Original German WWII Early Identified Numbered M33 SS Dagger by Gottlieb Hammesfahr & Co. with Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available: The SS (Schutzstaffel - 'Protection Squadron') 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 infamous Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS grew to be the most ruthless and feared organization of the 20th century. They were the vanguard of NSDAP and 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 equipped with nickel cross guards with an ebony wood grip. The black grip contained a National eagle with swas insignia recessed in the center area and an ᛋᛋ doppelte Siegrune (Double Sig/Victory Rune) 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 bore one of three district stampings on the lower reverse crossguard of I, II, or III. 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 wonderful identified early example was produced by a very rare maker: Gottlieb Hammesfahr & Co. AG, Nirosta-Werk, Stahlwarenfabrik und Gesenkschmiederei (Stainless Steel Factory, Steel goods factory and drop forge), in the Foche area of Solingen. This is a known producer of SS daggers during the Pre-WWII period and after. The rear of the dagger is marked with their trademark logo:


Founded in 1804 and registered with the Solingen chamber of commerce in 1875, this company is one of the largest and longest-established edged weapon producers in Solingen. While this company was known primarily as a drop forge, it also made knives and tools during the WWII period. They had several brand names, including PYRAMIDE, which had a logo of a Pyramid with a cross on it. The "oval" style trademark was specifically used on the blades of the earliest SS and SA daggers made during the Third Reich, per J. Anthony Carter's work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS.

The blade on this example shows use from service, with wear and past oxidation that has been cleaned away. Unfortunately this has removed much of the original factory final grind crossgrain on the blade. This texture is iconic, and is the definitive identifying characteristic for a real WWII German Blade. There is some visible on the 2 inches closest to the guard, where there was less oxidation staining cleaned away. It now shows a mostly bright finish, with some areas of staining an oxidation. The SS motto, Meine Ehre heißt Treue (Loyalty is my Honor) is crisp with little wear. It has however lost most of the original factory darkening. The blade shoulders perfectly meet the lower crossguard contour, and is solid in the grip.

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 smooth surfaces, good crisp edges and precise accent grooves. They show some light cleaning, and have only a bit of oxidation present. The cross guard is marked with SS Number 3170, which looks to have been stamped over District Number I on the side. We have found an incomplete listing of these numbers, and we actually have identified the owner of this dagger!

According to our research, SS Number "3170" was given to Josef Völkl, who was born May 24, 1910. They were also given NSDAP No. 174666, and held the rank of SS-Untersturmführer, to which they were promoted on Nov 9 1935. This was a junior officer rank equivalent to a Heer Army Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant). This is really a fantastic research opportunity, as SS records are quite incomplete. It is very possible that he saw more service and promotions in records that have never been discovered. We have never been able to identify one of these daggers before!

Per customer requests, we always check the inside of the guard on these daggers, and both the cross and pommel guards are marked P A on the inside. This marking is identical to a previous example we had from this same maker.

The ebony grip is a nice example showing in very good shape, however it is damaged, like many that we see. There is chipping on the reverse near the pommel guard, and a chunk missing on the reverse by the cross guard as well. The front side is missing a large portion of the surface wood running from below the eagle down to the entire crossguard. The ebony wood is unfortunately brittle, and the treatment used to give it a uniform look exacerbates this.

The color of the wood is still very good, and wood grain can be seen. The symbol button is positioned at about 7:00 o'clock, as it should be. The silvered SS symbol and double circles around them have a nice matching lightly oxidized patina with the nickel still intact, with a little verdigris and complete enamel. The nickel grip eagle is the "high-necked" type with the beak pointing slightly up. It remains in crisp condition, showing little wear to the bird's head, breast and wing feathering and to the talons, wreath or swas.

The scabbard shell is a solid example, with a straight steel shell showing very little in the way of denting. It looks to originally have been the early pattern anodized black finish, but that wore away, so it was repainted during its service life. It then saw additional service, leading to some wear of the finish, giving it a lovely aged look. The matching solid nickel silver scabbard mounts are in good condition, with a lightly oxidized patina. The lower ball is dented in, very common to see due to the softer nickel alloy. All four dome headed screws are present and in good condition.

A wonderful Identified service worn and well-patinated early SS dagger by a very rare Solingen maker, complete with scabbard! Lots of history to this fine dagger, with some fantastic research potential. Ready to display!

Blade Length: 8 3/4"
Overall length: 13 3/4”
Crossguard: 3”
Scabbard Length: 10”

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