Original German Pre-WWII Early NSKK Enlisted Man's Dagger by J.A. Henckels - Pre 1935

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available: This Early production NSKK EM Dagger is an excellent example, and was made by the Solingen-based company J.A. Henckels. The crossguards and other fittings are solid nickel alloy, and in good condition. There are a few dents in the cross guards, showing they are not plated, and the scabbard fittings are non-magnetic, which means they are definitely nickel.The surfaces on the guards are smooth with good crisp edges and precise accent grooves. The tang nut matches nicely and does not appear to have been out in modern times. Also, the lower reverse guard is Gruppe stamped "Wf", for Westfalen. This feature was only seen on daggers produced 1935 and prior.

The grip is a fine fruit wood, dark brown in color and with a vertical grain and clear center ridge. The SA symbol button is perfectly placed and the enamel and plating are in good shape. The nickel grip eagle is clean and crisp. The bird retains full detail through the breast and wing feathering, talons and wreathed mobile swas. The grip fits the guards like a glove and is in very good condition with just a bit of cracking and a ship near the lower guard.

The scabbard is straight throughout. It has a nice black paint job that was done after the NSKK order to paint the shells to differentiate themselves from the rest of the SA. The scabbard mounts are in good condition through to the lower ball which shows usage and an indentation, typical of the softer nickel alloy. All of the screws are in place.

The blade of this dagger is in very good condition, bright and having a good amount of the original grain from the final factory polish. There are some in and out marks, and some signs that it was polished a bit. The motto is deep and crisp, with a fine frosted background. The blade shoulders perfectly meet the crossguard contour.

The reverse of the blade is marked with the maker J.A. HENCKELS - ZWILLINGSWERK - SOLINGEN. This is in a circle around the company's "twins" (Zwilling) trademark logo, in use since the company founding in 1731. This is a well known maker, with somewhat lower production, so these are definitely harder to come by. They were based in the legendary "City of Blades", Solingen, where much of the German edged weapon industry was based for centuries, continuing to present day.

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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