Miniature examples of most edged weapons were produced to be used as letter openers or desk ornaments. Frequently they are referred to as half-size or three quarter-size examples. The larger size examples are generally of higher quality. Many manufacturers purchased miniature weapons and had their name or name of their product etched on the blade. The miniature was then given to customers as gifts. Since miniatures were of a paramilitary nature they were not subject to the controls of their large counterparts. Frequently, miniatures will be encountered with evidence of a manufacturer's "artistic license".
MINI #40006C Miniature Army Officer's Dagger
This Miniature Army Officer's Dagger is housed in a very fine leatherette case. This case looks to be period but I suspect it wasn't made for this miniature; chances are it was made for some type of cutlery and was pressed into service at some point.
Whatever the case may be (if you will excuse the pun) it is a beautiful box, 8 inches long and 3 ½ inches wide. The leatherette is perfect and the box is fitted with fine brass fixtures. The interior is padded satin, which looks to be stiffed with horsehair. The bottom is in blue velvet and has been cut out to accept the miniature.
The miniature is a very high quality example, the type we usually associate the Hörster firm, but this piece is unmarked. The hilt fittings are heavily silver plated and remain in fine condition throughout. The grip is a white painted example; this past is 98% intact. The scabbard has perfect silver plating, deeply patinated and with good pebbling and carrying rings.
The mint blade is outstanding, with a mirror-bright surface.
This is a very high quality miniature, further enhanced by a fine storage box.
Near Mint. $595.00
MINI #40157 Miniature Hunting Cutlass - E. & F. Hörster
This Miniature Hunting Cutlass measures 9 ½ inches long. The hilt is metal with a brown painted metal grip which simulates antler. The center area features a stag head flanked the initials "DJ" flanking and with a swastika set between the antlers.
The scabbard shell is also metal, with the center portion having pebbling and decorative lines to imitate natural leather. The original green paint shows wear; about 60% of this paint is intact. The scabbard mounts are of nickel with scalloped edges. There is an acorn lug at the top.
The blade is a choice example, in mint condition. It is double etched with fine hunting scenes. The reverse ricasso is marked with the Hörster "H" trademark. The obverse of the blade is marked "Rostfrie". The original green felt blade buffer is in place.
An original maple here, with some wear on the outside but with a choice blade.
MINI #39836C Miniature 2nd Model Luftwaffe Dagger – SMF
This SMF miniature is the traditional type be normally see, with an aluminum pommel and crossguard. The pommel has detailed oak leaves and a swastika on both sides. The guard eagle is very nice, flying to the viewer’s left and clutching a swastika. The reverse pebbled panel remains quite good, with much of the original darkening.
These miniatures have no oak leaves or acorns on the upper surface of the guard arms. It is also interesting to note that SMF used an Army ferrule on this style of miniature.
The grip is a dark orange color. It is in generally good condition but does have a tiny chip missing from bottom rib on the reverse. This grip is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire.
The scabbard is the characteristic flat type used by SMF. It has good pebbled surfaces and fine oak leaves on the carrying bands. Both rings are present and in good condition.
The blade is bright throughout and has an excellent nickel-plated surface. The obverse center of the blade is marked with the advertising copy of a leather company. It reads “Striwa” in script and “Lichtenfels” in block lettering. Apparently this was the town in which they operated.
Accompanying this miniature is a piece of period of period stationary from this company. It is widely known that salesmen gave out trinkets to their customers; obviously Striwa had these daggers run up for just such a purpose.
A nice example here, with some research potential.
Excellent Plus. $595.00
MINI #39034 Kaiser Honor Sword Miniature
This sword has a beautiful hilt, with a Prussian Crown as a pommel. The basket is in the form of some species of angel with a spiked helmet, putting the Imperial Crown over a Prussian eagle.
The grip is painted black with gold leaves running around it. Tied to the basket is the original metal portepee.
The scabbard is constructed from nickel. It is equipped with elaborate carrying bands in contrasting brass, along with an engraved brass chape and throat. This piece has been personalized with the engraved initials “HZ” on the upper part of the scabbard. The reverse is engraved “M. Darling / Edy”. Given this engraving it is possible that this piece was given by a girlfriend/wife/mistress to her loving partner.
The blade is about nine inches long. It has a gilded two line inscription on both sides. Unfortunately this gilding shows some signs of age so the text is difficult to read. I believe, though, that the words talk about the greatness of Solingen and the Land of Swords.
These miniatures were offered as tourist pieces around the turn of the last century. We see them in many different styles; I have one in my personal collection that has a Damascus steel blade!
A very nice item to add to an Imperial collection.
MINI #38052 Luftwaffe Sword Miniature – Alcoso
The hilt is identical to the full-size counterpart. The round pommel features raised out sun-wheel swastikas on both sides; these swastikas still retain a small amount of the original gilding. The center block of of guard also has sun-wheel swastikas with a similar trace of gilding. The down swept tripartite quillon arms suggest a wing in flight, and have hand enhancement.
The grip is constructed of a base of carved wood covered in the original dark blue Moroccan leather. This leather remains in perfect condition throughout and is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire.
The scabbard shell is completely straight and is covered in perfect original matching blue Moroccan leather. The scabbard is fitted with silvered mounts, in perfect condition and the upper example being equipped with a pair of eyelets and hanging rings.
The 6 ½ inch blade of this miniature is a real beauty, having a high quality nickel-plated finish. This blade also has a fuller running about 1/3 of the length, just like the full size examples. This blade is in mint condition. The reverse ricasso is marked with the 1937-39 Alcoso Scale trademark.
