SS-issue Cyanide Container

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SS brass cyanide container

SS issue brass cyanide container
SS cyanide container showing cap markings.
The cap has a knurled band rolled into its circumference.
The wrist-watch included for scale is a Hanhart Luftwaffe Chronograph.

The cap is marked

Tesch U. SS Hamburg 77142 Stabenow. Manufacturer would have been Tesch und Stabenow . Affixing the maker's name to items was stopped mid-war because it gave away intelligence which enabled the Allies to direct bombing. Only the RLM number was included after that.

77142 may be the RLM number

The bottom of the container is marked with the SS runes

Originally, the brass container would have held a glass vial of cyanide.

- This particular cyanide container was obtained in the Baltic republics just after the wall came down. The only photograph of an SS cyanide container I had ever seen was a blurred photograph in a book. Up until around 2010 there were no images on the internet of an SS cyanide container and so I assumed that the container in my possession was original, and not a copy. Copies would have been impossible to make unless you had an original or a photograph. Around 2010 copies began to be advertised, which were exactly the same as the one in my possession. I assumed that someone else owned an SS cyanide container and had copied it. In the world of antiques, simple objects made from solid metal or solid stone are easy to fake and difficult to verify as original. Successively more complex objects, be they painting, antique furniture, clocks or ceramics, are easier to verify as original because there are more opportunities to make errors in construction or use materials which are not original (modern synthetic wood glue and not fish glue, for instance). It is possible to determine the date of creation of metal alloys from their composition, but the testing methods are partially destructive.

- The source for an original SS would be a national museum, which would have acquired the item just after the war. From the museums I have visited I cannot remember seeing an SS cyanide container but I imagine there is one in a museum somewhere.


SS issue brass cyanide container
Cap of the container bears stamped makers marks.


SS issue brass cyanide container
The base of the container is stamped with the SS runes.


SS issue brass cyanide container


SS issue brass cyanide container


SS issue brass cyanide container
Shown here with the cap unscrewed.


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