Original German WWII Early Motto Marked HJ Knife by Rare Maker August Merten of Solingen with Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very good lightly used condition early HJ Fahrtenmesser (trip knife), marked on the blade by blade by the rare maker August Merten of Solingen. This early HJ Knife is a very good example of the type, showing light honest period wear and oxidation to the knife. The plating on the steel hilt is close to 100% present, with just a few small scrapes, which have oxidized. The acid-etched motto Blut und Ehre! (Blood and Honor!) is fully present, still retaining a good amount of he factory darkening, so it is easily visible.

The Bakelite grip plates are closely checkered and in excellent condition, retained by nickel rivets with dressed obverse heads. The HJ insignia is in very good condition with the enamel still fully intact, with no oxidation visible under the translucent red enamel. The plating is worn away leaving a lovely oxidized brass patina on the borders. The bakelite shrinks slightly over the years, which is why the emblem on this example is slightly loose, confirming authenticity.

The blade of this example is in very good condition, and is typical of the early period up until 1936. It has a thinner blade with no raised ricasso, and also no RZM codes. The original factory final grind cross grain is still visible in many areas on both sides of the blade, a real rarity! There is some light past staining in some areas, but nothing major. The knife does not look to have been sharpened much during its life, and is currently relatively dull, with no changes to the blade shape. Definitely one of the better blades we have seen on an early pattern knife.

The reverse ricasso is maker marked with the Eichenlaub (Oak Leaves) trademark of August Merten Eichenlaub Stahlwarenfabrik (Oak Leaves Steelware Factory) of Solingen:

(Crossed Oak Leaves)

This company was founded in 1910 by August Merten, and registered with Solingen Authorities in 1919. After the passing of August, the name was changed to August Merten Witwe (August Merten's Widow). By the NSDAP period, it was owned by Erich, Friedrich, and Werner Merten, as listed in the 1939 DRAB. They made a small number of Army, SA, and NSKK daggers during the war. They also made HJ knives with the M "Oakleaves" trademark over SOLINGEN, per J. Anthony Carter's fine work GERMAN SWORD AND KNIFE MAKERS. The company survived the war, and was in operation until 1998, when the company and trademarks were sold to Robert Herder.

The design of the knife is registered with the German trademark office, indicated by the GES. GESCHÜTZT stamped under the trademark logo, which is short for Gesetzlich Geschützt (Protected by Law). The original leather blade buffer is unfortunately missing on this example.

The scabbard shell the typical tapered example with a the standard black enamel finish, which is retained at over 95%. There is crazing and checking, as expected, however only some small areas of missing finish, and no dents that we can see. We can still see the rolled steel texture underneath the paint, and there is no evidence of repainting. The brown leather hanger and belt loop are still in good supple condition, with a working snap on the intact retaining loop.

A very nice early pattern HJ Knife and scabbard, made by a rare Solingen maker! Ready to display!

Approximate Measurements:
Blade Length: 5 1/2"
Blade Style: Single Edged Knife.
Overall length: 9 5/8”
Crossguard: 2”
Scabbard Length: 5 3/4”

AH believed German youth to be the future of his 3rd Reich. The HJ (AH Jugend) was formed officially in 1935, and with the exception of NSDAP ideology indoctrination was very similar to the Boy Scouts. Beginning at about the age of ten years, both boys (AH Jugend) and girls (Bund Deutscher Mädel) were enlisted in the Party-run organization. The boys only were given HJ Knives after having passed minor exams. The knives had nickeled hilts with black checkered grip plates. The obverse plate was fitted with an enameled HJ swas insignia. Through 1937, these knives were etched with the motto of the organization, Blut und Ehre! (Blood and Honor!). Examples produced after this date were made with plain blades usually bearing an RZM marking.

The HJ Leaders were professionals in charge of the training and NSDAP education of the German Youth. They wore a special dagger consisting of silvered hilt fittings with blue-black leather-covered scabbard. The grip was composed of tightly wrapped silver wire, over a wood base. The pommel cap featured an HJ diamond on top, complete with swas. The upper scabbard fitting portrayed an open-winged HJ eagle with swas cut into the bird's chest. The blade was etched with the HJ motto, Blut und Ehre!

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