Original German WWII Transitional SA Dagger with Scabbard by by Alcoso of Solingen

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This nice condition mid-war period produced SA Dagger has plated fittings throughout. The crossguards and tang nut are nickel plated aluminum, and have about 85% of the plating intact, with some speckling and light patination in areas. There is some oxidation where the grip wood meets the guards, which is typical. There is not any major chipping or dents in the fittings, just the usual effects of age.

The grip is a fine product having a nice red mahogany tone in the surfaces and having medium center ridge construction. This grip is in very good condition with great grain, though it looks to have shrunk so it does not fit the top crossguard very well anymore. The symbol button is nicely set having fully intact enameling, and the plating intact with just a bit of verdigris. The details are still there to the eagle, including the beak, breast feathering, wing feathering, talons, wreath and mobile swas, as shown in the pictures.

The scabbard shell is straight throughout and has good original brown enamel paint. It has a few chips, and some wear, but nothing major. The scabbard shell is equipped with fine matching plated steel mounts, though they look to possibly be silver plated. These mounts are in very good condition overall, with almost no denting to the lower ball. They nicely match the crossguards and are complete with all four dome head screws.

The blade is good condition, though does show quite a bit of cleaning and polishing wear. The factory crossgrain is pretty much obliterated, though the dagger has not been sharpened. It is possible that the dagger was refit at arsenal at some time during the war. The acid-etched Alles für Deutschland (Everything for Germany) SA motto is slightly worn, but the original darkening is still mostly present.

The reverse ricasso is stamped with the trademark Alcoso used from 1937-1939,per J. Anthony Carter's work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS.  It depicts the scales with the firm's initials, ACS interspersed. Above is the firm's name, ALCOSO in an arch shape and below the town of business, SOLINGEN, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany.

This does cause some confusion however, as generally the pre-war daggers that do not have RZM codes would have been issued with the solid nickel fittings. Scabbards are easily replaced, but for a cross guard refit, it would need to go back to arsenal. Looking at this dagger, we do think it's possible that this happened, possibly because it suffered damage, so it was fitted with replacement cross guards and grips. Everything on this dagger and scabbard is definitely original German WWII manufacture, but we cannot say for certain that it was as originally issued.

Alcoso was originally 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.

A very nice mid war transitional SA dagger, possibly refit during the war, from a well-known Solingen maker with a somber back story.

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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