Original German Pre-WWII RAD Labor Corps Enlisted Mans Hewer by Carl Eickhorn with Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available: This German Enlisted Man's RAD Hewer is in very nice condition, with very nice polished steel mounts on the scabbard. The crossguard has a fine, curled quillon, and it appears as though some of the the original darkening is in the grooves of the quillon. Unfortunately, most of the plating on the hilt has worn away due to cleaning over the years, leaving a very attractive patina.

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 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 is correctly still blunt, though it does have a few edge nicks, so it may have been used a bit.

The Arbeit adelt (Work Ennobles) motto on the obverse is quite deeply etched, and still crisp. It retains about 50% 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 Geschützt (Protected By Law), indicating that the hewer is a trademarked design.

Beneath this is the Carl Eickhorn 1934-35 style double oval trademark logo. It features the trademark squirrel looking to the viewer's left, surrounded by the first oval. Inside the second oval is CARL EICKHORN above and SOLINGEN below, with cross marks in between.

According to J. Anthony Carter's book, GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, this company was founded in 1865 by Carl Eickhorn, and is arguably the most famous of all Solingen makers. Not only could the family trace their history back 500 years, but they could also demonstrate involvement in the hardening and grinding industries for the same period. Truly the nobility of Solingen Edged weapon dynasties. Eickhorn edged weapons are the most desirable of all makers.

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. The scabbard mounts are steel, and have been polished to bright steel. They may originally have been plated, but we cannot see any plating remaining, so they may have been bright steel to begin with. This lower mount depicts an RAD shovel, with lined surfaces, having a contrasting, smooth mobile swas (hook cross) 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.

A great example of a pre-war RAD EM/NCO Hewer, complete with scabbard. Ready to display!

Blade Length: 9 3/4"
Blade Style: Single Edged Clip Point Hewer
Overall length: 13 3/4“
Crossguard: 3”
Scabbard Length: 10 1/2"

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 AH’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 NSDAP 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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