Original German Early WWII SA Dagger with Scabbard by Rare Maker Wilhelm Kober & Co. of Suhl
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an very good early pattern SA Dagger, made by the very seldom seen firm of Wilhelm Kober & Co., based in Suhl, Germany. This maker is EXTREMELY rare to find, 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 good 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. They show very little wear or denting, if any, and the tang nut shows no evidence of being turned. The lower reverse guard is Gruppe/Gau marked Th, for Thuringen (Thuringia), a district in central Germany, with the principal cities being Weimar and Erfurt.
The grip is a fine product having a nice honey 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 no cracks we can see. The runes button is still nicely set, and still has most 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 fully intact, with just a bit of oxidation.
The scabbard shell is mostly straight throughout and is the early-war style, with a brown "anodized" finish on the steel, which was then lacquered. There are a few dents on the reverse, but they do not impede sheathing the dagger. Most of the original lacquer has worn or flaked off, except very close to the fittings, however the brown anodized finish is definitely still visible in places. The rest is faded to a lovely brown patina. The upper and lower fittings are solid nickel silver, with a great look and some dents and scratches showing typical wear. The bottom fitting is split at the end, 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.
This fine example was produced by Wilhelm Kober & Co., a known Suhl-based producer of this knife during the pre-WWII period. The rear of the dagger is marked with the trademark "Centaur with a fore-leg raised, brandishing a gun" logo, surrounded with a double oval:
WILH. KOBER & CO.
The "GEGR." is short for Gegründet, or founded, as this company was founded in 1874, and according to the DRABS for 1900-1925 was mainly a maker of mechanical hair clippers. They made some attempts to diversify into small electric motors, and only "a few early type SA and NSKK daggers were made during the Third Reich" per J. Anthony Carter's GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS. All of them were marked with this trademark, which was used specifically on these knives. Knives by this maker are extremely rare.
The blade is very good condition, with the usual runner marks as well as light oxidation in places, with lots of factory cross grain visible under light. It 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, as is correct.
An excellent early war SA dagger from a very rare maker, with a great 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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