Original German WWII Army Heer Officer Dagger by Alcoso circa 1940 with Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice circa 1940 example of the typical German WWII Army Officer dagger with the correct scabbard, made by the Solingen-based firm of Alcoso-Werk GmbH. Like some daggers we see, this example has fittings that have a somewhat "blue" colored plating, which may be silver that has been purposely oxidized.
The plated pommel of this dagger is in good condition, showing a bit of wear around the rim, exposing the aluminum base metal. The standing oak leaves and acorns on the sides are crisply detailed and have good black backgrounds. The cross guard also shows much of the original silver plating, with wear through to the base metal on some of the corners. We tested it with a magnet, and it seems to be an iron or steel crossguard, silver plated and then oxidized. There is a bit or rust in areas where the plating has eroded. The details throughout the eagle are sharp throughout the head, breast and wing feathering, talons and wreathed mobile swas. Definitely some interesting fittings!
The celluloid grip of the dagger has faded to a caramel pumpkin color, more pronounced on one side than the other. This degradation is prompted by light exposure, which is why this happens, and also why the area closest to the portepee shows the lightest color. This grip is in good condition throughout, with just a few small scratches and some dirt in the recesses, without any maker cracks or chips. The ferrule is intact, and in very good shape with only a bit of oxidation. Tied around this is an original portepee, which is in good condition, and tied in the Heer style. There is definitely some light fraying and loss of bullion in areas, but it still presents very well.
The very good condition blade is mostly bright throughout, strongly showing virtually all of the original factory final grind cross grain. This texture is iconic, and is the definitive identifying characteristic for a real WWII German Blade. It does have a bit of staining in areas, which we have left intact to preserve the cross grain and patina. There also is the usual runner wear on the blade surface, however this is present on just about every dagger out there. Definitely a very nice blade. The edge has correctly not been sharpened, and the needle like tip is still fully intact. The leather blade washer is still intact and in place inside the crossguard.
The reverse ricasso is etched with the trademark Alcoso used in 1939-1940. It depicts the scales with the firm's initials, ACS interspersed. Above is the firm's name, ALCOSO, and below the town of business, SOLINGEN, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany.
Alcoso was originally a trade name of Alexander Coppel & Co. KG, Stahlwarenfabrik, located in Solingen, the legendary German "City of Blades." The company was a major manufacturer of edged weapons and tools from the end of the 19th century up until the WWII period. Unfortunately, as NSDAP-control increased, brothers Carl Gustav and Dr. Alexander Coppel, the Jewish owners of the firm, were forced out. In 1936 the firm had been "Aryanized", and started using the name ALCOSO to hide the Jewish family name. By the end of 1936 the brothers were ejected from their Solingen offices, and by 1940 the brand trademark initials ACS were changed to AWS to reflect the change in ownership and name: Alexander Coppel Solingen to Alcoso-Werk Solingen. Carl Gustav Coppel committed suicide in Solingen in 1941, and Dr. Alexander Coppel was arrested in 1942 and sent to Theresienstadt Prison camp, where he died August 5th 1942. For more information please see J. Anthony Carter's book, GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS.
The scabbard is a fine dent-free plated steel example, and still retains about 60% of the blue plating, matching the hilt mount color very well. The sides have very crisp, finely pebble-grained panels. The alloy carrying bands have an excellent pattern of overlapping oak leaves and acorns, with hand enhancing evident on each of the leaves. The throat is the narrow style, retained by "cheese head" screws on the narrow sides of the scabbard. It has a lovely worn look, showing areas of oxidized bare steel, as well as silver that has lost the blue coating.
Overall a very nice service used example of a German Heer Officer's Dagger with scabbard, from a maker with a somber back story.
Blade Length: 9 1/2"
Blade Style: Spear Point Dagger
Overall length: 14“
Crossguard: 2 3/4”
Scabbard Length: 11 1/8"
The German Army (Heer) first carried a dagger beginning in 1935. The weapon was worn in lieu of occasions not demanding the wearing of a more formal sword. The dagger design was quite attractive featuring silvered heavy fittings with white or colored grip. The crossguard depicted a Wehrmacht open-winged eagle clutching a wreathed swas.
The pommel depicted oak leafing around the outer circumference. The scabbard had panels of pebble designs. Later produced examples were plated with nickel, and late war-made pieces were unplated, finished in a gray color metal. This early war version is quite nice, and in great shape.
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