ALL of those ribbons are replacements or inauthentic. It is my opinion that a variety of ribbon widths were used for these medals, depending on what the manufacturers had on hand at the time. This would explain the large number of absolutely original 8-year service medals with narrower ribbons that were obtained directly from veterans or families. This concept is also supported by the prevalence of manufacturing variations in a wide variety of SS items. Take collar tabs, for instance. Anyone who has looked at a large number of tabs has noticed that there were MANY different types of buckram used as tab backings. In some cases, cardboard was even used! We deem these tabs original, so it is only fair that we also consider the likely possibility that an SS 8-year service medal with a 32mm cornflower blue ribbon came directly from the manufacturer in that configuration.