Original German WWII Army Officer's Lion Head Sword with Triple Etched Blade by Carl Eickhorn of Solingen
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a beautiful classic German WWII Custom Heer (Army) Officer's Lion's Head sword, made by the legendary Solingen-based firm of Carl Eickhorn. The hilt is made from gilded brass alloy, and is still quite attractive, with a lot of the gilding present in the recesses of the design.It is a very beautiful sword, and is really in first rate condition, a prime addition to any display or collection.
The Lion's head pommel is in choice condition, with lots of hand engraving throughout the muzzle, snout, eyes, and mane. This particular design does not feature the "jeweled eyes" usually seen, and instead has engraved brass eyes. The backstrap has a "cross" design, surrounded by what look to be acanthus leaves. The "P" guard has some interesting designs, including acanthus leaves and a curlicue where it meets the cross guard, which has a hooked leaf surrounding a ball on the end. In the center chappe (rainguard) is a spread winged Reichsadler National Eagle clutching a wreathed mobile swastika. The detailing are extraordinary throughout the guard. The reverse chappe is completely unadorned, probably designed to have a monogram and shield engraved into it.
The scabbard of this example still has excellent original factory black lacquer, it is retained at over 95% with only a few small dents and chips. The scabbard retains the original hanger ring.
The grip is an outstanding black celluloid-over-wood base. It is wrapped with three sets of twisted wires silver wires, though unfortunately some of the wrapping has come loose, as pictured. The celluloid is in great shape, with minimal shrinkage, and no wear or cracking. The grip is tight on the blade, though the guard is slightly loose.
The 28 1/2 inch blade of this example is in very good condition, with some light denting and wear to the blunt edge in places. The nickel-plating is over 95% complete, with some light scuffing in areas, particularly near the edge. There is very little oxidation of any kind. The blade is also "triple-etched", meaning it has etching on both sides AND on the spine. Both sides of the blade feature beautiful floral motifs military designs. One side has a large panel showing a lancer's cavalry charge led by an officer with a drawn sword. The other side has a lovely Oak Leaf branch wrapped by a banner, which is etched with Für Erinnerung an meine Dienstzeit in German Blackletter typeface. This translates to "For a reminder of my service", and is commonly seen on dress swords and bayonets. The spine has a lovely repeating foliate. pattern.
The reverse ricasso is stamped with a "Two Back to Back Squirrels" trademark logo, for manufacture by the legendary firm of Carl Eickhorn, located in Solingen, the "City of Blades" in Western Germany. Per J. Anthony Carter's book GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, this specific version of the mark was used on swords, "walking out" bayonets, and other similar items after 1906. This is a trademark usually seen on WWI items, but with custom order items like this, they are not uncommon. It is also possible that the sword was re-hilted by Eickhorn at some point, as there are no Nazi motifs in the etching.
Unfortunately the chappe/rainguard almost completely covers this area, so photographing the logo is impossible. The original felt blade buffer is in place, and in good shape.
Overall an excellent condition high quality Triple Etched Officer's sword from a legendary German sword maker, based in Solingen, the "City of Blades" in Eastern Germany.
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 Hitler 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 Hitler, 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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