Original Rare German WWII Numbered Model 1936 Officer's Chained SS Dagger with Type II Chain & Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available: The SS (Schutzstaffel or 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 Germany eventually controlled nearly every function of German life and much of Occupied Europe.

The SS Dienstdolch (service dagger), also called the SS Ehrendolch (honor 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. After this time, only enlisted men wore the M1933 dagger, while officers and NCOs who had served 1933 and prior would receive the "Chained" version that we have here. These are quite a bit more rare and desirable than the Enlisted version.

It should be noted that as patterned, the M1936 "Chained" SS daggers did not have any maker or RZM markings on the back of the dagger, and were totally unmarked. However officers and senior NCOs who already had M33 daggers often wanted to keep their original daggers, and then would save on the cost by only purchasing the chained scabbards, which were available separately to those qualified for the honor. This is why it is not uncommon at all to see maker marked daggers in Chained scabbards.

Additionally, the chained center "ramp" and top fittings, chains, and "Wotan's knot" end clips all had several different patterns, and could be combined with either "anodized" or enameled steel shells. The bottom fittings could be solid nickel alloy or plated steel. To further complicate things, the various "Types" were produced concurrently. For more information on this please see Exploring The Dress Daggers and Swords of the German ᛋᛋ by Thomas T. Wittmann.

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 doppelte Siegrune (Double Sig/Victory Rune) (ᛋᛋ) roundel 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 fine early-war example is unmarked on the blade, which is the correct official pattern. Blades that have maker marks were usually retrofitted early examples, and not officially bestowed as chained daggers. The blade remains bright and still retains almost all of the factory final polish cross grain, visible throughout the blade surface. This texture is iconic, and is the definitive identifying characteristic for a real WWII German Blade. There is some runner wear on the blade, as well as some swirls from cleaning, but overall it still grades in very good condition. There are just a few areas of light staining, making this probably the best chained dagger blade we have seen.

The SS motto, Meine Ehre heißt Treue (Loyalty is my Honor) is still crisp and fully legible, with much of the factory darkening still remaining, except on the central blade ridge that is in contact with the scabbard runner. 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 excellent condition throughout, and are of the early war solid nickel alloy construction. They have smooth surfaces, good crisp edges and precise accent grooves, with no lifting or bubbling at all, indicating that they are indeed solid nickel alloy. There is the number 20457 marked on the top of the guard on the reverse, the serial number of the SS Mann who it was issued to. We did not find this exact number, but "20452" and "20471" did exist, so it may be possible that further records may reveal who this dagger was issued to. A great opportunity for further research! We did remove the handle to check the inside of the guards as customers often request, and both are marked on the inside with letters P and A, markings we have seen before on previous examples. The tang nut is plated steel, and is in great shape.

The ebony grip is a nice example with a lovely color, though close examination shows that it has been repaired and restored. The ebony wood used to make these grips is a very hard but also brittle wood, and with the stain often used to make it a solid color, it becomes more brittle. Cracking is nearly ubiquitous among SS daggers, as the handles were hand fit, which could over time put pressure on the wood due to the tight fit. That happened to this example, which can be seen when the grip is removed, and some of these cracks are still faintly visible on the surface. Some type of high quality tinted filler and/or glue was used to stabilize the cracks and fill in missing chunks near the guards. It was then refinished, giving it a lovely gloss appearance. We still can see the wood grain over most of the surface.

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 verdigris on much of the plating. The nickel grip eagle is the "high-necked" type with the beak pointing slightly up. 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). It is precisely inset into the grip, indicating early-war manufacture. Later examples were assembled with slop around the eagle.

The scabbard the dagger features steel shell, which is completely straight, showing some texture from past oxidation. It looks like the scabbard originally had an "anodized" blued finish, however that degraded and the surface oxidized. It was then cleaned off and refinished with black paint, almost certainly post war. It is fitted with a plated alloy center ramp with a screw on one side of the scabbard. This style has the three raised intertwined swas (hook cross) designs on both sides more pronounced and deeply executed compared to the double screw type. The chape and locket fittings are also both plated alloy, and are in very good condition, showing just a bit of wear and plating loss, and some minor denting on the bottom ball. All five retaining screws are present, and match in design on all three fittings.

The chain attached to the scabbard is definitely what is considered the Type II, or sometimes called the Type B. It features cast nickel alloy links with nickel connecting rings, and the rings connecting to the end clip are tapered (Type I were squared). Both the lower and upper chain are made up of alternating ᛋᛋ and Totenkopf (Skull) links, which have the correct "burnished" or darkened centers, now somewhat worn, and rounded holes on the ends. The first link of the upper chain is lightly stamped with the SS-Kulturzeichen proof marking, and it is the more "squared" type that should be on a type II chain. They also show the correct casting marks on the sides that should be seen on the Type II nickel (B1) links.

The "Wotan's Knot" cloverleaf securing clip has a good working snap hook with the original spring. The loop of the clover leaf over the clip is the closed type normally seen with Type II chains. It is a type B1 nickel example, with a plated steel clip hook. We have compared the chain and clip to other known examples, and see no reason to double their authenticity.

This is an excellent and very rare chance to own a very good condition Numbered SS Chained Officer's dagger, which has had some very tasteful restoration. Ready to be the centerpiece of any WWII Edged weapon collection!

Blade Length: 8 3/4"
Overall length: 13 3/4”
Crossguard: 3”
Scabbard Length: 10”

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