Original German WWII Model 1933 SS Dagger by Lauterjung & Sohn Puma-Werk with Scabbard & Hanger - RZM 1052 / 38 ᛋᛋ

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-Ehrendolch (SS honor 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.

The blade on this nice pre-war production dagger is in excellent condition, still showing full original factory final grind cross grain on both sides, something we almost never see! This texture is iconic, and is the definitive identifying characteristic for a real WWII German Blade. There is just some runner wear and light oxidation speckling keeping it from being MINT. It has not been sharpened like some were by USGI's, and still has the original factory edge. The etched SS motto, Meine Ehre heißt Treue (My honor is loyalty) is crisp with almost all of the factory darkening present in the black letter fonts in the backgrounds. The blade shoulders perfectly meet the lower crossguard contour, and is firmly attached to the hilt. We almost never see SS daggers with blades this good!

The rear is marked with the RZM and SS contract information:

1052 / 38 ᛋᛋ

This marking indicates the dagger was made by SS RZM Dagger contractor "1052" in 1938, which research indicates is Lauterjung & Sohn, Puma-Stahlwarenfabrik / Puma - Werk of Solingen, Germany, the legendary "City of Blades". This is a known producer of SS, SA, and NSKK daggers during the Pre-WWII period and after. This company was originally founded on a small scale in 1796, Nathanael Lauterjung officially opened a cutlery and knife making workshop in Solingen during 1855. After his death, the name was changed and registered as "Puma-Werk", to avoid confusion with the other Lauterjung-owned workshops in Solingen. For more information, please see J. Anthony Carter's work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS.

The crossguards of this dagger and tang nut are in good condition throughout, and are of the mid war plated construction, with an aluminum base metal and possibly a brass flash coat. Unfortunately the plating has bubbled up on much of the guards, revealing the flash coat, and the plating has now become oxidized. The pommel nut is also aluminum, and still retains a good amount of the plating, with no sign of tightening. As these are mid-war, there is no district numeral stamped into the cross guard.

The ebony grip is a very nice example, with chipping and cracking by both the pommel and blade side guards. The black dyeing process for the grips unfortunately causes the wood to become brittle, so damage is common. It looks like some glue and also wood filler has been used near the guards to repair the grip. The symbol button is positioned at about 7:00 o'clock, as it should be, and is still tightly attached. The silvered ((ᛋᛋ)) doppelte Siegrune symbol and double circles are still clear, with just a bit of oxidation around the edge and fully intact black enamel. The grip eagle is the "high-necked" type with the beak pointing slightly up, and looks to be made from nickel or nickel plated brass. It remains in good condition, showing very little wear, just a bit of light scratching and a few dents.

The scabbard shell is a solid example, completely straight and undented, with very little damage of any kind. It is the correct black enamel paint finish, with the expected crazing and checking from age. The enamel has flaked off in areas, allowing the base metal to oxidize. The matching nickel plated steel scabbard mounts are in very nice condition. The lower ball shows just a very tiny dent, definitely a rarity, as even the steel examples usually are bashed in. All four dome head screws are intact, and do not look to have been messed with. There is definitely some light wear and staining on the fittings, but nothing major.

Attached to the hanger ring on the scabbard is a very nice later pattern leather belt hanger, with a plated steel belt clip. On the back it is marked (RZM) M5c/93, for maker Paulmann & Crone of Lüdenscheid, a city with a large garment accessories industry. It is in very good shape, though the leather has lost a lot of the black finish.

This is a great chance to own a very good condition SS dagger from the late pre-war period made by a highly desirable maker! Ready to display!

Blade Length: 8 3/4"
Blade Style: Double Edged Dagger
Overall length: 13 3/4”
Crossguard: 3”
Scabbard Length: 10”

The RZM, Reichzeugmeisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster), was officially founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker's Party), as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA Quartermaster's Department. The registry was was based at the Brown house in Munich and NSDAP party headquarters in Berlin.

The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized. Starting in late 1934 items manufactured for the SS came under the quality control of the RZM and as a result were to be marked with the RZM/SS approval/acceptance mark.  The M7 in the code stands for daggers, with Gottlieb Hammesfahr & Co. AG being contractor number 67.

Shortly after this, the SS started using a separate listing of contractors, and in 1943 the Waffen-SS assumed full control over their uniform item production and no longer fell under the authority of the RZM.

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