Original German WWII Reconnaissance Unit Marked Early 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger by Carl Eickhorn with Scabbard
Original Item: One of a Kind. This is a great 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger made in in the late 1930s, made by the legendary Solingen-based firm of Carl Eickhorn. Unlike most that we see, this one has unit markings, with 13 on one side of the cross guard, and A. Gr. 115 on the other. The top of the scabbard throat is also marked A.G. 115, all of which indicates issue to Aufklärungsgruppe 115, or the Reconnaissance Group 115. The designation of these groups was changed as the war progressed, so this definitely is an early / pre-war dagger.
The grip on this early example looks to be made of nickel or zinc alloy, which still has a good amount of the silver plating, now tarnished to a lovely patina. The pommel has inlaid brass "Sunwheel" style swas (hook cross) emblems. The sides are slightly vaulted, less so than later pattern daggers we have seen. The grip is a carved wood base covered in blue Moroccan leather, which shows only light wear, and no tears. The original quadruple wire wrapping, with the center pair twisted, is still fully intact, with a lovely oxidized patina. The guard is the standard down swept "wing" type, with good detailing remaining, and with more "sunwheel" swas's, which are flat, like on the pommel. The leather buffer washer is missing.
The blade of this piece is a high quality nickel-plated example, and is in excellent condition, with only some runner wear and tiny scratches. The reverse ricasso is marked with a Weimar Eagle / 5 proof, the standard acceptance marking on Luftwaffe blades. Below this it is etched with the 1935-41 Eickhorn trademark: a seated squirrel holding a sword, with the word ORIGINAL above and the firm's name and location, Eickhorn / SOLINGEN below. Carl Eickhorn is a legendary maker from Solingen, the famous "City of Blades" in Western Germany.
According to J. Anthony Carter's book, GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, this company was founded in 1865 by Carl Eickhorn, and is arguably the most famous of all Solingen makers. Not only could the family trace their history back 500 years, but they could also demonstrate involvement in the hardening and grinding industries for the same period. Truly the nobility of Solingen Edged weapon dynasties. Eickhorn edged weapons are the most desirable of all makers.
The steel scabbard shell is straight throughout with no dents we can see or feel. The Moroccan leather covering the scabbard nicely matches the grip and is in good condition, with lifting and some missing material at the seam. This scabbard has non magnetic nickel alloy mount brackets, with a good amount of the original silver plate intact, and a great patina. These mounts are retained by headless flush mounted side screws.
The attached hanger chain has nine ringlets making up the upper chain and fourteen on the lower, not counting the rings attached to the scabbard fittings. These look to be made from either solid nickel alloy or plated brass, and are attached to a plated nickel snap clip.
An great example of a Recon. Unit marked classic 1st model Luftwaffe dagger by a legendary Solingen maker. Ready to display!
Blade Length: 12 1/4"
Overall length: 18”
Crossguard: 4 1/4”
Scabbard Length: 13 1/2”
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