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Original German WWII Early 1934 Dated Model 1933 SS Dagger with Scabbard - marked SS 120 / 34 RZM

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available: The SS (Schutzstaffel) was originally formed in 1925, ostensibly to act as a small, loyal bodyguard unit to protect the Führer, Adolf AH. Under the direction of the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS grew to be the most ruthless and feared organization of the 20th century. They were the vanguard of Germany eventually controlled nearly every function of German life and much of Occupied Europe. The SS dagger was introduced in 1933. Early on, members of the SS were awarded their daggers during a ceremony at the Feldherrnhalle Memorial in Munich. The annual ritual, charged with mysticism and meant to evoke the traditions of medieval Teutonic knights, was held on 9 November, the date of the unsuccessful Munich Putsch of 1923. Both officers and enlisted men wore the identical dagger until 1936. After this time, only enlisted men wore the M1933 dagger.

The SS Dagger was originally equipped with nickel crossguards with an ebony wood grip. The black grip contained a National eagle with swas insignia recessed in the center area and an SS doppelte Siegrune (Double Sig/Victory Rune) (ᛋᛋ) button inset at the top. On early examples the scabbard shell surface was factory blackened using a metal bluing process. The scabbard had nickel mounts. The SS blade was a polished type containing the SS motto, Meine Ehre Heisst Treue (My Honor is Loyalty). Early examples were mostly hand-fit. Production of later examples was more standardized, using cheaper, nickel-plated fittings with black painted scabbard shells. They could be held with a standard belt hanger, or a much rarer vertical hanger.

This is a rare early production RZM marked example, which has a nice blade, showing a lot of the original factory final polish crossgrain on both sides. This unique pattern that runs across the blade is definitive for a genuine blade. The blade is mostly bright, though there are definitely signs of past oxidation on the reverse, as well as cleaning to remove it. There is also a bit of edge sharpening from what we can tell, and the usual runner wear.

The rear is marked with the RZM and SS contract information:

120 / 34

This indicates that the blade was made by SS contractor "120" in 1934. We have looked far and wide, but there are no records of which company made these blades. Theories point to Julius Krebs, but there is nothing definitive. The etched SS motto, Meine Ehre heißt Treue (My honor is loyalty) is crisp however cleaning has made the factory darkening very faint. The blade shoulders perfectly meet the lower crossguard contour, and has just a bit of wobble.

The crossguards of this dagger and tang nut are in very good condition throughout, and are of the earliest solid nickel silver construction. They have matured to a lovely oxidized patina. They are worn in places, showing that they are definitely solid nickel alloy. The front of the cross guard is marked in the center with SS District number I. The guards and grip are loose on the tang, due to the grip shrinking and the end nut bottoming out.

The ebony grip is present, but as with many we have see, has suffered significant damage over the years. The black dyeing process for the grips unfortunately causes the wood to become brittle, so this is unfortunately common. There are cracks running through the wood on both sides, and wood has chipped and fallen away on the rear of the grip near the crossguard. The runes button is positioned well and the enamel surfaces are intact. The silvered ᛋᛋ and double circles around them have a nice matching patina with the nickel still intact. Of particular note is that the runes meet the inner circle, which is a characteristic of the "120" maker, confirming that the grip has not been swapped out. The nickel grip eagle is the "high-necked" type with the beak pointing slightly up. It remains in good condition, showing very little wear, just a bit of light scratching and a few dents.

The scabbard shell is a solid example being straight as an arrow with a few tiny dents. The original black "anodized" finish however is all but gone, except for very close to the fittings. The rest of the steel shell now bears a lovely oxidized patina. The matching solid nickel silver scabbard mounts are in good condition. The lower ball is dented in fairly far, though it is not split. The weaker nickel alloy used in early models (later ones used steel) is unfortunately prone to denting. All four dome-headed screws are still present and in good shape.

This is a great chance to pick up a rare early production SS dagger, complete with scabbard! We have not had any from this particular maker before!

Blade Length: 8 3/4"
Blade Style: Double Edged Dagger
Overall length: 13 3/4”
Crossguard: 3”
Scabbard Length: 10”

The RZM, Reichzeugmeisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster), was officially founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker's Party), as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA Quartermaster's Department. The registry was was based at the Brown house in Munich and NSDAP party headquarters in Berlin.

The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized. Starting in late 1934 items manufactured for the SS came under the quality control of the RZM and as a result were to be marked with the RZM/SS approval/acceptance mark.  The M7 in the code stands for daggers, with Gottlieb Hammesfahr & Co. AG being contractor number 67.

Shortly after this, the SS started using a separate listing of contractors, and in 1943 the Waffen-SS assumed full control over their uniform item production and no longer fell under the authority of the RZM.

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