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Original German Pre-WWII 1934 dated Metropolitan Police Shako in Black by Maury & Co. - size 56 1/2

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice Early WWII produced police pattern Tschako in black, which pre-dates the more common green wool body version. It has has very fine quality police eagle with aluminum cockade (often missing), though it is a bit bent and worn. It is the black type as by the metropolitan police, unlike some of the more common ones found in brown for rural police. The front of the tschako has the correct aluminum NSDAP Schutzpolizei (protection police) emblem, retained by the correct nuts on the back. There is also a depot marking under the rear visor.

The inside crown still bears the full maker information, complete with a size AND date, stamped in ink:

Offenbach a. M.
56 1/2

Interior is fine, leather liner is supple and in good condition, and has the original leather top tie string, though it is broken. There is some staining and wear to the sweatband, so this tschako definitely did see some use. Comes complete with original leather chinstrap in great shape. Overall it shows light wear, the black lacquered finish still very good, with lovely checking and crazing. Vents are in very good condition, and are the type that has no slide closure.

Overall a fine looking rare police Shako, ready to add to your collection!

History of the shako-

The word shako originated from the Hungarian name csákós süveg ("peaked cap"), which was a part of the uniform of the Hungarian hussar of the 18th century. Other spellings include chako, czako, schako and tschako.

From 1800 on the shako became a common military headdress, worn by the majority of regiments in the armies of Europe and the Americas. Replacing in most instances the light bicorne, the shako was initially considered an improvement. Made of heavy felt and leather, it retained its shape and provided some protection for the soldier's skull, while its visor shaded his eyes. The shako retained this pre-eminence until the mid-19th century, when spiked helmets began to appear in the armies of the various German States, and the more practical kepi replaced it for all but parade wear in the French Army. The Imperial Russian Army substituted a spiked helmet for the shako in 1844-45 but returned to the latter headdress in 1855, before adopting a form of kepi in 1864. Following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, military fashions changed and cloth or leather helmets based on the German headdress began to supersede the shako in many armies.

Although the mid-nineteenth century shako was impressive in appearance and added to the height of the wearer, it was also heavy and by itself provided little protection against bad weather as most models were made of cloth or felt material over a leather body and peak. Many armies countered this by utilizing specially designed oilskin covers to protect the shako and the wearer from heavy rain while on campaign. The shako provided little protection from enemy action as the most it could offer was in giving partial shielding of the skull from enemy cavalry sabres.

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