Original Rare German WWII Early Model 1936 Officer's Chained SS Dagger with Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available: The SS (Schutzstaffel - 'Protection Squadron') 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 NSDAPsm and eventually controlled nearly every function of German life and much of Occupied Europe.
The SS 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, while officers would receive the "Chained" version that we have here. These are quite a bit more rare and desirable than the Enlisted version.
The SS Dagger was 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 (ᛋᛋ)button inset at the top. The SS blade was a polished type containing the SS motto, Meine Ehre heißt Treue (My Honor is Loyalty). Early examples bore one of three district stampings on the lower reverse crossguard of I, II, or III. 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 fine early example is unmarked on the blade, which is common for these chained daggers. They were often bespoke, made with blade blanks purchased from edged weapon manufacturers. The blade remains mostly bright and still retains some factory final polish cross grain, especially on the rear of the blade. This is definitive for a genuine WWII produced dagger. There is wear on the blade, and some small age spots and traces of past oxidation, as well as overall speckling. The owner of this dagger looks to have worn it quite often, and it has marks from polishing, as well as the usual runner marks.
This blade still grades in very good condition. The SS motto, Meine Ehre heißt Treue (Loyalty is my Honor) is crisp but has some minor wear. About 75% of the factory blackening is in the letter fonts in the backgrounds. The edge of the blade does not show any non factory sharpening, and is still in great condition, with no nicks or dents. The blade shoulders perfectly meet the lower crossguard contour, and is solid in the grip.
The crossguards of this dagger and tang nut are in good condition throughout, and are of the earliest solid nickel silver construction. They have smooth surfaces, good crisp edges and precise accent grooves. There is no lifting of the finish, showing these are indeed solid nickel silver, and both have a lovely patina of age.
The ebony grip is a nice example with a lovely color and very tight grain. It does however have two chunks missing near the crossguard, one on each side. Ebony is a very hard but also brittle wood, and with the stain often used to make it a solid color, it becomes more brittle. Early examples such as this were hand fit, which could over time put pressure on the wood due to the tight fit. Cracks and chips are common, and many of the SS daggers we have had over the years have had similar issues with the grip.
The symbol button is positioned at about 7:00 o'clock, and the enamel surfaces are very nice. The silvered SS symbol and double circles around them have a nice matching patina with the nickel still intact, with a little verdigris. The nickel grip eagle is the "straight" type with the beak pointing straight across. It remains in crisp condition, showing little wear to the bird's head, breast and wing feathering and to the talons, wreath or swas (hook cross).
The scabbard shell on this example really is straight, with no dents or bends we can see. The enamel has a lot of checking and crazing, with some light oxidation where the finish has flaked away. It probably has 80% remaining, with a lovely checked finish that simply cannot be duplicated. The scabbard mounts are all nickel, and just in great shape. There is a bit of denting to the lower ball, with no other splitting, denting, or other damage. The original screws all are present, and do not appear to have been messed with at all.
The center ramp is the early style having the sharp, crisp edges. It features the three raised intertwined swas (hook crosses) on both sides. There is little darkening in the backgrounds, matching the backgrounds of the Type II chain links. The connector tabs are all closed, and the SS and Totenkopf (Skull) links all appear to be solid nickel. The two chain assemblies are connected to a matching clover leaf with good working snap with original spring. The clover leaf is the closed type normally seen with Type II chains. The first link of the upper chain is lightly stamped with the SS-Kulturzeichen proof marking. Definitely a great example of this type of scabbard.
This is an excellent and very rare chance to own a very good condition SS Chained Officer's dagger. Ready to be the centerpiece of any WWII Edged weapon collection!
Blade Length: 8 3/4"
Overall length: 13 3/4”
Scabbard Length: 10”
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