Original German Pre-WWII RAD Labor Corps Enlisted Mans Hewer by Carl Eickhorn with Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available: This German Enlisted Man's RAD Hewer is in very nice condition, with very nice plated steel mounts on the scabbard. The crossguard has a fine, curled quillon, and it appears as though some of the the original darkening is in the grooves of the quillon. The nickel plating on the hilt has been well maintained and is still bright, showing just a bit of oxidation speckling where it has worn through. There are a few areas on the "beak" pommel having worn through to the steel base metal.

The grip plates on this example are genuine stag, and look to be the larger earlier type. The stag shows only minor wear from its years of usage and gives this antler a great, attractive appearance. Both plates are fully intact and have a great color. The stag plates are retained by solid nickel alloy screws and spanner nuts, which are in very good shape, showing only minor oxidation. They do not appear to have been turned in decades, if ever since production.

The blade is the heavy bolo style, being produced in a matte finish, with single fuller on both sides. Unfortunately it looks like it probably got a bit oxidized, and someone decided to heavily clean it using a buffing wheel, which has removed all of the original darkening in the etched markings, and made the motto faint. The edge shows factory sharpening, and some signs of light use.

The etched Arbeit adelt (Work Ennobles) motto on the obverse is still visible, but a bit faint due to how heavily the surface was buffed. The reverse ricasso is matching etched, with the RAD triangle positioned above the abbreviation, GES. GESCH., for Gesetzlich Geschützt (Protected By Law), indicating that the hewer is a trademarked design.

Beneath this is the Carl Eickhorn 1934-35 style double oval trademark logo. It features the trademark squirrel looking to the viewer's left, surrounded by the first oval. Inside the second oval is CARL EICKHORN above and SOLINGEN below, with cross marks in between.

According to J. Anthony Carter's book, GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, this company was founded in 1865 by Carl Eickhorn, and is arguably the most famous of all Solingen makers. Not only could the family trace their history back 500 years, but they could also demonstrate involvement in the hardening and grinding industries for the same period. Truly the nobility of Solingen Edged weapon dynasties. Eickhorn edged weapons are the most desirable of all makers.

The scabbard shell is straight throughout and has much of its original black enamel paint which is showing some age. The paint still has gloss to its surfaces, with some wear on the edges and the expected crazing from age, a sign that it is original paint, and was not repainted at some point. The scabbard mounts are steel plated with what looks to be nickel, which has unfortunately worn away over the years. The lower chape fitting has lost almost all of the plating, with just a bit near the top, while the locket fitting has a good amount of plating present on both sides.

The lower mount depicts an RAD shovel, with lined surfaces, having a contrasting, smooth mobile swas (hook cross) in the center of the spade. This spade rests between two wheat shafts. The mount is decorated along the borders with beaded circles. The same beaded circles appear on the border of the upper mount, and above these are the RAD curls. These curls are deeply stamped, having good lined backgrounds. The mounts are retained by 4 "cheesehead" screws, some of which are fairly worn.

A very nice example of a pre-war RAD EM/NCO Hewer, complete with scabbard and ready to display!

Blade Length: 9 3/4"
Blade Style: Single Edged Clip Point Hewer
Overall length: 13 3/4“
Crossguard: 3”
Scabbard Length: 10 1/2"

The basis of the RAD, Reichsarbeitsdienst, (National Labor Service), dates back, at least, to 1929 with the formation of the AAD (Anhalt Arbeitsdienst) and the FAD-B (Freiwillingen Arbeitsdienst-Bayern). Shortly after AH’s appointment as Chancellor in Jan 1933, the NSDAP consolidated all labor organizations into the NSAD (Nationalsozialist Arbeitsdienst), a national labor service. It served as an agency to help mitigate the effects of unemployment on the German economy, militarize the workforce and indoctrinate it with NSDAP ideology. It was the official state labor service, divided into separate sections for men and women.

On June 26 1935 the NSAD was officially re-designated RAD. Originally personnel serving with RAD wore a variety of earlier FAD/NSAD belt buckles until February 15TH 1936 when new pattern belt buckles for Officer’s and EM/NCO’s were introduced to provided uniformity in dress.

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