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Original German WWII Officer's Lion Head Sword with Portepee by Paul Seilheimer of Solingen

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a beautiful classic Lionhead German WWII Officer sword, made by the legendary firm of Paul Seilheimer in Solingen, Germany, complete with a wire and fabric portepee. The all brass hilt consists of a finely detailed lion head cat with Oak Leaf backstrap and "P" guard. The Lion is fitted with blood red faceted "jewel" eyes. There is nice detail throughout his whiskers, chin, and muzzle. The handwork is beautifully rendered throughout this brass. The backstrap consists of raised Oak leaf and acorn designs, with minimized side tabs ending in acorns. The "P" guard has a lovely raised out oak leaf and acorn motifs, as does the ferrule.

The crossguard has a spread winged eagle which looks to the viewer's left. The breast area of this eagle, as well as the wings, have been hand-enhanced. The hilt also features some of the original gilded finish, making it very attractive. The reverse has a small plate where a monogram might be added,  and some letters have been scratched in, but this most likely happened post war. The fabric and wire portepee or troddle knot is in good shape, with the expected wear and degradation where it is wrapped around the guard.

The scabbard of this example still has good original factory black enamel, it is retained at 90% with no dents we can see. The enamel is missing on most of the drag on both sides, which has now rusted a bit. The rest of the scabbard has some areas of light oxidation and crazing, but nothing major.

The grip is an outstanding black celluloid-over-wood base. It is wrapped with triple twisted wires, with the central pair being larger. The celluloid is still tight to the wood, and does not have any movement on the tang.

The 32 inch blade of this example is in excellent condition, with no chips or dents on the edge. The nickel-plating is just shy of complete, with just light light scratching in places. There is very little oxidation of any kind present.

The reverse ricasso is stamped with the Paul Seilheimer trademark logo with a "sword piercing a triangle":

P. (Sword Handle) S.

Fortunately the logo is not covered by the chappe/rainguard. Paul Seilheimer, Waffenfabrik was located in the Solingen - Wald area, and was founded in 1917. The "Sword Piercing a Triangle" mark was specifically used on "walking out" bayonets and dress swords during the WWII Period, per J. Anthony Carter's work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS. The company continued operation until 1970, though members of the family are still involved in Solingen industry to this day. The original leather blade buffer is still present in the cross guard.

Overall an very good condition high quality sword from a well-known German sword maker, based in Solingen, the "City of Blades" in Western Germany.

The German Army (German: Heer, was the land forces component of the Wehrmacht, the German armed forces, from 1935 to 1945. The Wehrmacht also included the Kriegsmarine (Navy) and the Luftwaffe (Air Force). During World War II, a total of about 15 million soldiers served in the German Army, of whom about seven million became casualties. Separate from the army, the Waffen-SS (Armed SS) was a multi-ethnic and multi-national military force of the Third Reich. Growing from three regiments to over 38 divisions during World War II, it served alongside the army but was never formally part of it.

Only 17 months after AH announced publicly the rearmament program, the Army reached its projected goal of 36 divisions. During the autumn of 1937, two more corps were formed. In 1938, four additional corps were formed with the inclusion of the five divisions of the Austrian Army after the Anschluss in March. During the period of its expansion by Adolf AH, the German Army continued to develop concepts pioneered during World War I, combining ground (Heer) and air (Luftwaffe) assets into combined arms teams. Coupled with operational and tactical methods such as encirclements and the "battle of annihilation", the German military managed quick victories in the two initial years of World War II, prompting the use of the word Blitzkrieg (literally lightning war, meaning lightning-fast war) for the techniques used.

The German Army entered the war with a majority of its infantry formations relying on the horse for transportation. The infantry remained foot soldiers throughout the war; artillery also remained primarily horse-drawn. The motorized formations received much attention in the world press in the opening years of the war, and were cited as the main reason for the success of the German invasions of Poland (September 1939), Norway and Denmark (April 1940), Belgium, France and Netherlands (May 1940), Yugoslavia (April 1941) and the early campaigns in the Soviet Union (June 1941). However their motorized and tank formations accounted for only 20% of the Heer's capacity at their peak strength.

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