Original Imperial German WWI Navy Officer's Lion Head Sword with Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a beautiful classic Lionhead German WWI Navy Officer's sword, complete with its original brass fitted leather scabbard. Naval swords are far rarer to find on the market than army swords of this era. The all brass alloy hilt consists of a finely detailed lion head cast with floral backstrap and "P" guard. The tang of the blade is excellently blended into the mane of the lion.

The Lion's face is fitted with two faceted "jewel" eyes, however as this is a Naval sword, the right eye is a vibrant green, while the left is bright red. This corresponds to the longtime naval practice with boat marking lights: the right/starboard side is marked green, while the left/port side is marked red. Both eyes are well set into the head, with great color.

There is nice detail throughout his whiskers, chin, muzzle, and especially the Lion's Mane. The handwork is beautifully rendered throughout this brass. The "D" guard has the Iconic German "Oak Leaves and Acorns" motif, which is also present on the grip ferrule. The Grip back strap has some lovely floral designs.

The crossguard has fold-away sections on both sides, with the larger outer side having a clam-shell shape, with oak leaves and a naval "fouled anchor" design. This side folds over the grip, so that it does not stick out excessively to the left side of the officer. The smaller inner side folds towards the blade, and has a small circular hole that would originally engage a pin on the scabbard throat. All metal areas of the sword which would have originally been gilded appear to have been touched up with gold paint. This appears to have been done quite long ago, and may possibly have even been done by the original owner.

The scabbard of this example is an up market leather model, with gilt brass fittings. Usually leather scabbards are lost to the ages, but this example thankfully still exists, matched to the sword. The leather is surprisingly in very good condition, with minimal loss of stitching.

The grip is a very nice ivory colored celluloid over a wood base. This is a further indicator that this must be a Navy sword, as only the Navy used the ivory color. All other branches used black celluloid. It is wrapped with three strands of twisted brass wire which is secured tightly in position. The sword still has attached part of the original sword knot, as well as the braided leather hangers with snap hooks.

The 29 1/2 inch blade of this example is in good condition, but does show its age. The both of the blade has wonderful etched designs on both sides, showing ship motifs, a fouled anchor, and other naval motifs, mixed with floral designs. The blade was originally fully nickel plated, however that has unfortunately faded over the 100+ years this sword has been in existence. There are some areas of chrome loss, The rest of the blade has most of the plating intact, but shows wear and some areas of flaking and staining. However, this only minorly detracts from the overall appearance of the sword. The sword does not exhibit any maker’s marking, which is not entirely uncommon. Most likely, however, the sword was made by one of the numerous cutlery firms located in Solingen.

A nice example Imperial German Naval Officer’s Sword in excellent, tight, condition! Ready for display!

Blade Length: 29 1/2"
Overall length: 34 3/4”
Handguard: 4 1/2"L x 4 1/2"W
Scabbard Length: 29 3/4”

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