Original German WWII SA Dagger by Rare Maker C.D. Schaaff with Scabbard & Hanger - RZM M7/56
Original Item: Only One Available. This excellent condition mid war period produced SA Dagger is made with nickel-plated fittings throughout. The crossguards and tang nut are made from alloy, most likely zinc-based, and still have much of the original plating intact. There is some bubbling and flaking where the fittings meet the grip, but usually this is far worse. The tang nut shows no signs of having been messed with, and the hilt is still tight to the blade.
The grip is a fine product having a fine reddish colored mahogany tone in the surfaces and having medium center ridge construction. This grip is in very good condition with great grain, and fits the crossguards well. There are some small dents from service, and there is a crack on the rear grip shoulder where it meets the crossguard. The SA symbol button is nicely set having fully intact enameling, and the plating intact with just a bit of oxidation as shown. The details are still there to the inlaid eagle, including the beak, breast feathering, wing feathering, talons, wreath and mobile swas (hook cross). There is a bit of verdigris on the eagle, and we cannot tell if it is nickel plated aluminum.
The blade of this example is in very good condition, with almost 100% of the factory cross grain still visible. There are a few areas of light staining, which could possibly be polished off, however we left them intact to preserve the patina. There is also runner wear on both sides, as the throat in the scabbard is quite tight. The acid-etched Alles für Deutschland (Everything for Germany) SA motto is still quite crisp, though the factory darkening is somewhat faint from cleaning.
The rear is etched with the RZM contract information:
M7 / 56
This marking indicates the dagger was made by RZM Dagger contractor "56", which records show is the rare maker C.D. Schaaff, Stahlwarenfabrik (steel ware factory) located in Solingen, the legendary "City of Blades" in western Germany. Per J. Anthony Carter's fine work GERMAN SWORD AND KNIFE MAKERS, this company was first founded in 1871, and registered in Solingen during 1887. They would go on to manufacture all manner of steel wares, including surgical tools and sugar tongs. They were mainly known to have made SA and NSKK daggers during WWII, first with their own trademark, and later with their RZM code. This is only the second example of a Schaaff knife that we have ever seen.
The Reichszeugmeisterei (National Quartermaster's Office), or RZM, was was based at the Brown house in Munich and NSDAP party headquarters in Berlin. The RZM ensured that the manufacturers of military items were consistent in design, quality of materials and other characteristics of the items. It also defined standards of design, manufacturing and quality and published an authoritative color chart for textiles. The M7 in the code stands for knives/daggers, contractor 56 stands for C.D. Schaaff, Stahlwarenfabrik of Solingen.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout and has very good original brown enamel paint. It has just a bit of scuffing and the usual crazing in the finish, with only small areas of finish loss. The scabbard shell is equipped with fine matching nickel-plated steel mounts. These mounts are in very good condition overall, with only light plating wear. There is some denting of the ball on the chape, which is typical, even with the harder steel alloy. They nicely match the crossguards and are complete with all four dome head screws.
There is a leather hanger loop with a spring clip attached to the scabbard. The clip is solid nickel silver, with a steel leaf spring, and the attached leather is in very good gently aged condition. There are not any markings on it, but the majority that we see are completely unmarked.
An excellent example of a mid to late war pattern SA dagger from a desirable maker, complete with scabbard and hanger. Ready to display!
Blade Length: 8 3/4"
Overall length: 13 3/4”
Scabbard Length: 10”
History of the SA-
The SA or Brown Shirts, were a private political formation which Adolf AH 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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