Original German WWII Model 1933 Transitional SS Dagger by J.A. Henckels - RZM 15/38 SS
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.
What a fantastic transitional SS dagger and by one of the more rare makers to boot, J. A. Henckels (RZM 15/38). This phenomenally rare transitional SS dagger was made by the firm of Henckles, indicated by the almost flawless blade that features the company's "twins" logo, plus the early RZM code for the firm and a 1938 date. The exterior fittings are nickel plated but much of that has been worn away. Other than the occasional abrasion or scuff, they are in wonderful condition.
Scabbard ball is not dented, and screws have not been turned. Scabbard paint is 75%, showing minor signs of age. Handle is nearly perfect except for a small chip on the reverse as well as the blade, which shows a crisp etch, and runner marks.
In summary, a wonderfully preserved specimen with the rarity factor of a manufacturer seldom seen (We've seen just a hand-full of these in the past 20 years).
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