The DLV (Deutscher Luftsport Verband) was organized in 1933, as a para-military sports organization for Germans to fly limited motor-driven airplanes, gliders and ballooning.
DLV Officers wore a very long dirk, measuring 55cm. The dirk design was a cruciform, consisting of cigar-shape ribbed wood grip, covered with blue leather. The round nickel-silver, flat-surfaced pommel and matching downswept winged crossguard were inlaid with gilded brass sunwheel swastikas on both sides. The long scabbard was a composition base material, covered with matching blue leather. There are three nickel scabbard mounts which are retained with staples. A chain hanger is affixed to the upper two mounts. The long blade is a nickel-plated example. Transitional DLV and 1st Model Luftwaffe examples exist which are shortened DLV examples, or examples having early composition scabbards and staple-held fittings. The 1st Model Luftwaffe evolved from these daggers.
The 1st Model Luftwaffe dagger, although still a fairly long weapon, was a shorter variation of the previously carried DLV Officer. In 1935, Hitler unveiled the "secret" Luftwaffe to the world, defying the Versailles Treaty. It became the third fighting branch of the German Wehrmacht, and was headed by Hermann Göring as Commander-in-Chief. Initially, only Luftwaffe Officers with flying status wore the new Fliegerdolch. Later, regulations were relaxed and other Officers were permitted to wear the "flying dagger". After 1937, Officers were required to wear the newly introduced Offizierdolch or 2nd Model Luftwaffe dagger.
The 1st Model, from that point on, was worn by high ranking NCO's, not officers. Initial patterns of the early Fliegerdolche were constructed using heavy solid nickel materials for hilt and scabbard mounts. Gilded brass sunwheel swastika inserts decorated the pommel and crossguard. The cigar-shape, wood-based grip and scabbard shell are covered in a rich Moroccan blue leather. A chain hanger with snap clip is attached to the scabbard. Examples produced after 1938 have aluminum fittings. Late examples were produced of nickel pot metal hilt fittings with plated steel scabbard fittings. Blades were usually quality nickel plated.
LD1 #47708 Early 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger by Gebruder Heller
The pommel shows a few hits to the edges, and the silvering is somewhat worn from between the legs of the brass swastikas. The same is true of the sun wheels on the crossguard, although the guard itself remains in good shape.
The wooden grip is covered with blue Moroccan leather, which remains in fine condition. The grip is wrapped with a skein of three silvered wires, with a twisted center strand.
The scabbard is straight throughout, with the leather covering on the obverse showing some bumps and bruises. The solid nickel scabbard mounts are in good condition and are retained by the original headless side screws.
The scabbard has an aluminum chain hanger, with five upper and seven lower ringlets, both lengths attached to an aluminum naps clip marked “OLC” and “Gesch Gesch”.
The blade shows wear and usage but doesn’t have any major issues. The reverse ricasso is marked with the desirable “Balloon Man” trademark of the Heller firm, and the original blade buffer is in place.
LD1 #47661 Early 1st Model Luftwaffe Name To Unit by F. & A. Helbig
This Luftwaffe dagger is of early production having fine nickel mounts throughout. The pommel still remains in nice condition appearing to have its nickeling still between the brass sunwheels on both the pommel as well as the crossguard. The sunwheels are fine brass medallion inserts. The crossguard arms are in nice condition having their three segments which point downward. The grip is a carved wood base being covered with Moroccan leather. The leather shows a bit of wear but it is still in good condition with no cuts or problems. The grip is tightly wrapped with triple silver wire the center being twisted. It is interesting to note that the crossguard is marked 10. / K. G. and on the other side 152 N50. On the reverse of the lower scabbard in the same type of engraving it is marked with the Roman numeral IV / K. G. 152. N.4. These markings do not exactl match each other but it is all from the same unit being KG152. My British friend Dave Goldsmith looked up some of this information and he states that the Luftwaffe scabbard which is marked Roman numeral IV / KG152 stands for the 4th Gruppe of Kampfgeschwader 152 “Hindenberg”. This gruppe was set up on the 12th of October 1937 based in Neubrandenburg and the commander was Major Doctor Zirvogel. This particular unit flew Dornier 23 and Junkers 86 aircraft and was a bomber unit hence the kampfgeschwader designation. Hopefully this information from David will be interesting to the next owner of this choice dagger and perhaps he will be able to use it to do further research. As to the scabbard, the shell is in perfect straight condition and is covered with fine original blue Moroccan leather exactly matching that of the grip. There are some minor wearing signs but overall the leather is in nice condition. The scabbard mounts are solid nickel matching the hilt. Attached to the carrying rings is a fine nickel chain. It is the style that has 9 ringlets at the top and 14 ringlets at the bottom. They are attached to an unmarked solid nickel snap clip. There is also a brass ring attached to the clip which looks original to it and not something that was put on by a veteran. The blade is a fine example having nickel plated surfaces and still being bright throughout. There is just a few slight traces of age but the plating is still all there. This blade is in near mint condition. The ricasso is very likely marked with the F. & A. Helbig name but it is difficult to see as this company is noted for their terrible etching which was always too lightly done. There is also a waffenamt underneath the trademark wher the bird does not show too much but the 5 is still there. The original blade washer is in place. A very interesting high quality early Luftwaffe dagger here with lots of research potential. A really fine dagger!
