Original German WWII Hirschfänger Bone Handle Forestry Dress Cutlass by Carl Eickhorn with Handguard & Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. In use for centuries, the German Hirschfänger (Deer Catcher) long hunting daggers have always made lovely display pieces, as well as military sidearms. Many of the early bayonets used by the various German States were based on the Hirschfänger design, which is both simple and elegant, almost a short sword in practical terms.
The Hunting and Forestry organizations under the German monarchy were often controlled by aristocrats and well-heeled businessmen. They were generally not organizations inhabited by the common man. The purposes were generally formed for the conservation of game and forestry. Elaborate hunts were great occasions for the well-heeled, while the ladies used the hunting lodges for match-making and gossip. The cutlasses of these Imperial organizations were often extremely ornate, or they could also be utilitarian, made to perform the final killing thrust on game. Both types were often owned by a single individual. Many examples were used strictly for dressing up the beauty of a hunting/forestry uniform.
This is a fantastic WWII German Hirschfänger Bone Handled Long Forestry Cutlass by the legendary firm of Carl Eickhorn, complete with scabbard. The hilt is fit with gilt brass, much of which is retained, with a slightly curved white bone grip. This is fitted with three brass acorn & oak leaf ornaments on each side, which are slightly loose. Instead of the "S" shaped crossguard with opposed Deer's hoof finials, this grip is "sword" style, and has a hand guard, which terminates in a Deer's hooves at the crossguard and where it meets the grip. There is also a beautiful scallop shell guard on one side, much like those seen on earlier "hunting sword pistols", embossed with a fantastic "stag" scene.
The lovely triple etched blade is still straight, free of major damage and shows only very minor staining and wear. The blade has no post manufacture sharpening to the edge, and these originally were generally intended for thrusting, to finish off their wounded catch. The etched panels on the sides of the blade are simply breathtaking, with one side showing a buck and doe with a hunter aiming his gun, and there is a game fowl to the right of this. The other side shows a pack of hunting hounds taking down a Wild boar, while a hunter runs towards the pile with his hunting cutlass. The panels are surrounded by lovely foliate engraving, and the spine of the blade has a lovely oak leaves and acorn leaf motif running up the back, a classic German design.
The rear ricasso of the blade is stamped with the 1935-41 Eickhorn trademark: a seated squirrel holding a sword, with the word ORIGINAL above and the firm's name and location, Eickhorn / SOLINGEN below. Carl Eickhorn is a legendary maker from Solingen, the famous "City of Blades" in Western Germany.
According to J. Anthony Carter's book, GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, this company was founded in 1865 by Carl Eickhorn, and is arguably the most famous of all Solingen makers. Not only could the family trace their history back 500 years, but they could also demonstrate involvement in the hardening and grinding industries for the same period. Truly the nobility of Solingen Edged weapon dynasties. Eickhorn edged weapons are the most desirable of all makers.
The rear of the blade is also etched with W. MICHOVIUS COTTBUS, a distributor located in Berlin, and one of the only known major suppliers of Eickhorn made forestry daggers. They were also suppliers for virtually all of the forestry association insignia and other accoutrements.
The leather scabbard is fitted with gilt brass, with an acorn frog button, as often seen. The black patent leather is in good shape, without any bending or major issues with the finish. The gilding is very well retained, and it just looks great, with a fantastic patina!
A magnificent German upmarket Hirschfänger Hunting Association cutlass by a the most famous of all makers in Solingen. Ready to display!
Blade Length: 13"
Blade Style: Hirschfänger w/out Fuller
Overall length: 17 5/8”
Handguard: 4" L x 4 1/2" W
Scabbard Length: 13 1/2”
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