Original German WWII Late Pattern HJ Knife by Artur Schüttelhofer with Plastic Hanger Scabbard - RZM M7/17
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent example of the classic later pattern HJ fahrtenmesser (trip knife), complete with its original scabbard. It was produced by the rare maker Artur Schüttelhofer & Co. Stahlwarenfabrik (Steelware factory) in the Wald neighborhood of Solingen, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany. This company was founded in 1920, and assembled and finished daggers for political organizations and officers during the Third Reich period, per J. Anthony Carter's excellent book GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS. It comes complete with its original scabbard, which features a late war plastic belt hanger.
These knives were given to boys who were educated in the paramilitary organization, which they often continued to carry into their military service. Unlike the early pattern knives, these have a thicker blade with a raised ricasso, which significantly strengthened the blade. They also do not have the HJ motto etched on the blade, and often are marked not with a maker, but a German RZM Code.
The hilt of this example is nickel plated zinc alloy, and the original finish is very well retained, except where the retaining strap wore through it. There is some light oxidation and a few small flakes of plating missing, but overall it is one of the best we have seen recently. The grip plates are the black checkered bakelite variety and are in very good condition, with light wear, and definitely no cracking. They are retained by plated steel rivets with dressed obverse heads. The HJ grip insignia has full enamel, and the brass borders between the panels have lost the original nickel plating. There is also a bit of oxidation under the translucent enamel, probably from a very small crack which we cannot see. The insignia is a bit sunken in and slightly loose in the grips, caused by the bakelite shrinking over the years, which also confirms authenticity.
The blade of this example is in excellent condition, still showing the original factory final grind crossgrain almost completely. This texture is iconic, and is the definitive identifying characteristic for a real WWII German Blade. There is a bit of runner wear, but no signs of sharpening, and very little sign of use overall. The surface shows just a few areas of very light staining. Areas of the edge are still quite sharp, so please handle with care. The reverse of the blade is clearly stamped with an ((RZM)) circle over code M7 / 17. The original leather blade buffer is still in place against the crossguard.
The Reichszeugmeisterei, or RZM, was based at the Brown house in Munich and NSDAP party headquarters in Berlin. The RZM ensured that the manufacturers of military items were consistent in design, quality of materials and other characteristics of the items. It also defined standards of design, manufacturing and quality and published an authoritative color chart for textiles. The M7 in the code stands for knives/daggers, with Artur Schüttelhofer of Solingen being contractor number 17.
The scabbard is in very good condition, though it does have dents on both sides of the very bottom, which do not interfere in sheathing the blade. The black enamel finish is retained at about 75%, with the area around the bottom missing all of the finish. It also shows some checking and crazing, confirming that it is the original finish, as this takes decades to form. The belt loop is late war black plastic strapping, and is in very good shape, with all rivets and snaps intact.
A fantastic late pattern German WWII HJ Knife from a rare Solingen maker! Ready to display!
Blade Length: 5 1/2"
Blade Style: Single Edged Knife.
Overall length: 9 5/8”
Crossguard: 1 7/8"
Scabbard Length: 5 3/4”
HJ believed German youth to be the future of his 3rd Reich. The HJ (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 (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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