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Original German WWII Service Used Late Pattern HJ Knife by Artur Schüttelhofer with Scabbard - RZM M7/13

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice service used example of a classic later pattern HJ fahrtenmesser (trip knife), complete with its original scabbard. It was produced by the rare maker Artur Schüttelhofer & Co. Stahlwarenfabrik (Steelware factory) in the Wald neighborhood of Solingen, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany. This company was founded in 1920, and assembled and finished daggers for political organizations and officers during the Third Reich period, per J. Anthony Carter's excellent book GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS. It comes complete with its original scabbard, which is in very good shape, though the belt loop is deteriorated.

These knives were given to boys who were educated in the paramilitary organization, which they often continued to carry into their military service. Unlike the early pattern knives, these have a thicker blade with a raised ricasso, which significantly strengthened the blade. They also do not have the HJ motto etched on the blade, and often are marked not with a maker, but a German RZM Code.

The hilt of this example is non-magnetic zinc alloy, which was originally plated but has now lost virtually all of the original plating. It now shows an oxidized zinc patina overall. The grip plates are the black checkered bakelite variety and are in very good condition, with light wear, and definitely no cracking. They are retained by plated steel rivets with dressed obverse heads. The HJ grip insignia has full enamel, and the brass borders between the panels have lost the original nickel plating, now showing an oxidized green color. The insignia is a bit sunken in and slightly loose in the grips, caused by the bakelite shrinking over the years, which also confirms authenticity.

The blade of this example is in very good, still showing the original factory final grind crossgrain throughout the blade. This texture is iconic, and is the definitive identifying characteristic for a real WWII German Blade. There are some areas of light staining and runner wear, but this would really be a great blade if not for the sizable chipping close to the tip. This area is about 14mm long, and the chipped area is at least 2mm deep, so a pretty good chunk was removed. Other than that however there is not much sign of use on the blade. The reverse of the blade is clearly stamped with an ((RZM)) circle over code M7 / 13. The original leather blade buffer is still in place against the crossguard.

The Reichszeugmeisterei, or RZM, 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, with Artur Schüttelhofer of Solingen being contractor number 13.

The scabbard is in very good condition, with no dents in the rolled steel shell, and probably over 90% of the original black enamel finish retained overall. There is a bit of wear and chipping, as well as some age crazing, but otherwise it really is great. The original leather belt loop is intact, however the leather definitely shows some wear and cracking, as well as dry rot. The securing strap is present however it has torn through on one side, with the removed piece still attached to the snap on the other side.

A very interesting service used late pattern German WWII HJ Knife from a rare Solingen maker! Ready to display!

Approximate Measurements:
Blade Length: 5 1/2"
Blade Style: Single Edged Knife.
Overall length: 9 5/8”
Crossguard: 1 7/8"
Scabbard Length: 5 3/4”

HJ believed German youth to be the future of his 3rd Reich. The HJ (jugend) was formed officially in 1935, and with the exception of NSDAP ideology indoctrination was very similar to the Boy Scouts. Beginning at about the age of ten years, both boys (jugend) and girls (Bund Deutscher Mädel) were enlisted in the Party-run organization. The boys only were given HJ Knives after having passed minor exams. The knives had nickeled hilts with black checkered grip plates. The obverse plate was fitted with an enameled HJ swas insignia. Through 1937, these knives were etched with the motto of the organization, Blut und Ehre! (Blood and Honor!). Examples produced after this date were made with plain blades usually bearing an RZM marking.

The HJ Leaders were professionals in charge of the training and NSDAP education of the German Youth. They wore a special dagger consisting of silvered hilt fittings with blue-black leather-covered scabbard. The grip was composed of tightly wrapped silver wire, over a wood base. The pommel cap featured an HJ diamond on top, complete with swas. The upper scabbard fitting portrayed an open-winged HJ eagle with swas cut into the bird's chest. The blade was etched with the HJ motto, Blut und Ehre!

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