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DAK Offizier Feldmutze: Was Gibt im Hier???
Old 08-08-2019, 12:11 PM   #1
Schrage Musik
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Default DAK Offizier Feldmutze: Was Gibt im Hier???

Ok, so I've gotten acquainted early this year with this dealer whom I've made two purchases from and have been very pleased. When I was in France and Belgium in June, I spent time with him at a private party and he even provided a private viewing of his museum collection to my friends and me, which was very generous and quite spectacular. But as with anyone knew, I reserve some degree of caution and skepticism, as well as being mindful of any personal associations that are dubious. I have heard nothing bad about this dealer and want to believe he's a straight shooter.

I was looking at the cap in the subject line of this post on his website and found it to be very interesting, with nothing jumping out as a red flag. It is described as follows:

"M41 Heer tropical Panzergrenadier officers field cap. Factory produced officers model with pipping. Constructed by well known firm « Robert Lubstein Berlin 1941 » and size marked « 59 ». The cap has been period artificially bleached to white as common practice in the African Theater. Shows plenty of use, fraying, and a few repairs along the bill. All insignia on this cap is original and factory applied with the eagle machine stitched along the top edge and then flipped over and hand sewn. The cockade is straight machine stitched. The lime green soutache was carefully removed per regulations in 1942 leaving only an olive drab shadow wear the cap material had not faded from washing. Typical red cotton linen lining present with evidence of field use. Discolored around the perimeter and some loose stitching along the back. Stitching is also a little loose along the underside of the bill but a nice feature is the color of the original fabric where the stitching was tight than came loose. The air vents have detached slightly from the lining but still tight on the caps exterior. Truly a fine and rare example of a used officers field tropical cap."

https://www.lux-military-antiques.co...-field-cap.htm

As I was scrolling through the detailed photos, which are extremely good and to this dealer's credit, I was extremely perplexed by one image (the last one I've attached here) that depicts the green soutache fully intact in the lower right corner, when all of the other images match the description and feature evidence of a green soutache being removed.

You can view all of the images on the website link I provided, but I am including a couple here now. At first, I thought this one image of the intact soutache was from another cap and just erroneously uploaded to this specific cap; I've seen this sort of thing before on other dealer sites and realize we are all human and make mistakes. But, after careful review, it is indeed evident that all photos are from the same cap as the parts all match up and the tiny dots (stains) on the fold match perfectly in number, size, and location with the image where the soutache appears.

The question is, can anyone suggest any good reason why I should not conclude something being very wrong with what I see? It sure appears as though the soutache was removed for marketing the cap and I can think of no reason why anyone, especially someone as advanced as this dealer, would ever remove an original soutache for good intent, but I have an open mind.

If I did not have any personal affinity for this dealer, I'd say a fake soutache was added for effect prior to the aging of the cap, then it was removed, leaving just enough evidence so as to reflect the desirable soutache color but not enough so as to be detectable as fake. And this one stray image was carelessly overlooked and erroneously uploaded to the website.

Please tell me I am wrong and that I have missed something. Thank you!
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:33 PM   #2
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Now it's getting interesting.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:48 PM   #3
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Cap has been on their site for a long time at a very low price for something that iconic. The immaculate green soutache certainly didnt match the rest of the cap and the consignor may not have been forthright with Lux about it having been restored so they returned it to ‘as found’ condition after the gaff was made. Only a thought....it is headscratch worthy though.

Robt.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:06 PM   #4
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Would appear to have been Panzer soutached initially.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:11 PM   #5
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That's what I noticed too.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:15 PM   #6
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How very neopolitan... green on one side, pink on the other.... all on a choco brown cap!

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Old 08-08-2019, 03:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGD51 View Post
Cap has been on their site for a long time at a very low price for something that iconic. The immaculate green soutache certainly didnt match the rest of the cap and the consignor may not have been forthright with Lux about it having been restored so they returned it to ‘as found’ condition after the gaff was made. Only a thought....it is headscratch worthy though.

Robt.
If your explanation is correct, then this should be stated in the description. As far as I know, they do not accept consignments, so this would have been a direct purchase for resale. And indeed the price is on the low side for what it is supposed to be and considering they are not known for cheap deals.

I also cannot imagine they would not have immediately picked up on the soutache being too new in appearance - that is an entry-level mistake and not one easily digested for their experience level.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NZMark View Post
Would appear to have been Panzer soutached initially.
Mark.
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Good eye! I was busy looking at the forrest and not the trees. Yup, on both sides where the soutache was attached near the junction between cap body and visor you can indeed see some tiny traces of pink soutache.

Two torpedoes now in the hull of this ship ...
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schrage Musik View Post
If your explanation is correct, then this should be stated in the description. As far as I know, they do not accept consignments, so this would have been a direct purchase for resale. And indeed the price is on the low side for what it is supposed to be and considering they are not known for cheap deals.

I also cannot imagine they would not have immediately picked up on the soutache being too new in appearance - that is an entry-level mistake and not one easily digested for their experience level.
Couldnt agree more, they stepped in it bigtime and ruined their credibilty. If they had any.

Robt.
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RGD51 View Post
Couldnt agree more, they stepped in it bigtime and ruined their credibilty. If they had any.