Excellent Plus. $1,695.00
LD1 #47707 Early 1st Model Luftwaffe by SMF
The pommel retains all of the frosting and silvering, as well as some of the original gilding. The crossguard sunwheels (as well as the guard itself) are in similar condition.
The wooden grip is covered with Moroccan leather. This leather remains in nice condition, showing only normal hand wear and wrapped with a skein of three silver wires, with a twisted center strand.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout and also has a covering of sound Moroccan leather that shows only minor wear. The solid nickel scabbard mounts are in fine condition, retained by the original headless screws. The throat is stamped “153”.
Attached to the hanging rings is a fine nickel chain, with nine upper and fourteen lower ringlets. Both lengths are connected to an unmarked solid nickel snap clip.
The nickel plated blade of this example remains in mint condition. The reverse ricasso is etched with the Seated King trademark of the SMF firm, and the original blade buffer is in place.
An extremely nice piece here, with great looking frosting.
Excellent Plus. $1,395.00
LD1 #46698C 1st Model Luftwaffe by Paul Weyerberg
This early example is in nice condition throughout. There is still much of the original silvering over the nickel mounts and also there is some of the original gild that still remains on the sunwheels particularly on the pommel examples.
The pommel is in nice condition having all of the silvering between the sunwheel legs and also frosting over the silvering. As mentioned the original gilt over the brass insert swastikas is about 75 percent on the obverse and maybe 65 percent on the reverse. It is rare to see this and a sign of a good conditioned example.
The sunwheels on the crossguard also have traces of the original gilt. The crossguard arms have original silver frosting in the recesses.
The wood carved grip is covered with Moroccan leather which still retains most of its grain and is in nice condition. This grip is wrapped with dual nickel wire one wire being twisted the other being plain. An interesting hilt here.
The scabbard shell is perfectly straight and has outstanding Moroccan blue leather. All of the grain is there and there are virtually no wear signs. The scabbard mounts are the early nickel type and the upper and center remain perfect while the lower mount does show some usage signs. The mounts are retained by headless screws. The throat is stamped 158.
The blade is a real beauty having very fine nickel p[lated surfaces. It is in mint condition and is etched the familiar Paul Weyersberg Solingen trademark. The original blade washer is gone to time however it does reveal the number 857 stamped into its surfaces.
A really nice 1st model Luftwaffe here.
Excellent plus Plus. $1,395.00
LD1 #46898 Early 1st Model Luftwaffe by Carl Eickhorn
This early dagger has not been cleaned and has a really nice patina throughout. Its only detract is that there is a small patch in the leather on the lower scabbard; it is not obnoxious and appears to be the appropriate leather that was used.
The mounts are solid nickel throughout being a very early production dagger. The pommel has the inlaid brass medallions and the nickel material still appears to be all there between the sunwheels. The pommel itself shows only modest usage around the edges.
The crossguard sunwheels also have a good look about them particularly the obverse one as it still has some gilt to it. The crossguard arms also are very nicely patinated having never been cleaned.
The carved wood grip is covered with Moroccan leather which is in perfect condition. The grain is also still there. The leather is wrapped with triple twisted brass wire the center being slightly larger.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout and has reasonably good leather, although it was patched at the bottom as mentioned above. The patch was obviously done as a “field expedient” and while not great is not horrible, either. The scabbard mounts also have deep patination. They are all in excellent condition and are retained by headless screws.
The chain is a nickel example featuring 9 upper ringlets and 14 lower ringlets. The are all connected to a solid nickel snap clip.
The blade is a high quality nickel plated example and still remains in pretty much mint condition throughout. It is etched on the reverse with the 1935 through 41 trademark. The original washer is in place.
This is a very early example and is of nice quality throughout.
LD1 #44593 Early, Numbered 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger - E. & F. Hörster
The pommel is in nice condition, showing little usage and retaining the original silvering between the legs of both sun-wheel swastika.
The same is true of the sun-wheel in the guard center block. The quillon arms are the standard tripartite "wing" type, and each remains in crisp condition.
The grip is carved wood covered in blue Moroccan leather. This leather remains in completely perfect condition throughout and is tightly wrapped with a skein of three brass wires, the center strand being twisted.
The scabbard shell is as straight as an arrow and covered in matching blue Moroccan leather. This leather shows some mild wear but it completely free of rips, nips, or other problems. The nickel scabbard mounts are in fine condition and have toned to match the hilt fittings. These mounts are retained by headless side screws.
Attached to the scabbard is a fine, early nickel chain, with nine upper and fourteen lower ringlets. These ringlets are attached to an unmarked nickel snap clip.
The blade of this dagger is a real beauty with high quality nickel plating and a needle-like tip. The reverse ricasso is etched with the familiar Höller H trademark as well as a stick-bird "5" waffenamt.
It is interesting to note that right above the trademark is the number "205". Examining the dagger I was pleased to find this number on the reverse of the scabbard throat. This is the first time I have seen these small numerals placed on the throat edge and the blade.
