Totenkopf Reference

Totenkopf Reference Under construction. (Updating as we go along and time permits)

Shown here are original known examples of the skulls worn on the collar tabs of panzer soldiers.  This work Hopefully should help serve collectors as a visual reference with attached descriptions and time-lines of production. This is a interesting collection field that is often overlooked, but we hope to show you some of the examples by different producers at the various stages of the war.

Type 1.

Type 2.

Type 3.  Early war, 3-4 variants of this type exist. Mostly seen in aluminium with 2 thin brass pins with pointed ends to the reverse positioned at angles. This type are very nice in quality and feature a lot of clear detail. This type are our personal favourite to collect.Type 4.    Early war & produced in aluminium & white metal. 2 flat prongs to the reverse at 9 o’ clock and 3 o’clock positions with angled ends. Similar to the type 1 but overall more detail to the teeth & the cracks to the skull with a extensive pebbled finish.

Type 5.

Type 6.  Early war produced. Die stamped in aluminium. 6 upper teeth and 6 lower. The teeth on this type are more crooked in appearance. 2 square ended flat prongs to the reverse at the 5 o’clock and 11 o’clock positions.

Type 7.   Late war produced, the front face of this type are identical to the type 3. The type 7 however were produced in iron and feinzink & had 3 sharp pointed triangle flat prongs to the reverse at 10 o’clock 2 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions. Another 2 variants of this type exists with the same face but 2 flat blade prongs top and bottom & sometimes feature a round drill hole through the triangle nose hole, or again 2 prongs but with a “squashed” triangle nose that can be found in feinzink.

Type 8.   

Type 9.  Late war production, This type has 2 flat bladed prongs top and bottom at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions with blunt pointed ends. 2 other versions known that are produced in other metals with 2 pin configuration.

Type 10.

Type 11.    Mid-late war, the type 11 was die stamped usually in zinc. It is very close in appearance to the type 3 but the overall details and the nose are not as sharp. Usually found with 2 flat prongs with angled ends attached to the reverse on the left and right at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions. The skull is non magnetic while the attachment prongs are magnetic.

Type 12.   Mid-war produced. This one shows 2 brass pointed end pins on the reverse on the left and right, Other variants are known produced in aluminium and zinc, which have Longer attachment pins to the reverse at 9 o’ clock and 3 o’clock positions. This type’s skull normally has been produced with quite thin metal when compared to most other Totenkopf types.

Type 13.  This Type is deemed as mid-war produced. Seen here in Tombak, but possible other variants exist produced in various metals, and 1 being by the maker:  f. w. assmann & söhne of lüdenscheid, Item Number 23778 in their sales catalogue. Featuring 2 flat bladed attachment prongs with angled ends Left & Right to the reverse at 9 o’ clock and 3 o’clock positions.Type 14.  Early war production. No other variants of this type known. Die stamped in white metal with 2 flat square ended attachment prongs to the reverse positioned at the angles of 11 o’clock and 5 o’clock.

Type 15.

Type 16.

Type 17.

Type 18.   Early war produced. These were die stamped in white metal with upside down heart shaped nose and 6 upper teeth with 7 lower teeth. 2 pointed end pins to the reverse at 10 o’clock and 5 o’clock positions.

Other Originals & Variants.

Here are a selection of other known originals, some often seen some not so often.

Late war production Upside down heart shaped nose type, This original ground dug example pictured is in zinc with 2 flat bladed prongs top and bottom, This type has a very distinct shape to it. Other variants are known made in other types of metal with 2 pins to the reverse and also ones with 3 flat prongs. The 2 pin type are classed as 50/50 in collecting circles as some like them and some do not

Type 9 variants, mid to late war production, both 2 pin types that are made in aluminium and also zinc.

Type 3 variant, early – mid war produced with 2 pin configuration in aluminium.

Type 3 Variant, Late war production with 2 flat prongs and with a hole drilled nose.

Type 3 variant, Mid to late war production. Interestingly this variant was made with 1 long pin bent on reverse to make a “U” shape that was factory soldered to the reverse to make 2 fitting pins which must have been a time & cost cutting measure for production.

Non Regulation Totenkopf.

Here is a Danziger skull, early war production. Not often seen but 100% used by panzer men wanting to bling their wrappers. 2 flat prongs with pointed angle ends to the reverse. Here is a SS Totenkopf in use on a panzer tab. Often used either to bling the uniform or as in this example when working with SS personnel at the Fhurerhauptquatier where these skulls must have been readily available.