Robt.
Another one bites the dust ... And quite quickly, at least for me. There are honest mistakes among honest people, but it does not appear to be such a case here. Very, very sad and disappointing ...

At best, it would seam LUX bought the cap and removed the green soutache after getting some flak and now are trying to move it on without disclosure. But this scenario forces us to accept that LUX could not see that the green soutache was too new to match the cap - not well likely.

Was there any soutache on the cap when LUX made their purchase? Was there ever a soutache on the cap??? It can only get worse the more one thinks about it ... For me, it now gets back to questionable associates pointing the way - birds of a feather ...
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:56 PM   #11
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Just checked the cap again onn their website... I cannot find the picture you posted?!
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:04 PM   #12
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Just checked the cap again onn their website... I cannot find the picture you posted?!
Ahhh, yes, that's is because they have removed the photo. It would seem the owner reads this forum or he was alerted about this post.

The photo is still here and on my computer, so this will never go away and is documented for posterity. I'd love to have the cap in hand as it looks genuine, but who will want it under such circumstances is another matter.

Hiding tracks is even more damning than the original listing ...
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:08 PM   #13
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Before passing judgement it would be interesting to hear the Lux side of the story.

When it comes to re-sewn soutaches on German tropical caps, one has to tread carefully for two reasons;

1/ Yes some collectors, dealers and other reasoned individuals have replaced or added a soutache post-war for a variety of reasons


2/ By 1942 in Afrika, the German forces were so short of caps they took original soutaches off caps and replaced them with another soutache. The reason was the chronic shortage of caps in certain sizes and transfers between branches of service. This is one of the reasons for the orders to remove the soutaches in 1942 and to stop producing caps with soutaches. It was creating an additional unneeded bottleneck to an already seriously challenge supply problem.


When I come across a tropical cap with a re-sewn soutache, I leave it in place just in case. However, I will not pay any more for it than what a tropical M40 cap with a totally removed soutache sells for. That is all it is worth and no more.

The cap on the Lux site looks to have been a Panzer officer cap turned into a Panzer Grenadier officer cap. That is quite possible to have happened during the war. But equally possible that someone did it after the war. How does one know for sure ?

The unfaded area where the soutache has been, shows clearly that this cap had a soutache for a long time as it faded from being exposed to the elements and honest use. I saw an officer example like this with a cut-off black Pioneer soutache, sell last year for Euro 4500 on Helmut Weitze's site. The Weitze Pioneer cap was not faded to the desirable bone white that this one is. Thus the price being asked is not cheap and in line with what an expensive European dealer asks for such a cap these days,

Chris

Last edited by 90th Light; 08-08-2019 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90th Light View Post
Before passing judgement it would be interesting to hear the Lux side of the story.

When it comes to re-sewn soutaches on German tropical caps, one has to tread carefully for two reasons;

1/ Yes some collectors, dealers and other reasoned individuals have replaced or added a soutache post-war for a variety of reasons


2/ By 1942 in Afrika, the German forces were so short of caps they took original soutaches off caps and replaced them with another soutache. The reason was the chronic shortage of caps in certain sizes. This is one of the reasons for the orders to remove the soutaches in 1942 and to stop producing caps with soutaches. It was creating an additional unneeded bottleneck to an already seriously challenge supply problem.


When I come across a tropical cap with a re-sewn soutache, I leave it in place just in case. However, I will not pay any more for it than what a tropical M40 cap with a totally removed soutache sells for. That is all it is worth and no more.

The cap on the Lux site looks to have been a Panzer officer cap turned into a Panzer Grenadier officer cap. That is quite possible to have happened during the war. But equally possible that someone did it after the war. How does one know for sure ?

The unfaded area where the soutache has been shows clearly that this cap had a soutache for a long time as it faded from being exposed to the elements and honest use. I saw an officer example like this with a cut-off black Pioneer soutache, sell last year for Euro 4500 on Helmut Weitze's site. The Weitze Pioneer cap was not faded to the desirable bone white that this one is. Thus the price being asked is not cheap and in line with what an expensive European dealer asks for such a cap these days,

Chris
Thank you, Chris, for making excellent points and sharing your knowledge. I am indeed aware of some of what you outlined; however, none of that can explain how a green soutache appears in a current photo and is removed in all the others with no explanation provided by the seller. Clearly, supply bottlenecks no longer plague the DAK and the green soutache was not removed because of this.

I would certainly most enthusiastically welcome the Lux side of this story to be posted here.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schrage Musik View Post
Thank you, Chris, for making excellent points and sharing your knowledge. I am indeed aware of some of what you outlined; however, none of that can explain how a green soutache appears in a current photo and is removed in all the others with no explanation provided by the seller. Clearly, supply bottlenecks no longer plague the DAK and the green soutache was not removed because of this.

I would certainly most enthusiastically welcome the Lux side of this story to be posted here.
It is quite possible that Lux have made two mistakes;

1/ They should have stated what they did to the cap in their sales description. That is always the right thing to do and can come back to bite if they do not, which it has in this case.

2/ They should have posted the cap here on WAF, War Relics or Afrikakorps forum and checked how collectors reacted to the soutache being on the cap and if removing it was a good idea.

If it was a WW2 period changed over soutache then it would be sad in more ways than one if they had not realised that happened in Afrika a lot by 1942,

Chris
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