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Original German WWII Early 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 numbered 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 is really one of the best we have ever seen on an early SS dagger, showing very little wear and oxidation. It still retains almost all of the original factory final grind cross grain. This texture is iconic, and is the definitive identifying characteristic for a real WWII German Blade. There is some wear from the runners, present on virtually every German dagger blade, but nothing more than a bit of speckled staining in areas, which has not been cleaned away to avoid marring the grain. The etched SS motto, Meine Ehre heißt Treue (Loyalty is my Honor) is crisp with little wear and almost all of the 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 do have some oxidation and verdigris present, particularly where they meet the wooden grip. The cross guard is marked with district number III on the rear, while it is also marked with SS Number 116 901 on the underside of the front. We have found an incomplete listing of these numbers, however this number is not listed, though "116 902", "116 903", and "116 907" all are, so this is definitely a sequence area that was in use. Per customer requests, we always check the inside of the guard on these daggers, and both the cross and pommel guards are marked O V on the inside. This marking has been seen on other examples by this maker.

The ebony grip is a nice example showing in very good shape, however it has some chunks missing near the guards, like many that we see. The ebony wood is unfortunately brittle, and the treatment used to give it a uniform look exacerbates this. There are chunks missing on both sides of the cross guard, and some smaller chunks and cracking near the pommel guard. 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 ᛋᛋ doppelte Siegrune symbol and double circles around them have a nice matching lightly oxidized patina with the nickel still intact, with a little verdigris and degraded 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 is a later war replacement, with a black enamel painted body and nickel plated steel fittings. The shell is a solid example, completely straight and undented, with very little damage of any kind. The finish shows the expected light crazing from age, however there are are only a few small scrapes through the finish. The matching nickel-plated steel scabbard mounts are in very nice condition, with overall wear, and just a bit of denting on the lower ball. The finish does show oxidation, as well as a bit of finish lifting, and the throat fitting is missing about 50% of the plating, probably due to a hanger strap that is now gone. All four dome-head screws are present and in very good condition.

A wonderful early numbered SS dagger by a very rare Solingen maker with a really great blade, complete with a later war scabbard! Definitely some great research potential here. Ready to display!

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

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