Original German WWII RAD Labor Corps M1937 Officer's Dagger by Carl Eickhorn with Belt Hanger
Original Item: Only One Available: This is a very nice example of the extremely rare Model 1937 RAD Führer Haumesser (Officer/Leader's Hewer), complete with original silvered scabbard, and a lovely aluminum-fitted belt hanger. It was produced by the legendary Solingen-based firm of Carl Eickhorn, a highly desirable maker of this rare dagger/hewer.
This Eickhorn piece has great silvering to the hilt, with a lovely patina over much of it. There is a bit of wear through in areas, but it does not detract from the overall look. Originally these were often lacquered to preserve the silvering, which is why there are trades of bright silver on the top of the guard. The pommel features the noble eagle looking to the viewer's left. The details to the eye, brow and beak are exceptional. The reverse of the head has the five decorative accents that give the viewer the feel of feathering, and there is a similar accent under the chin.
The "ferrule" portion of the grip has the accent grooves that are set on a 45 degree angle running the right to left direction. The crossguard features the two quillons that ride outward and curl at the ends. The reverse is plain, while the obverse center area depicts the RAD logo. It is a lined spade, having a superimposed, raised plain swastika in the center. Below, the shovel is bordered at the bottom with two wheat stalks positioned on 45 degree angles.
The grip plates are a pleasing off-white color, though unfortunately one scale is missing a chunk next to the ferrule on the top. The original silvered retaining screw is present, with good plating.
The scabbard shell is mostly straight throughout showing some of the original lacquer protective finish. There is a "door close" dent on the end , which has pinched the drag of the scabbard. Both sides feature a fine pebbled panel in the middle. Originally, the top, bottom, and edge panels of the scabbard were all lacquered, with the pebbled central portion being blackened and then polished to give a great effect. The front upper area features the line-decorated RAD curls. Below are 45 degree angle-positioned wheat shafts, a motif that is repeated on the drag. The reverse upper and lower panels are plain, and the entire scabbard retains almost all of the silver plate. The throat still retains one of the flat headed retaining screws, though the other is missing. The simple hanging clips are still intact.
The blade is the matte/brushed finished type, with a curved "clip-point" (bowie) style tip. It is quite nice, with the usual thin fuller at the top, and a very nice acid-edged RAD Motto: Arbeit adelt (Work Ennobles). This motto retains almost 100% of the factory blackening in the letters. The blade does show some use an cleaning, which has made the matte finish less pronounced. Also the tip of the hewer has some nicking/damage, but nothing major. We have left it as is to preserve the history. There is not really any staining or oxidation on the blade.
The reverse ricasso has the acid-etched Carl Eickhorn 1935-41 style trademark logo. It features the trademark squirrel looking to the viewer's left, holding a downward pointing sword. Above the animal is the quality word, ORIGINAL, and below is the company name and location, EICKHORN / SOLINGEN. Carl Eickhorn is a legendary maker from Solingen, the famous "City of Blades" in Western Germany, which marketed many fine edged weapons.
The included belt hanger is in very good shape, and matches the scabbard nicely. It is made of brown leather, which is still in great condition, and has finely pebbled aluminum fittings.
This is a really great and rare hewer/dagger, which is sure to appreciate in value over the years. These are very hard to come by, especially with belt hangers, and Carl Eickhorn is a highly desirable maker. A worthy addition to any WWII Edged weapon collection!
The basis of the RAD, Reichsarbeitsdienst, (National Labor Service), dates back, at least, to 1929 with the formation of the AAD (Anhalt Arbeitsdienst) and the FAD-B (Freiwillingen Arbeitsdienst-Bayern). Shortly after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in Jan 1933, the NSDAP consolidated all labor organizations into the NSAD (Nationalsozialist Arbeitsdienst), a national labor service. It served as an agency to help mitigate the effects of unemployment on the German economy, militarize the workforce and indoctrinate it with Nazi ideology. It was the official state labor service, divided into separate sections for men and women.
On June 26 1935 the NSAD was officially re-designated RAD. Originally personnel serving with RAD wore a variety of earlier FAD/NSAD belt buckles until February 15TH 1936 when new pattern belt buckles for Officer’s and EM/NCO’s were introduced to provided uniformity in dress.
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