Original German WWII Model 1933 Early SS Dagger by Heinrich Böker &Co. with Vertical Leather Hanger
Original Item: Only One Available: The SS (Schutzstaffel - 'Protection Squadron') was originally formed in 1925, ostensibly to act as a small, loyal bodyguard unit to protect the Führer, Adolf Hitler. Under the direction of the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS grew to be the most ruthless and feared organization of the 20th century. They were the vanguard of Nazism and eventually controlled nearly every function of German life and much of Occupied Europe. The SS dagger was introduced in 1933. Early on, members of the SS were awarded their daggers during a ceremony at the Feldherrnhalle Memorial in Munich. The annual ritual, charged with mysticism and meant to evoke the traditions of medieval Teutonic knights, was held on 9 November, the date of the unsuccessful Munich Putsch of 1923. Both officers and enlisted men wore the identical dagger until 1936. After this time, only enlisted men wore the M1933 dagger.
The SS Dagger was equipped with nickel crossguards with an ebony wood grip. The black grip contained a National eagle with swastika insignia recessed in the center area and an SS sigrunne button inset at the top. On early examples the scabbard shell surface was factory blackened using a metal bluing process. The scabbard had nickel mounts. The SS blade was a polished type containing the SS motto, Meine Ehre Heisst Treue (My Honor is Loyalty). Early examples bore one of three district stampings on the lower reverse crossguard of I, II, or III. Early examples were mostly hand-fit. Production of later examples was more standardized, using cheaper, nickel-plated fittings with black painted scabbard shells. They could be held with a standard belt hanger, or a much rarer vertical hanger.
Heinrich Böker &Co. is a famous manufacturer founded in 1869 in Solingen, the legendary "City of Blades" in western Germany. The company exists today, and has a long and storied history of top quality blade production. Knives made by this maker are highly desirable.
The blade remains partly bright and still retains almost all of the cross grain, though there is overall light surface oxidation, except where the runners have worn it away. This could be polished out or cleaned, however we have left it intact to preserve the patina. The rear of the blade is marked with a very nice BÖKER / SOLINGEN framed tree trademark logo. This blade still grades in very good condition. The acid-etched SS motto, Meine Ehre heißt Treue (Loyalty is my Honor) is crisp but has some wear. 50% of the factory blackening is in the letter fonts in the backgrounds. The edge of the blade does not show any non factory sharpening, and is still in excellent condition. The blade shoulders perfectly meet the lower crossguard contour, and is solid in the grip.
The crossguards of this dagger and tang nut are in good condition throughout, and are of the earliest solid nickel silver construction. They have smooth surfaces, good crisp edges and precise accent grooves. The upper guard is marked with a Roman numeral I. This indicates issue in the 1st SS District.
The ebony grip is a nice example in very good condition, though it is missing a chunk on the rear near the crossguard, about 1/2" x 1/2". Early examples such as this were hand fit, which could result in cracking over time due to the brittle ebony wood. The color is very good, and wood grain can be seen. The runes button is positioned at about 7:00 o'clock, and has suffered some damage in that area, as shown. The runs are still visible with some enamel, which is chipped. The surrounding grip area also shows some damage. The nickel grip eagle is the "high-necked" type with the beak pointing slightly up. It remains in crisp condition, showing little wear to the bird's head, breast and wing feathering and to the talons, wreath or swastika.
The scabbard shell is a solid example being straight as an arrow with a few small dents. The original black "anodized" finish looks to have worn off, so it was arsenal repainted with fine black lacquer. There is some scuffing and chipping, where the original finish can be seen on the steel body. The matching solid nickel silver scabbard mounts are in good condition. The lower ball only has bit of denting, which is rare, as due to the weaker nickel alloy used in early models, they damage easily. All four dome headed screws are present, and do not show any turning or damage.
The scabbard is held securely in the extremely rare leather vertical hanger, topped with a nickel plated steel hanger clip. The leather on the hanger itself is marked SS 1 / 37 RZM. This indicates 1937 manufacture, however the SS RZM codes are unknown, so we do not know the manufacturer. The leather is in good condition, though it has dried over time, and the lower securing strap has detached from the hanger on one side. The top securing strap is worn, but still supple with a functional buckle.
The nickel clip itself is marked with a "barred A" followed by D.R.G.M. (Deutsches Reiches Gebrauchs Musterschutz) - meaning it is a protected patented design under the Reich Government. This design was registered to the owner of the "Barred A" trademark, F. W. Assmann & Söhne of Lüdenscheid, a large maker of belts, buttons, and other accoutrements. Below this it is marked with the RZM logo and M5/8, the code for Assmann used on Uniform Fittings an Buttons.
An excellent chance to own a good condition SS dagger by a legendary Solingen blade maker, with an extremely rare marked and dated hanger.
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