Original German WWII Model 1933 Early SS Dagger by Robert Klass
Original Item: Only One Available: The SS (Schutzstaffel) was originally formed in 1925, ostensibly to act as a small, loyal bodyguard unit to protect the Führer, Adolf Hitler. Under the direction of the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS grew to be the most ruthless and feared organization of the 20th century. They were the vanguard of Nazismand 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 crossguards with an ebony wood grip. The black grip contained a National eagle with swastika insignia recessed in the center area and an SS sigrunne 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.
This early dagger is equipped with nickel crossguards and tang nut. These guards are in good but used shape. Appearing to have nickel-plating over the nickel base metal; we do see this type of plating done occasionally during the period. Often chrome was even used, as the new metal was just coming in play, but as mentioned above these particular mounts are nickel over nickel. The guards are still in good condition, showing an average amount of wear from use. The lower reverse guard is stamped with the district Roman numeral, I.
The grip is constructed from a fine ebony. This grip shows no repairs, and fits the crossguards like a glove. There are some indications of wear on this grip, with a minor chip on the left upper portion. The runes button is placed fairly high on the grip. It displays good enamel, and the silvering to the runes and double-circled borders nicely match. The grip eagle is the early, High Necked variety. All the details are visible throughout the bird's feathering, talons, wreath, and mobile swastika. An lovely grip here!
The scabbard shell is straight throughout. This shell has the original anodized finish which shows wear and grazing. The scabbard mounts perfectly match the crossguards, as they too were nickel plated over a nickel base. These mounts are in good shape, with a little bit of use visible on the lower mount. The lower ball, however, is still sound. The mounts are retained by the original nickel screws.
The blade of this example is still in nice condition, with just the slightest amount of gray in the surfaces. I don't see much cross-grain in it, but the blade still grades at very good. The motto shows some very little wear to the center letters, and overall it has about 85 to 90% of the original darkening intact. The reverse ricasso of the blade is matching-etched with the circular design formed by the firm's name and location:
In the center is a pair of stylized kissing cranes. The blade shoulders perfectly meet the lower crossguard contour.
A very nice interesting early dagger here and a great addition to any German WW2 collection.
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