Original German WWII Early 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger by TIGER with Chain & Belt Clip
Original Item: One of a Kind. This is a very good condition 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger made in in the mid-to late 1930s by Tigerwerk Lauterjung & Co., of Solingen, Germany. Starting in 1938, the move was made to aluminum fittings, so this dagger was made before that time. The grip looks to be made of nickel alloy, which originally would have been fully silver plated. The plating has however become partly worn away and patinated, giving the handle a lovely worn patina.
The grip is a carved wood base covered in blue Moroccan leather, which shows only light wear, with the finish flaked away in places. The original triple wire wrapping, with the center pair twisted, is still fully intact, but a bit oxidized. The guard is the standard down swept "wing" type, with good detailing remaining, and with more "sunwheel" swas (hook crosses), 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.
The reverse ricasso is marked with the "Left Facing Tiger" trademark of the Lauterjung & Co. firm, and to the right of the trademark is:
Lauterjung & Co., Tiger Stahlwaren- und Waffenfabrik is a famous manufacturer in Solingen, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany. Their trademark was a Tiger, and their factory was thus often referred to as Tigerwerk (Tiger Works). The firm was founded in 1873 to make knives, scissors, and other steel ware, and survived until after the war. There were several different branches of the Lauterjung family involved in edged weapons, operating under different trade names to avoid confusion. For more information please see GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS by J. Anthony Carter.
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 few light scuffs through the finish. There is no lifting at the seam, which we cannot even locate at present. Interestingly, while the top fitting on this scabbard is nickel, the center and bottom fitting are aluminum. We suspect that the scabbard suffered some type of damage, and was sent back to the maker for repair, as we know that Tiger did make aluminum fitted daggers later in the war.
The attached nickel alloy chain has eight ringlets making up the upper chain and thirteen on the lower, not counting the rings attached to the scabbard fittings. This is more than we usually see, however the rings and connectors are smaller than usual as well. These two chains are attached to an nickel alloy snap clip, which is still functional.
An very nice condition early example of the classic 1st model Luftwaffe dagger, by a well-known Solingen maker. Ready to display!
Blade Length: 12 1/8"
Overall length: 17 3/4”
Crossguard: 4 1/4”
Scabbard Length: 13 1/2”
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