Original German WWII RAD Labor Corps M1937 Officer's Dagger by ALCOSO with Aluminum Hilt
Original Item: Only One Available: This is a very nice example of the extremely rare Model 1937 RAD Führer Haumesser (Officer/Leader's Hewer), complete with original silvered scabbard, and a lovely polished aluminum hilt. It was produced by the well-known Solingen-based firm of ALCOSO, a highly desirable maker of this rare dagger/hewer.
This ALCOSO piece has a strking polished aluminum hilt, which are quite rare to see. The polish is still great, with minimal wear, and a fantastic look. The pommel features the noble eagle looking to the viewer's left. The details to the eye, brow and beak are exceptional. The reverse of the head has the five decorative accents that give the viewer the feel of feathering, and there is a similar accent under the chin.
The "ferrule" portion of the grip has the accent grooves that are set on a 45 degree angle running the right to left direction. The crossguard features the two quillons that ride outward and curl at the ends. The reverse is plain, while the obverse center area depicts the RAD logo. It is a lined spade, having a superimposed, raised plain swas in the center. Below, the shovel is bordered at the bottom with two wheat stalks positioned on 45 degree angles.
The grip plates are a pleasing off-white color, with no damage such as chunks missing or cracks. Just some light wear.. The original silvered retaining screw is present, with good plating.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout showing great original plating almost fully intact. Both sides feature a fine pebbled panel in the middle. The pebbled central portion was originally blackened and then polished to give a great effect. The front upper area features the line-decorated RAD curls. Below are 45 degree angle-positioned wheat shafts, a motif that is repeated on the drag. The reverse upper and lower panels are plain, and the entire scabbard retains almost all of the silver plate. The throat still retains both of the flat headed retaining screws, and the simple hanging clips are still intact.
The blade is a bright example, with a subtly brushed finish, and a curved "clip-point" (bowie) style tip. It is quite nice, with the usual thin fuller at the top, and a very nice acid-etched RAD Motto: Arbeit adelt (Work Ennobles). This motto retains almost 100% of the factory blackening in the letters. The blade does not really show any use, with just a few specks of light staining. This is a really nice example..
The reverse ricasso is etched with the trademark Alcoso used from 1936-1940. It depicts the scales with the firm's initials, ACS interspersed. Above is the firm's name in an arc, ALCOSO, and below the town of business, SOLINGEN, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany.
Alcoso is a trade name of Alexander Coppel & Co. KG, Stahlwarenfabrik, located in Solingen, the legendary German "City of Blades." The company was a major manufacturer of edged weapons and tools from the end of the 19th century up until the WWII period. Unfortunately, as NSDAP-control increased, brothers Carl Gustav and Dr. Alexander Coppel, the Jewish owners of the firm, were forced out. In 1936 the firm had been "Aryanized", and started using the name ALCOSO to hide the Jewish family name. By the end of 1936 the brothers were ejected from their Solingen offices, and by 1940 the brand trademark initials ACS were changed to AWS to reflect the change in ownership and name: Alexander Coppel Solingen to Alcoso-Werk Solingen. Carl Gustav Coppel committed suicide in Solingen in 1941, and Dr. Alexander Coppel was arrested in 1942 and sent to Theresienstadt Prison camp, where he died August 5th 1942. The factory itself was destroyed by Allied bombers in November 1944.
This is a really great and rare hewer/dagger, which is sure to appreciate in value over the years. These are very hard to come by, especially with aluminum hilts and ALCOSO is a well-known maker. A worthy addition to any WWII Edged weapon collection!
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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