Item:
ONSV22TGF86

Original German WWII SA Dagger by Rare Maker August Bickel of Steinbach-Hallenberg with Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice early-war pattern SA Dagger, made by rare maker August Bickel of Steinbach-Hallenberg, near Suhl, Germany. This is only the fourth item of any type that we have had from this maker, and all edged weapons from them are quite rare. It comes complete with the original scabbard, which looks to have had a wartime repaint.

The dagger has nickel-plated fittings throughout, and is a really nice example. The cross guards and tang nut are in very good condition throughout, with all fittings still retaining the original plating very well, with just a bit of flaking where they contact the wood, showing that they are plated and not solid nickel silver.

The grip is a fine product having a lovely red-brown mahogany color, with a medium center ridge construction. There is very little wear of any kind on the grip, showing just a few tiny dents. There are cracks on both sides in the center at the pommel guard, which is common due to the pressure the pommel places on the wood. The symbol button is nicely set, and still has all of the brown enamel intact, with fully intact plating. The grip eagle is a fine example being the style with beak that points straight. Most of the details are still there to the eagle to include the beak, breast feathering, wing feathering, talons, wreath and mobile swas. There is a bit of verdigris, showing that is nickel plated or solid nickel, correct for an early war pattern.

The blade of this example is in very good condition, with the factory final grind cross grain retained on almost all of the blade! This texture is iconic, and is the definitive identifying characteristic for a real WWII German Blade. We do not see any evidence of post factory sharpening. There are however a few nicks and dents in the edge, and some areas of light staining, which we have left in place to preserve the patina and history of the blade. There is also some bending and damage on the last 3/4" or so nearest the tip. The acid-etched Alles für Deutschland (Everything for Germany) SA motto is crisp, with the factory darkening retained almost completely

The reverse ricasso is etched with the diamond-shaped trademark logo of August Bickel, with the 'Combined AB' monogram logo at the top over the name and address of the firm:

(AB Logo)
AUGUST BICKEL
STEINBACH HALLENBERG

August Bickel, Metallwarenfabrik (Metal Wares Factory) is a seldom seen maker from Steinbach-Hallenberg in Thuringia, near Suhl and Erfurt. This metalsmithing company made many high quality tools for export prior to 1914, and afterwards their trip-hammer forge allowed them to make SA and NSKK daggers during the NSDAP period. They did not have polishing facilities in house, so daggers were shipped to F. & A. Helbig and Jacob Kehr-Ritz for edging and polishing. The machine tools in the factory were captured and moved to Russia after the war ended, per GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS by J. Anthony Carter.

The scabbard shell is straight throughout, without any major dents that we can see. It is the early-war style, with a brown enamel paint on the steel. It looks like it originally had the early war brown "anodized" finish, but then was refinished at the factory, as we can see the brown base metal where the enamel has flaked. The upper and lower fittings are solid nickel silver, and have a nice patina, with some dents and scratches showing typical wear. The bottom fitting is dented a little, typical of the softer alloy. The throat nicely matches the cross guards and the screws for the top and bottom mounts are still present.

A very nice early wartime SA dagger by a very rare maker, complete with the original scabbard. Ready to display!

Specifications:
Blade Length: 8 3/4"
Overall length: 13 3/4”
Crossguard: 3”
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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