Original German Early WWII SA Dagger by Rare Maker Süddeutsche Messerfabrik with Scabbard & Hanger Clip
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent condition early pattern SA Dagger, made by the very rare firm of Süddeutsche Messerfabrik GmbH, located in Gefrees, Bavaria. It comes comes compete with an original scabbard, which has a very nice belt hanger clip 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 aged patina. There is some age to these mounts but there is no lifting anywhere, showing that they are solid and not plated. They show only light wear with almost no denting or scratches. The lower reverse guard is Gruppe/Gau marked Fr, for Franken, a district in west central Germany, with the principal cities being Nürnberg (Nuremberg) and Suhl.
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 very good condition and fits the crossguards nicely, though there are cracks on both sides of the grip near the pommel fitting. There is no movement in the guards or grips, however the pommel nut does have some rounding, so it most likely got loose at some point and was tightened with the incorrect tool.
The SA symbol button is still nicely set, and still has most of the 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 very rare maker Süddeutsche Messerfabrik (South German Knife Factory), and rear of the dagger is marked with the company's oval name and address marking:
According to J. Anthony Carter's book, GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, this company located in Gefrees, Bavaria first appeared in the Deutsches Reichs-Adressbuch (German National Address Book or DRAB) listings in 1939. The company looks to have been formed by the amalgamation of Bayerische Messerfabrik Johan Leupold AG and Johanniswerk Stahlwarenfabrik GmbH. DRAB does not mention either of these though, but the phone number is the same “39” used by Leupold. This is a very rare maker, and only a few SA daggers have been reported with the Oval trademark on their blade.
The blade is in excellent condition, with almost 100% factory final polish crossgrain visible on both sides. There is almost no oxidation, and only slight wear from the runners and cleaning. The blade has correctly not been sharpened post manufacture, though it is actually relatively sharp, apparently from the factory. The acid-etched Alles für Deutschland (Everything for Germany) SA motto is crisp, with most of the factory darkening remaining.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout and is the early-war style, which has a brown "anodized" finish on the steel, which was then lacquered. It still retains much of the original finish, though the lacquer has flaked off in many places, which has allowed the brown finish to fade someone. However this is still one of the best examples we have seen, as most are missing almost all of the lacquer coating.
The upper and lower fittings are solid nickel silver, with a great look and just some light 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 clip is solid nickel silver, with a steel leaf spring, and the attached leather is in very good gently aged condition. There are not any markings on it, but the majority that we see are completely unmarked.
An excellent early war SA dagger from a very rare maker, complete 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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