Original German WWII Model 1933 SS Dagger by Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Co. - RZM 1053 / 38

Item Description

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 AH. 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 Germany 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 swas 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 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 mid-war production dagger remains bright and still retains most of the factory cross grain, which can be seen on most of the blade in the light.  The rear is marked with the RZM and SS contract information:

1053 / 38

This marking indicates the dagger was made by SS contractor "1053" in 1938, which has been identified as the Legendary firm of Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Cie. The company is a famous manufacturer of military swords and cutlery in Solingen, Germany - a city famous since the middle ages for its metal-working and craftsmanship in sword making. The traditional manufacturing of swords at WKC dates back to the year 1774 when the Weyersberg first registered the ''Kings head'' as their trademark. Later in 1883 the company merged with the Kirschbaums and the company WKC was formed as it exists today.

The SS was allowed to specify their own contracts, separate from the rest of the German Military, so unfortunately many of the contractor names are not known. Thankfully this one is, as for a time both the WKC and RZM codes could be found on blades.

The blade has very little staining or corrosion, just some light speckling in places, as well as runner wear and some scuffing from cleaning. It has not been sharpened like some were by USGI's, and still has the original edge. We would consider this blade to be good to very good condition. The etched SS motto, Meine Ehre heißt Treue (My honor is loyalty) is crisp with about 80% of the factory blackening is in the black letter fonts in the backgrounds. The blade shoulders perfectly meet the lower crossguard contour, and is solid in the grip.

The crossguards of this dagger and tang nut are in good condition throughout, and are of the mid war plated aluminum construction. The plating has been mostly worn off of the blade side guard, while the pommel guard still has most of the original plating. The pommel nut is missing most of the plating on the bottom. As these are mid-war, there is no district numeral stamped into the cross guard.

The ebony grip is a very nice example, with no chipping or major cracks, and visible grain. The black dyeing process for the grips unfortunately causes the wood to become brittle, so damage is common. The symbol button is positioned well and the enamel surfaces are intact. The silvered SS symbol and double circles around them have a nice matching patina with the nickel still intact. The nickel grip eagle is the "high-necked" type with the beak pointing slightly up. It remains in crisp condition, showing little wear to the bird's head, breast and wing feathering and to the talons, wreath or swas.

The scabbard shell is a solid example, being straight, with just some small dents overall. It is the correct black enamel paint finish, with the expected crazing an checking from age. It was painted over a black anodized body, so it may be from earlier production. The matching nickel plated steel scabbard mounts are in very nice condition. The lower ball is only slightly dented, typical of the stronger steel alloy. All four dome head screws are intact, and do not show any damage except plating wear.

This is an excellent chance to own a nice condition SS dagger from the mid-war period, made by a legendary maker!

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 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. 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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