Original German WWII RAD Labor Corps Enlisted Mans Hewer by Carl Eickhorn with Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available: This German Enlisted Man's RAD Hewer is in very nice condition, with its nickel plated steel-based mounts having outstanding patination. The crossguard has a fine, curled quillon, and it appears as though the original darkening is in the grooves of the quillon. There definitely is some flaking and wear to the plating on the grip, but it presents very nicely.
The grip plates on this example are genuine stag, and look to be the larger earlier type. The stag shows only minor wear from its years of usage and gives this antler a great, attractive appearance. Both plates are fully intact and have a great color. The stag plates are retained by screws and spanner nuts, which are in good shape, but do show some oxidation. They do not appear to have been turned in decades, if ever since production.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout. This shell has its original, black enamel paint which is showing some age. The paint still has gloss to its surfaces, with some wear and the expected crazing from age in areas. There is also wear through to the base metal in areas as shown. The scabbard mounts are nickel plated over a steel base and there is no denting, however a lot of the plating has worn off, with the upper mount having very little remaining. This lower mount has much more of the plating intact, and depicts an RAD shovel, with lined surfaces, having a contrasting, smooth mobile swastika in the center of the spade. This spade rests between two wheat shafts. The mount is decorated along the borders with beaded circles. The same beaded circles appear on the border of the upper mount, and above these are the RAD curls. These curls are deeply stamped, having good lined backgrounds. The throat is retained by two side screws, which appear crisp and unturned.
The blade is the heavy bolo style, being produced in a matte finish, with single fuller on both sides. It has runner wear, and has been cleaned and polished over the years, which combined with some light oxidation, has made the original "matte" finish hard to see. The blade also has been sharpened, and presumably was used in service as a brush clearing device.
The Arbeit adelt (Work Ennobles) motto on the obverse is quite deeply etched, and still crisp. It retains about 80% of its original darkening in the letter backgrounds. The reverse ricasso is matching etched, with the RAD triangle positioned above the abbreviation, Ges. Gesch, for Gesetzlich Geschutzt (Protected By Law), indicating that the pole finial was a trademarked design.
Beneath this is the Carl Eickhorn 1935-41 style trademark logo. It features the trademark squirrel looking to the viewer's left, holding a downward pointing sword. Above the animal is the quality word, ORIGINAL, and below is the company name and location, EICKHORN / SOLINGEN. Carl Eickhorn is a legendary maker from Solingen, the famous "City of Blades" in Western Germany, which marketed many fine edged weapons.
A great example of a mid-war RAD EM/NCO Hewer, complete with scabbard. Ready to display!
The basis of the RAD, Reichsarbeitsdienst, (National Labor Service), dates back, at least, to 1929 with the formation of the AAD (Anhalt Arbeitsdienst) and the FAD-B (Freiwillingen Arbeitsdienst-Bayern). Shortly after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in Jan 1933, the NSDAP consolidated all labor organizations into the NSAD (Nationalsozialist Arbeitsdienst), a national labor service. It served as an agency to help mitigate the effects of unemployment on the German economy, militarize the workforce and indoctrinate it with Nazi ideology. It was the official state labor service, divided into separate sections for men and women.
On June 26 1935 the NSAD was officially re-designated RAD. Originally personnel serving with RAD wore a variety of earlier FAD/NSAD belt buckles until February 15TH 1936 when new pattern belt buckles for Officer’s and EM/NCO’s were introduced to provided uniformity in dress.
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