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Original German WWII Army Heer Officer Dagger by ALCOSO Works with Hanger and Portepee

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice Army Officer's Dagger, produced by the Solingen-based firm of Alcoso-Werk, a well-known maker of edged weapons. The pommel of this dagger is in very good condition, showing wear and scratching around the edge, with some loss of plating. The plating elsewhere is almost entirely present, with a great patina and lovely darkening on the oak leaf side panel.

The silver plated crossguard has fared a bit worse, having lost some of the plating, nos showing speckled oxidation and patination. The details throughout the characteristic eagle are good throughout the head, breast and wing feathering, talons and wreathed mobile swas (hook cross), though there is some wear. The grip ferrule is also silver-plated, and is in good condition with only minor wear, having been protected by the portepee.

The grip still retains the original ivory color, something we rarely see, as the celluloid covering usually turns orange over time. This grip is in almost perfect condition throughout, with just a bit of staining and wear. Wrapped around the grip and cross guard is an original aluminum bullion thread portepee (sword knot), tied in the Heer fashion. It is in very good condition as shown, with light wear in areas, and a bit of fraying.

The very good condition blade is mostly bright throughout, showing much of the original cross grain. The tip is still intact, with no bending, just some light wear. Overall finish does show light staining overall, and cleaning has definitely worn the finish a bit. The edge is still nice, with no major chips or sharpening. There is the usual runner wear on the blade surface, however this is present on just about every dagger out there.

The trademark on the back of the blade is one of the trademarks that Alcoso used from 1940-1943. It depicts the scales with the firm's initials, AWS interspersed. Next to this is the firm's name in cursive script, Alcoso, and below the town of business, SOLINGEN, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany.

According to J Anthony Carter's Work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, Alcoso is 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. The factory itself was destroyed by Allied bombers in November 1944.

The scabbard is a fine example, and is plated steel, which does show areas of plating loss and flaking. This straight scabbard has very crisp, finely grained panels. The carrying bands have an excellent pattern of overlapping oak leaves and acorns, which are nicely enhanced, though they do show wear. The throat is the thinner style, and has a single flush securing screw on the side of the scabbard. The plating looks to be silver, and has a lovely oxidized look.

Attached to the scabbard is a very good condition belt hanger, with functional pebbled spring clips with a great patina. The end clips are the more complex and desirable sliding type. The buckles and keepers are engraved with the same oak and acorn motif seen throughout the dagger. The hardware is marked D.R.G.M, indicating that these were registered in the German trademark office. The straps do show wear, especially on the velvet side. The ends have also both been repaired with leather where they wrap around the hanger attachment. This is a hanger that was used quite extensively.

A very nice example from a maker with a somber back story. Complete with the usual fittings and ready to display!

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. These daggers are often encountered with an aluminum portepee.

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