Original German WWII Officer's Lion Head Sword with Scabbard by Emil Voos of Solingen
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a beautiful classic Lionhead German WWII Officer sword, made by the legendary firm of Emil Voos in Solingen, Germany, complete with its original scabbard. The all brass hilt consists of a finely detailed lion head cat with engraved 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 Oak leaves. The "P" guard has a lovely raised out oak leaf and acorn motifs, while the ferrule looks to have some type of art deco leaf design.
The crossguard has a closed wing art deco style 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 has a tiny bit of the original gilding, but most has faded to a lovely aged brass patina. The reverse has a small plate where a monogram might be added, however it is blank. The hilt as a whole is slightly loose on the tang.
The scabbard of this example still has good original factory black enamel, it is retained at 80% 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,and there is some wear near the hanger ring, through to the base steel.
The grip is an outstanding black celluloid-over-wood base. It is wrapped with two brass wires surrounding a central twisted wire, which is itself wrapped in silver bullion. The celluloid is still tight to the wood, and there is just the slightest movement on the tang.
The 33 3/4 inch blade of this example is in very good condition, with no chips or dents on the unsharpened edge. The nickel-plating is just shy of complete, with just light light scratching in places, as well as a bit of flaking and oxidation, especially near the ricasso.
The reverse ricasso is stamped with the Emil Voos trademark logo with a "Serpent around a stump", next to the makers name:
This is unfortunately completely covered by the chappe/raingaurd, so photography is not possible. Emil Voos, Waffenfabrik, also known as a Spezialfabrik für Jagd- und Sportmesser (Special Factory for Hunting and Sporting Knives), was a Solingen-based knife maker founded in 1925. The "Serpent-and-Stump" logo next to the company name and location was used on Officer Swords, as well as some early Luftwaffe Daggers in the WWII period, per J. Anthony Carter's work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS. 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 Hitler 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 Hitler, 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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