Whatever this buckle is, I for one wouldn't dismiss it out of hand. Thanks for showing, David!
thanks Karl. I must agree.
I am really not at all comfortable with this buckle and for numerous reasons, although I suppose the justification for why it is still in my collection, is ever remembering that "hope springs eternal".
The anecdote (or perhaps urban myth) is that the buckle was commissioned by a Dutch dealer in the 1960's or 1970's and the buckle was definitely documented in the early 1980's.
There are some very exciting and eccentric designs to the non regulated Stahlhelmbund buckles, to include quite bizarre helmet styles which bear no relationship to the actual.
If by the metal and method of construction, we assume that the buckle could be from the mid 1930's, then this still raises a few questions.
Der Stahlhof in Magdeburg were advertising the one and only approved pattern of the Der Stahlhelm buckle in mid 1931. Why then should somebody take it upon themselves to manufacture such a radically different buckle when at long last, a design had been approved and sanctioned by Der Stahlhof.
Having said that, it has been suggested that this lightweight buckle could be a commemorative or souvenir piece. This is a four piece buckle (1) swastika, (2) helmet, (3) roundel and (4) box and which I think was not cheap to produce. The symbolism of the swastika on the helmet and the wreath as laurel leaf (with no oak leaf) is interesting, however if it was a commemorative piece, then why not a 35mm or 40mm size.
All in all, I still think that this buckle is a post 1945 fantasy item.
Thank you for your thoughts on this buckle. I must admit, "post war phantasy buckle" was exactly my first impression when I saw this buckle in one of the books that appeared in the 80ies.
Perhaps we are barking up the wrong tree entirely when thinking of "Der Stahlhelm". Perhaps the iconography is supposed to evoke early Freikorps. If so, a modern production without a doubt.
Also I have a lot of respect for the source of the "Dutch dealer in the 60ies" story - this person was, after all, actively collecting at the time.
I am mindful of perhaps this thread now grinding to an inevitable end, however and having said that, perhaps I could "pick up the baton" yet again and make two quite important points.
The anecdotal feature and story of the buckle maybe having been especially commissioned by a "Dutch Dealer" in the 1960's was passed on to me some years ago by a now, formerly very serious and still, well respected collector. I have absolutely no idea whatsoever who this so called dealer was, then and now. Yet again, this is only based on collector to collector gossip, supposition and passing conversation. In essence, I am not pointing the finger of guilt at anybody, either overtly or covertly.
As far as the buckle fares, both you and I know that very often, the heart rules the head.
In hand and for many reasons as discussed, this buckle does not in any way feel even vaguely "comfortable".