Original German WWII SA Dagger by August Bickel- Walnut Grip
Original Item: Only One Available: A Bickel SA Dagger is hard to find; they have walnut colored grips with High Contour construction, very dark mottos, and an interesting trademark.
This example has very nice nickel crossguards. These guards are in very good condition, with deep, precise accent grooves, crisp edges, and smooth surfaces. The reverse lower guard is gruppe marked BO.
The grip on this example is one of the walnut types, which as you may know is a very hard wood. It has extremely high ridge contours, the center ridge being almost sharp to the touch. The wood is most beautiful, with a close grain that runs throughout both sides. The SA runes button is perfectly placed and has no hits to the enamel. The nickel grip eagle is a very fine example. This eagle is the so-called Point behind the Head type. The bird retains all of the detail; the head, breast and wing feathering, talons and wreathed swastika are all crisp. The grip is in very good condition and fits the crossguards like a glove.
The scabbard shell is straight on the obverse facing, while the reverse has a very minor dent. The anodizing is still mostly intact but is beginning to thin. The matching nickel scabbard mounts are in good condition through to the lower ball. They are retained by four nickel screws which are all unturned.
The blade of this dagger is a nice, bright example, showing normal In and Out marking from the runners but overall in a nearly Mint state. The crossgraining remains on both sides of the blade, and the motto is a fine one, crisp, deep and with a majority of the frosted background.
The ricasso features the quadrilateral trademark of this firm, looking very much like a pair of isosceles triangles fused together along the bottom. The upper portion of the diamond has the firm's intertwined initials, AB. Below this is a reflex angle that separates the initials from the firm's name and location August Bickel / Steinbach Hallenberg which are also set at angles to each other. The blade shoulder perfectly meet the lower crossguard contours.
A very nice SA Dagger from an early and rare maker who used top quality materials.
History of the SA-
The SA or Brown Shirts, were a private political formation which Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP used to maintain order at organized Party meetings and demonstrations. The group was formed in 1921, and grew to a huge force of nearly 3,000,000 men by the later 1930's. To instill esprit de corps, as well as create employment for the Blade City of Solingen, it was decided each SA man would carry a dagger with his Brown Shirt uniform. Huge quantities needed to be produced to accommodate the demand. The dagger initially was produced of hand-fitted nickel mounts with attractive finished wood grip and brown anodized (a bluing process) finished scabbard.
The blade was etched with the SA motto, Alles für Deutschland. Examples produced prior to 1935 were stamped with the German sector of the SA group on reverse lower crossguard. Later examples underwent standardization through the RZM ministry. These pieces were produced of cheaper plated zinc-base fittings and scabbards were simply painted brown.
Prior to his "unmasking" as a traitor, Ernst Röhm was the leader of the SA. In 1934, he distributed approximately 100,000 SA daggers with his personal inscription on the reverse blade. These daggers were to honor individuals who had served with the SA prior to December, 1931. Other than the inscription, these pieces were identical to the standard M1933 SA dagger. After the Röhm purge, the inscription was ordered to be removed. Many examples were returned to the factory for grinding. Others were simply ground in the field by whatever means were available. Examples will occasionally be encountered with remnants of the original inscription remaining on the blade, but mostly none will remain. Some blades exist with an intact inscription, reflecting only the removal of the Röhm signature. Very very rarely is an example seen with a full, untouched inscription, as the holder would have surely risked a charge of treason.
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