Military Trader: How would you explain the apparent growth of interest in Third Reich organizations whose primary roles were not as combat units, such as the NSKK, SA, Red Cross, etc.?
Bill Shea: Once again, knowledge is power. The availability of comprehensive accurate information with the introduction of excellent source material in these areas has led to the increase of interest in these areas. Cost is another reason. These para-military organization’s regalia can sometimes be less expensive.
Military Trader: What areas of Third Reich collecting have you witnessed grow but then then subside in the last twenty years?
Bill Shea: As a dealer, I would have to say that Third Reich edged weapons seen to have lost their momentum in the past five years. That’s too bad, because there are so many excellent reference books and on-line information.
Several daggers that were considered rare in the past are now more available. Part of this may be due to the surge in value that caused a lot of old hardened collectors to sell select examples from their personal collections because they were made offers they couldn’t refuse. Now there is more of a supply that has not kept up with the demand.
Military Trader: What areas of Third Reich collecting are particularly “hot” today?
Bill Shea: Several areas are very strong. Helmets are incredibly hot. I have owned well over 25,000 German World War I and II helmets over the past 50 years (many, more than once). Properly and accurately described, priced and photographed, they still fly off the shelves.
Other headgear, uniforms and medals are also selling very well. Several Third Reich collectibles are still priced where new collectors with modest budgets can still get into the hobby.