Original German Early WWII SA Dagger by Friedrich Herder Abr. Sohn with Scabbard & Hanger
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an very good condition early pattern SA Dagger, made by the well known firm of Friedrich Herder Abr. Sohn. GmbH, based in Solingen, Germany. This company was one of the many branches of the storied Herder family of Solingen. It comes comes compete with an original scabbard, which has a very nice belt hanger attached to it.
The dagger has solid nickel silver fittings throughout, and is a nice example. The crossguards and tang nut are in very good condition throughout with all fittings having a nice lightly aged patina. There is a little age to these mounts but there is no lifting anywhere, showing that they are solid and not plated. They show a bit of light wear with some denting and scratches. The lower reverse guard is Gruppe/Gau marked Ns, for Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) a district in north central Germany, with the principal city being Hannover.
The grip is a fine product having a lovely dark reddish brown color, with medium center ridge construction, with just a bit of wear and a few small dents. This grip is in good condition and fits the crossguards nicely, with no cracks we can see, with no movement. The symbol button is still nicely set, and still has most of the translucent enamel intact, with the nickel plating intact. The grip eagle is a fine example being the style with beak that points straight. It has just a bit of verdigris on it, showing that it is solid nickel alloy, though it is still quite shiny with little oxidation. The details are still there to the eagle to include the beak, breast feathering, wing feathering, talons, wreath and mobile swas (hook cross).
This fine example was produced by well-known maker Friedrich Herder Abr. Sohn, and rear of the dagger is marked with the company's trademark "Crossed Keys" logo and address:
F. HERDER A. S.
S O L I N G E N
Friedr. Herder Abr. Sohn. GmbH, Constant-Werk, Stahlwrarenfabik was a well known edged weapon producer from Solingen, the "City of Blades" in the mountains of Western Germany. According to J. Anthony Carter's book, GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, the Herder family can be traced back to 1623, when Arndt, Jürgen and Wilhelm Herder were making knives in Geylenbergh. In the 19th Century, Friedrich Herder formed his own company, Friedrich Herder Abraham Sohn (Abraham's Son). The "crossed keys trademark was first trademarked in 1848, and renewed in 1895. This is definitely a company with a long history, part of a long established Solingen family.
The blade is in very good condition, showing much of the original factory cross grain, though there is definitely wear from cleaning. There is some light staining and peppering, as well as the usual wear from the scabbard runners. The acid-etched Alles für Deutschland (Everything for Germany) SA motto is crisp, though cleaning has worn the factory dark finish. The edge has not been sharpened, as is correct.
The scabbard shell is mostly straight throughout and is the early-war style, which originally had a brown "anodized" finish on the steel, which was then lacquered. It looks like this finish wore away, as is often the case, and the scabbard was then arsenal repainted with brown enamel paint. There is some tripping and other texture to the paint, so it was definitely not done at the factory. This paint is now itself somewhat worn and shows flaking.
The upper and lower fittings are solid nickel silver, with a great look and some dents and scratches showing typical wear. The chape is lightly dented at the end, though not split, as the nickel alloy is somewhat soft, a common thing to see. The throat nicely matches the crossguards, and all fittings have their original dome headed screws, which do not show any signs of turning. There is a leather hanger loop with a spring clip attached to the scabbard. The leather is somewhat dry and cracked, and the steel spring clip has plating wear through. It is marked M5/25 over ((RZM)), the code for maker C. Th. Dicke of Lüdenscheid, a well known maker of badges and clothing accessories.
A very nice early war SA dagger from a well-known maker, with an original scabbard and hanger. Ready to display!
Blade Length: 8 3/4"
Overall length: 13 3/4”
Scabbard Length: 10”
History of the SA-
The SA or Brown Shirts, were a private political formation which Adolf AH 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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