The original blade washer is in place and in perfect condition.
A very fine, early 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger here.
Near Mint. $1,395.00
LD1 #38989C 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger
The pommel is in good shape, with no hits to the rims. The raised sunwheels do not have any gilding left on them but remain crisp.
The same is true of the crossguard sunwheels. The guard arms are the segmented, “winged” type which curve downward.
The grip is of carved wood covered in original Moroccan leather. This leather is in excellent shape, showing some wear but free of nips, cuts, or problems. This grip is tightly wrapped with a skein of three twisted brass wires.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout. It retains the original Moroccan leather covering which is in very nice condition; it shows traces of wear but it too is free of problems. The scabbard mounts are silver plated steel, the upper mount and center mounts showing slight wear to the plating. The lower mount has all of the silver and just some mild age in the surface, but nothing too bad. These mounts are retained by flat head screws, a bit in unusual as most pieces of this type have headless screws. There is a screw in the right upper portion, the right lower portion, and one in the center left.
The attached aluminum chain has six ringlets making up the upper chain and eight on the lower. These two chains are attached to an aluminum snap clip marked “OLC” and “Ges Gesch”.
The blade of this dagger makes up for many of the minor flaws on the outside. It is a high quality, nickel plated example that remains in mint condition. This beautiful blade is unmarked and retains the original blue leather blade washer.
A good, basic starter example here, priced reasonably.
LD1 #35378C 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger with Double Etched Blade – Carl Jul Krebs
This Krebs 1st Model Luftwaffe is easily one of the rarest pieces that could have been ordered if the pocketbook would permit. The dagger is of the mid-period vintage having pot metal mounts which have been silver-plated. Usually the silvering comes right off of these pot metal mounts but fortunately in the case of this fine example, the factory must have given some extra plating as the silvering is still pretty much all there. These pot metal mounts are the type where the sunwheel swastikas were part of the casting. The surfaces were gilded by the factory and normally the gilt pretty much disappears but again, there must have been some extra care done and although still somewhat light the gilt finish is still quite nice across the pommel and crossguard sunwheels. The pommel shows very little usage around the rims and still remains crisp. The crossguard is also a fine example having crisp edges to the three segments that flow downward in the shape of wings. The grip is a carved wood base having outstanding original Moroccan leather covering. The dark blue color is still nice and vibrant and the grain is still in the leather. This fine grip is tightly wrapped with triple aluminum wire, the center being twisted for contrast.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout and also has outstanding original Moroccan leather. This leather is about as good as you’ll ever see and still be original. There are virtually no flaws on this leather only just the slightest signs of usage. It is doubtful that the original owner of this beautiful dagger carried it much. The scabbard mounts are the mid-period type also being of steel base and having good silver plating. The silvering is still nearly 100% throughout all of the mounts showing just a little bit of age and some slight signs of lifting on the reverse of the center mount. The mounts, though, are very clean showing little usage. These mounts are retained by flathead flush mount screws in the side edges. The chain is the normal type we see on mid-period piece being the aluminum variety. This chain consists of six upper ringlets and ten lower ringlets. The two chains are connected to a standard aluminum clip being marked “OLC” within a diamond on the reverse and the registered trademark stamping “Ges. Gesch.”.
The best part of this dagger though is the blade. If you don’t smile when you see this blade coming out of the scabbard you need to go into stamp or coin collecting. This full mint blade is astounding. It reflects a heavy quality nickel-plated surface easily being in 100% condition and retaining its fine needlelike tip. Etched onto the panels is the design that we frequently see on the Voos model 2nd Luftwaffes, only in the case of this 1st model all of the designs have been enlarged slightly. Both blade sides are etched with arabesque floral designs having 100% frosting in the backgrounds. This intact frosting accents the relief of the designs. The reverse blade is totally etched with floral designs and the obverse blade has a panel in the center. The panel portrays an outstanding Luftwaffe eagle flying to the viewer’s right. This eagle has terrific detail to his feathering as well as to his eye and beak areas. He is grasping a mobile swastika in his right talon and it dangle nicely just below his tail. Under each wing is a branch of laurel leaves complete with little berries.
I can not over emphasize the quality and detail that can be viewed in the etch on both sides of this blade. The maker of this example is the Carl Jul Krebs firm. They made a lot of good stuff as we all know and in this case probably took an order from a good customer and had the same etching company that was probably used by Voos to do this etch. Their trademark is the small single oval which inside has the name of the firm and location, “Carl Jul Krebs Solingen”. In the center of the oval is the crown oval positioned over the letter, “K”. The original blue blade buffer is in place and in this case it looks slightly fatter than the normal leather buffer. Perhaps Krebs wanted to make sure that this area of protection could be adequate considering the quality of the blade etch. A truly magnificent 1st model Luftwaffe here being only the second or third that I have seen in my career. This is a superb piece for the advanced collector or for someone who is looking to invest some money for a future retirement. It would be hard to believe that the desirability of a dagger of this caliber would not increase as the years go by.
Mint Minus. $19,995.00