Original German WWII Early Period HJ Knife by F. W. Backhaus of Solingen with Motto and Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great condition early HJ Fahrtenmesser (trip knife), marked on the blade by blade by the rare maker F.W. Backhaus of Solingen. This early HJ Knife is a very good example of the type, showing some honest period wear while still looking great. The plating on the steel hilt is about90% retained, with a few areas where it has flaked away and allowed the hilt to oxidize.
The Bakelite grip plates are closely checkered and in good condition, retained by nickel rivets with dressed obverse heads. There is however a crack through the side with the HJ insignia, which is in very good condition with the enamel almost fully intact, with just a bit of scratching on the surface. 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 loose, confirming authenticity.
The blade of this example is a fantastic example, 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 acid-etched motto Blut und Ehre! (Blood and Honor!) is fully present, though cleaning has removed the factory darkening. Cleaning away speckled oxidation and polishing has also worn the the original factory final grind cross grain, still visible in the light. 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.
The reverse ricasso is maker marked with the "Baby on the back of a stork" trademark logo of F.W. Backhaus GmbH, Stahlwarenfabrik (Steelware Factory) of the Ohlig's borough of Solingen. To the right is their name and address:
F. W. BACKHAUS
This metalworking business was founded in 1827 by Freidrich Wilhelm Backhaus, and first registered trademarks in 1854, and again in 1875 by the founders son. The company went on to produce combat knives during the First World War. During the third reich period they made SA, SS, and NSKK daggers, as well as HJ knives. Only the earliest production examples bear the "baby-and-stork" trademark, per J. Anthony Carter's fine work GERMAN SWORD AND KNIFE MAKERS. The company survived the war, and was still operating in the 1970s, but appears to have closed.
The design of the knife is registered with the German trademark office, indicated by the circled GES. GESCHÜTZT stamped next to the trademark logo, which is short for Gesetzlich Geschützt (Protected by Law). The original leather blade buffer is present on this example, but it does show deformation and wear.
The scabbard shell is the typical tapered example and is in very good condition. It has over 95% of the original factory black enamel. There are a few chips and scratches, as well some crazing and checking from age, which also confirms it was not refinished. The leather belt loop is present with an intact securing strap, and is in very good condition, with some overall cracking to the black finish.
A very nice early pattern HJ Knife and scabbard, made by a rare Solingen maker! Ready to display!
Blade Length: 5 5/8"
Blade Style: Single Edged Knife
Overall length: 9 3/4”
Crossguard: 1 7/8”
Scabbard Length: 5 7/8” with belt loop
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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