Original German WWII Early 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger by ALCOSO with Chain - Alexander Coppel
Original Item: One of a Kind. This is a very nice service-used condition 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger made in in the late 1930s, made by the Solingen-based firm of Alexander Coppel & Co. KG, Stahlwarenfabrik. The grip looks to be made of zinc alloy, which originally would have been silver plated. However it saw quite a bit of wear, and was then painted over gold, which has made the "sunwheel" Swass a bit faint.
The grip is a carved wood base covered in blue Moroccan leather, which also shows wear like the rest of the grip. The original triple wire wrapping, with the center pair twisted, is still fully intact, but a bit worn. The guard is the standard down swept "wing" type, with good detailing remaining, and with more "sunwheel" swass, which are not the inlaid type.
The blade of this piece is a high quality nickel-plated example, and is in very good condition, with only a few small edge dents, and runner wear from being removed from the scabbard. The large blue Moroccan leather blade washer is still intact and in place in the cross guard. While the exterior of the dagger shows lots of wear, the blade itself does not.
The reverse ricasso is stamped with the trademark Alcoso used from 1936-1940. It depicts the scales with the firm's initials, ACS interspersed. Above is the firm's name in an arc, ALCOSO, and below the town of business, SOLINGEN, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany.
Alcoso is a trade name of Alexander Coppel & Co. KG, Stahlwarenfabrik, located in Solingen, the legendary German "City of Blades." Per J. Anthony Carter's fine work GERMAN SWORD AND KNIFE MAKERS, 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 shell is straight throughout with no dents. The Moroccan leather covering the scabbard nicely matches the grip and is in very good condition, with just a bit of lifting at the seam below the throat. This scabbard has steel mount brackets, with a good amount of the original silver plate intact, and a great patina. These mounts are retained by headless flush mounted side screws.
The attached aluminum chain has six ringlets making up the upper chain and eight on the lower, not counting the rings attached ot the scabbard fittings. These two chains are attached to an aluminum snap clip, which is marked on the back with the OLC in a diamond trademark of Overhoff & Cie. of Lüdenscheid, who produced numerous clothing accessories. It is also marked GES. / GESCHÜTZT, for Gesetzlich Geschutzt (Protected By Law), indicating that the clip was a trademarked design.
An very nice service worn example of the classic 1st model Luftwaffe dagger, by a maker with a somber back story. Ready to display.
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