Original German WWII 1st Model Aluminum Fitted Luftwaffe Dagger by Carl Eickhorn with Inscribed Scabbard
Original Item: One of a Kind. This is a very nice 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger, made by the legendary maker Carl Eickhorn of Solingen, Germany. The matte Aluminum fittings indicate that it was made in sometime after 1938. Previous to this, the mounts had been of alloy brass or nickel, but Aluminum was an "Air Age" material, which was used to make most airplanes. It was considered fitting and desirable for the mounts to be made of this, and the later 2nd model continued to use aluminum as well.
The aluminum mounts defy all age and remain nice and mostly bright, with a fine matte finish. The pommel has almost all of the original gilding intact on the "Broken Sun Cross" swas medallions, and the same is true on the cross guard. The guard is the standard down swept "wing" type, with good detailing. The rim of the pommel shows some small dents but nothing major. The grip is a carved wood base covered in blue Moroccan leather, which has wear on the top of the rounded portions through the finish. It is wrapped with 4 aluminum wires, with the center pair twisted, though there have been some glue repairs to the wires in places.
The 12 1/4 inch blade of this piece, unlike many we see, is bright steel, and not nickel plated. The shape is still great, with no sharpening, and a nice tip. There are however some areas of light staining, so the factory cross grain is faint. Also there are nicks on the edge of the blade, so it's possible it was used in combat, or at least for practice. The original blue Moroccan leather blade buffer is in place on top of the guard.
The blade on this example is not nickel plated, which is common for later produced blades. The ricasso is etched with the 1935-41 Eickhorn trademark: a seated squirrel holding a sword, with the word ORIGINAL above and Eickhorn / SOLINGEN below. Carl Eickhorn is a legendary maker from Solingen, the famous "City of Blades" in Western Germany.
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 with no dents. The Moroccan leather covering the scabbard nicely matches the grip, and does show wear and tearing in the finish, as shown. The leather seams are however still tight, and cannot be seen. The mounts on this scabbard are all matte aluminum, and are still very attractive and only have a bit of scratching, with a few dents on the chape. These mounts are retained by headless flush mounted side screws. The locket at the top of the scabbard is inscribed with the following dedication:
der Ln. Stelle
"Ln." is not a military abbreviation we are familiar with, so the best translation we can come up with is "The comrades of Ln. Position Dec. 1939.". Definitely worthy of further research!
The attached aluminum chain has six ringlets making up the upper chain and eight on the lower. These two chains are attached to an aluminum snap clip, which is marked on the back with the OLC in a diamond trademark of Overhoff & Cie. of Lüdenscheid, who produced numerous clothing accessories. It is also marked GES. / GESCHÜTZT, for Gesetzlich Geschutzt (Protected By Law), indicating that the clip was a trademarked design.
A very nice example of the classic 1st model Luftwaffe dagger by a legendary maker, complete with a very nice inscription. Ready to display!
Blade Length: 12 1/8"
Overall length: 17 3/4”
Crossguard: 4 1/4”
Scabbard Length: 13 1/2”
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