Original German Early WWII SA Dagger by August Bickel of Steinbach-Hallenberg
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a nice early pattern SA Dagger, made by firm of August Bickel in Steinbach-Hallenberg, near Suhl, Germany. It comes comes compete with the original scabbard, though it is probably a replacement. The dagger has solid nickel silver fittings throughout, and is a nice example. The crossguards and tang nut are in very good condition throughout, though they were polished heavily recently, so all of the patina is gone.
The grip is a fine product having a nice light chestnut color finish and having medium center ridge construction. This grip is in good condition and fits the crossguards nicely, thought it has shrunk a bit. There are also some cracks and chips where the grip meets the guard, and the handle has been cleaned a lot, which has lightened the color of the wood. The runes button is nicely set, and still has all of the enamel intact. The grip eagle is a fine example being the style with beak that points straight. The details are still there to the eagle to include the beak, breast feathering, wing feathering, talons, wreath and mobile swastika. The nickel plating on both insignia is mostly intact.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout and is the mid-war style, with a brown painted body, and solid nickel fittings. It is possible that the body was originally anodized, and then repainted, as there is definitely age to the paint, and under it. The upper and lower fittings are solid nickel silver, and have a nice patina, with some dents and scratches showing typical wear. The bottom of the drag has some denting, typical of the softer nickel alloy. The throat nicely matches the crossguards, however both retaining screws are missing. One of the bottom retaining screws is missing as well.
The blade of this example is marked AUGUST BICKEL in a diamond under their trademark "Combined AB" logo. Below that is the city of manufacture, STEINBACH-HELLENBERG. The blade is is in good condition, with runner marks as well as some staining and light oxidation in places. It also has been cleaned extensively, so it is worn near the middle of the blade. The original factory cross grain can still be seen throughout the blade. It does appear to have had the area around the tip sharpened. There are a few tiny dents in the edge, near the ricasso. The acid-etched Alles für Deutschland SA motto is visible, but worn due to polishing, and the factory darkening is completely gone. While usually only used for ceremonies, this dagger appears to have been actively used in service.
A nice service worn early war SA dagger with original scabbard. Ready to display!
History of the SA-
The SA or Brown Shirts, were a private political formation which Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP used to maintain order at organized Party meetings and demonstrations. The group was formed in 1921, and grew to a huge force of nearly 3,000,000 men by the later 1930's. To instill esprit de corps, as well as create employment for the Blade City of Solingen, it was decided each SA man would carry a dagger with his Brown Shirt uniform. Huge quantities needed to be produced to accommodate the demand. The dagger initially was produced of hand-fitted nickel mounts with attractive finished wood grip and brown anodized (a bluing process) finished scabbard.
The blade was etched with the SA motto, Alles für Deutschland. Examples produced prior to 1935 were stamped with the German sector of the SA group on reverse lower crossguard. Later examples underwent standardization through the RZM ministry. These pieces were produced of cheaper plated zinc-base fittings and scabbards were simply painted brown.
Prior to his "unmasking" as a traitor, Ernst Röhm was the leader of the SA. In 1934, he distributed approximately 100,000 SA daggers with his personal inscription on the reverse blade. These daggers were to honor individuals who had served with the SA prior to December, 1931. Other than the inscription, these pieces were identical to the standard M1933 SA dagger. After the Röhm purge, the inscription was ordered to be removed. Many examples were returned to the factory for grinding. Others were simply ground in the field by whatever means were available. Examples will occasionally be encountered with remnants of the original inscription remaining on the blade, but mostly none will remain. Some blades exist with an intact inscription, reflecting only the removal of the Röhm signature. Very very rarely is an example seen with a full, untouched inscription, as the holder would have surely risked a charge of treason.
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