Original German WWII Army Officers Lion Head Sword by F. W. Höller of Solingen with Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a beautiful classic Lionhead German WWII Army Officers sword, made by the well known firm of F. W. Höller, Waffenfabrik, of Solingen, Germany, complete with its original scabbard. The all brass alloy hilt consists of a finely detailed lion head cat with engraved backstrap and "P" guard. The Lion is fitted with blood red faceted "jewel" eyes. There is nice detail throughout his whiskers, chin, and muzzle. The handwork is beautifully rendered throughout hilt. The backstrap and side tabs bear the iconic German "Oak Leaves & Acorns" motif, also found on the guard and the grip ferrule.

The crossguard has a open winged art deco style eagle which looks to the viewer's left. The breast area of this eagle, as well as the wings, have been hand-enhanced. The original gilding on the hilt is still present in many areas, particularly in the recesses of the design. The reverse has a small plate where a monogram might be added, however it is blank. The original leather blade buffer is still present, and in very good condition. Overall the hilt is still tight on the blade, with no wobble we can detect.

The grip is a very nice black celluloid-over-wood base. It is wrapped with multiple twisted brass wires, which are still fully intact. The celluloid is still tight to the wood, and is quite shiny, without any cracking or chipping.

The 33 inch blade of this example is in excellent condition, with only some light scuffing in areas. It is fully nickel plated, which is retained quite almost completely. The edge is still fully blunt, as originally issued, though there are a few small dents on the edge and on the spine.

The reverse ricasso is stamped with a "losenge" style trademark logo that reads F. W. HÖLLER / SOLINGEN, surrounding the trademark Höller "Thermometer" emblem. It is mostly under the chappe of the crossguard, so we were not able to photograph the entire marking. This is a well-known maker from Solingen, the famous "City of Blades" in Western Germany, which produced many fine edged weapons.

F.W. Höller, Waffenfabrik (Weapons Factory), located in Solingen, the legendary "City of Blades" in western Germany. During the WWII Period they manufactured many SA and NSKK daggers, both with their "thermometer" trademark and later with the RZM code M7/33. They also produced numerous 98K bayonets and other edged weapons. The firm was founded in 1866, and registered in Solingen in 1883. By 1900 ownership had passed to Emil Höller, and it continued manufacture after WWII, finally closing in 1974. For more information please see J. Anthony Carter's fine work GERMAN SWORD AND KNIFE MAKERS.

The scabbard of this example still has very good original factory black enamel, which is retained at over 90%. There is a lot of checking and crazing on the outside near the bottom, but no major flaking or oxidation. The scabbard body does have a minor bend about 8 inches from the bottom of the drag, but it does not interfere with sheathing the blade. The drag is missing a some of the paint, as is typical.

Overall an very good condition high quality sword from a well-known German sword maker, based in Solingen, the "City of Blades" in Western Germany. Ready to display!

Overall length: 38”
Blade length: 33”
Blade Style: Single Edged with Fuller
Guard dimensions: 5" width x 4 1/2” length
Scabbard Length: 33 3/4"

The German Army (German: Heer, was the land forces component of the Wehrmacht, the German armed forces, from 1935 to 1945. The Wehrmacht also included the Kriegsmarine (Navy) and the Luftwaffe (Air Force). During World War II, a total of about 15 million soldiers served in the German Army, of whom about seven million became casualties. Separate from the army, the Waffen-SS (Armed SS) was a multi-ethnic and multi-national military force of the Third Reich. Growing from three regiments to over 38 divisions during World War II, it served alongside the army but was never formally part of it.

Only 17 months after AH announced publicly the rearmament program, the Army reached its projected goal of 36 divisions. During the autumn of 1937, two more corps were formed. In 1938, four additional corps were formed with the inclusion of the five divisions of the Austrian Army after the Anschluss in March. During the period of its expansion by Adolf AH, the German Army continued to develop concepts pioneered during World War I, combining ground (Heer) and air (Luftwaffe) assets into combined arms teams. Coupled with operational and tactical methods such as encirclements and the "battle of annihilation", the German military managed quick victories in the two initial years of World War II, prompting the use of the word Blitzkrieg (literally lightning war, meaning lightning-fast war) for the techniques used.

The German Army entered the war with a majority of its infantry formations relying on the horse for transportation. The infantry remained foot soldiers throughout the war; artillery also remained primarily horse-drawn. The motorized formations received much attention in the world press in the opening years of the war, and were cited as the main reason for the success of the German invasions of Poland (September 1939), Norway and Denmark (April 1940), Belgium, France and Netherlands (May 1940), Yugoslavia (April 1941) and the early campaigns in the Soviet Union (June 1941). However their motorized and tank formations accounted for only 20% of the Heer's capacity at their peak strength.

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