Original German WWII Service Worn Model 1933 SS Dagger with Scabbard - RZM 1054 / 38 / ᛋᛋ
Original Item: Only One Available: The SS (Schutzstaffel) was originally formed in 1925, ostensibly to act as a small, loyal bodyguard unit to protect the Führer, Adolf AH. Under the direction of the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS grew to be the most ruthless and feared organization of the 20th century. They were the vanguard of Germany eventually controlled nearly every function of German life and much of Occupied Europe. The SS Dienstdolch (service dagger) was introduced in 1933. Early on, members of the SS were awarded their daggers during a ceremony at the Feldherrnhalle Memorial in Munich. The annual ritual, charged with mysticism and meant to evoke the traditions of medieval Teutonic knights, was held on 9 November, the date of the unsuccessful Munich Putsch of 1923. Both officers and enlisted men wore the identical dagger until 1936. After this time, only enlisted men wore the M1933 dagger.
The SS Dagger was originally equipped with nickel crossguards with an ebony wood grip. The black grip contained a National eagle with swas insignia recessed in the center area and an SS sigrunne button inset at the top. On early examples the scabbard shell surface was factory blackened using a metal bluing process. The scabbard had nickel mounts. The SS blade was a polished type containing the SS motto, Meine Ehre Heisst Treue (My Honor is Loyalty). Early examples were mostly hand-fit. Production of later examples was more standardized, using cheaper, nickel-plated fittings with black painted scabbard shells. They could be held with a standard belt hanger, or a much rarer vertical hanger.
This example is definitely a service worn example, in "salty" condition showing a wear and oxidation from exposure to the elements. The blade on this nice mid-war production dagger shows a gray oxidized patina, with some areas of peppering and surface rust. It looks to have been cleaned up a bit, and at some time recently it was sharpened, even though these daggers were not intended to be used. We have not made any attempts to clean the blade to preserve the patina. The rear is still marked with the RZM and SS contract information:
1054 / 38
This marking indicates the dagger was made by SS contractor "1054" in 1938, however this contractor is unfortunately not known. The SS was allowed to specify their own contracts, separate from the rest of the German Military. This maker never used any transitional markings with a regular RZM code or a maker mark, which would have made identification possible.
There are still remnants of the factory final grind cross grain visible, but they are very faint, mostly obscured by the stains on the blade. As mentioned previously it was sharpened, which often happened when USGI's captured the daggers, and decided to use them. The etched SS motto, Meine Ehre heißt Treue (My honor is loyalty) is stil present, but somewhat obscured.
The crossguards of this dagger and tang nut are in good condition throughout, and are of the mid war plated construction, with an aluminum base metal. The plating is worn, and now the guards show almost entirely a slightly oxidized aluminum patina. The pommel nut is plated steel, now oxidized where the plating has eroded. We do not see any signs of recent turning. As these are mid-war, there is no district numeral stamped into the cross guard.
The ebony grip is a very nice example, with some minor cracking by both the pommel and crossguard, though there are no chunks missing. The wood grain is clearly visible, and it has a lovely color. The black dyeing process for the grips unfortunately causes the wood to become brittle, so damage is common, but this example seems to have escaped that. The silvered ᛋᛋ doppelte Siegrune (Double Sig/Victory Rune) symbol and double circles are in good shape shape, with mostly intact plating and enamel. The grip eagle is the "high-necked" type with the beak pointing slightly up, and has some verdigris, showing it is nickel or nickel plated.
The scabbard shell is a solid example, completely straight and undented, however like the dagger it looks to have seen weathering and exposure. The original black enamel paint is retained at about 80% with cracking and checking consistent with age. There are areas where the paint has chipped, allowing the base material to oxidize, and there is also a bit of finish bubbling. The matching nickel plated steel scabbard mounts are in very nice patinated condition, showing some oxidation and bubbling to the finish, and areas or rust. The lower ball is a bit dented, which is common even with the steel examples. All four dome head screws are intact, and do not look to have been messed with. There is definitely some light wear and staining on the fittings, but nothing major.
This is a great chance to own a very nice "salty" example of an M33 SS dagger from the mid-war period, complete with it's original scabbard. The patina on this example can simply not be duplicated.
Blade Length: 8 3/4"
Blade Style: Double Edged Dagger
Overall length: 13 3/4”
Scabbard Length: 10”
The RZM, Reichzeugmeisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster), was officially founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker's Party), as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA Quartermaster's Department. The registry was was based at the Brown house in Munich and NSDAP party headquarters in Berlin.
The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized. Starting in late 1934 items manufactured for the SS came under the quality control of the RZM and as a result were to be marked with the RZM/SS approval/acceptance mark. The M7 in the code stands for daggers, with Robert Klaas being contractor number 37.
Shortly after this, the SS started using a separate listing of contractors, and in 1943 the Waffen-SS assumed full control over their uniform item production and no longer fell under the authority of the RZM.
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