Original German Early WWII SA Dagger by Gebrüder Gräfrath of Solingen with Belt Hanger
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent early pattern SA Dagger, made by the very seldom seen firm of Gebrüder Gräfrath, based in Solingen, Germany. This maker is EXTREMELY rare to find, especially on an SA Dagger, and this is the first edged weapon of any type we have had by this firm. It comes comes compete with an original scabbard, which is in great shape. 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.
The lower reverse guard is Gruppe/Gau marked He, for Hessen, a district in the west of Germany, with the principal city being Frankfurt.
The grip is a fine product having a nice red brown color, with having 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 just a hairline crack next to the lower guard. The symbol button is still 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 swas. The nickel plating on both insignia is fully intact, with just a bit of oxidation.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout and is the early-war style, with a brown "anodized" finish on the steel, which was then lacquered. Most of the original lacquer is intact, with some crazing and lifting, but it is one of the best we have seen. There are a few small areas of wear and oxidation. The upper and lower fittings are solid nickel silver, and are still quite shiny, with some dents and scratches showing typical wear. The bottom fitting is still intact, which is very rare to see.The throat nicely matches the crossguards, and all fittings have their original dome headed screws, which are not marred at all.
Attached to the hanger loop on the scabbard is a very nice leather hanger, with a nice D-loop for attaching to a belt clip. The leather is in very good condition, with the expected finish wear from age.
This fine example was produced by Gebrüder Gräfrath, a known Solingen producer of this knife during the pre-WWII period. The rear of the dagger is marked with a simple double oval logo:
This company was founded in 1869, and registered in Solingen in 1879. In 1939, it was owned and operated by Karl, August, Friedrich Wilhelm, and Ernst Gräfrath, hence the name "Gräfrath Brothers". The company did have several registered trademark logos, however during the Third Reich period they marked early SA and NSKK daggers with just the company name and address in an oval. The company made many types of knifes during WWII, including SA, NSKK, HJ, and others per J. Anthony Carter's GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS.
The blade is very good condition, with the usual runner marks as well as light oxidation in places, with almost full factory cross crain. The rear of dagger blade does have some light overall peppering, so the factory cross grain is faint in areas. The acid-etched Alles für Deutschland (Everything for Germany) SA motto is slightly worn, but the original darkening is still mostly present. The edge has not been sharpened.
An excellent early war SA dagger, with a great original scabbard and hanger. Ready to display!
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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