An outstanding miniature here, of highest quality.
Near Mint. $895.00 (#040516)
MINI #37989 SS Miniature Letter Opener
This SS Miniature Letter Opener is about 8 inches long. It is identical to the example pictured in my SS Book on page 667.
The hilt of this example is a single piece aluminum casting. The grip portion is painted black and the guards are left in their natural state. The black painted grip shows quite a bit of wear here and there, but about 70% remains intact. The grip features the usual SS runes and an open-winged eagle and swastika.
The blade is quite nice, and designed to look just like the full-size version. This steel blade is still mostly bright, having an etched SS motto on the obverse facing. The reverse bears the 1936 SS contract code, “807/36” with a set of SS runes above and a RZM mark below.
A very fine item here, just perfect for opening your mail. It is absolutely original.
MINI #37095 SS Miniature Dagger Letter Opener
These miniature daggers have a one piece hilt that is constructed entirely of aluminum. The crossguard and tang nut are left in there original bright aluminum state, while the grip is painted black. The grip has a pressed-grip eagle with a swastika as well as a SS runes button at the top.
The paint on this example shows some wear, particularly on the high points of the center ridge.
The blade is a nice example which has the etched SS motto on the obverse. The etching is very precise and perfect, with the proper period fonts. On the reverse the blade is maker marked with the code “807/36”. The code has a double circled set of SS runes above it as well as a double circled RZM mark below. This blade is still mostly bright, showing minor signs of usage.
I have sold a number of these letter openers over the years. They are nice to keep on your desk; they are fun to look and are a valuable tool for opening your mail. These miniatures are absolutely original items and they did not come with a scabbard.
A good opportunity here to acquire a rarely seen miniature.
MINI #36222 Half Size Army Officer's Dagger Miniature - J.A. Henckels
This example is exceptionally nice. The mounts are all silver plating and the silvering is all there throughout. It has also developed a nice patination. The pommel is in excellent condition having one hit to about the nine o’clock side of the rim. The oak leaves are nicely detailed running around the circumference. Even the ferrule is a well detailed example being the same as the large counterpart.
The crossguard features the open-winged army eagle and has good detail to the head, breast feathering, wing feathering, wreath and mobile swastika.
The grip is exactly like the large counterpart being made of a solid celluloid. The obverse of the grip has toned to a most attractive pumpkin orange and on the reverse the grip is a lighter color tone indicating that this piece was laying in an upward position for many years exposed to light. This grip is in perfect condition and really looks great. The scabbard has excellent, crisply pebbled surfaces throughout, and the carrying bands are also nicely detailed.
Excellent Plus, Plus. $695.00
MINI #35578C Miniature US Sword
This miniature sword is about 9½ inches in length overall. It is nicely made throughout appearing to be all nickel construction to include the scabbard along with a steel blade. It does look similar to an American 1851 Army Sword. Either way, it has a metal hilt which has a one piece grip attached to a one piece basket guard.
Attached to the “D” guard is a fine metal portepee which is set in place. The scabbard has a shell which is engraved with decorative lines along the edges and painted black to simulate leather. It is fitted with three brass mounts, the two upper examples having rope-like carrying bands with carrying rings. The lower chape is a matching brass type. The thin blade has a fuller with ricasso and appears to have engraving on both sides. I notice that there is an anchor simulation in the etch so we can assume that this is a Naval style miniature.
A good quality example here and I’m sure someone out there will know what large size counterpart it is meant to simulate.
MINI #34968 ¾ Sized 2nd Model Luftwaffe – SMF
This SMF produced minature Luftwaffe Dagger is a fine example looking like the large counterpart on the hilt section but the scabbards on these pieces are a flat type but still having the same detail as the big ones. The hilt mounts are of all aluminum construction. The pommel features the oak leaves which go around both sides of it and in the center there is a raised out mobile swastika within a circle on each side. The crossguard features a Luftwaffe eagle flying to the viewer’s left. The bird clutches a mobile swastika in his talons. The detail throughout the bird’s features is outstanding. The reverse of the crossguard has a panel featuring pebbling. Much of the original factory darkening is still in the panel. The ferrule for this dagger is the same as the large type featuring oak leaves positioned on a forty-five degree angle going around the entire surface. The grip is a celluloid type having ribs which run downward from left to right. The grip is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire. This fine grip is a dark pumpkin orange and remains in perfect condition.
The flat style scabbard has pebbled panels on both sides ending with a panel featuring oak leaves at the bottom. The chape is the style which is sectioned into three different pieces. The bands feature oak leaves and are fitted with carrying rings. The throat is built into the scabbard. The scabbard is an airplane gray color looking fairly clean on the reverse and on the obverse there is a little bit of age in between the two carrying band areas but it is not bad.
The blade is a high quality nickel-plated still being in mint condition. This blade is mirror bright with needlelike tip. On the obverse there is an advertisement etched into the surface. It is etched with the firm’s name, “Striwa” in script-like writing and next to it in block letters is the name of the town, “Lichtenfels”. Striwa was a manufacturer of Luftwaffe leather goods and the city of Lichtenfels is located in Bavaria. This company made a lot of Luftwaffe flying helmets and the like. The reverse of the blade is etched with the seated king trademark positioned over the firm’s initials, “SMF” and the location city of “Solingen”. Beneath this are the letter stamping indicating that SMF had a patent on this design, “D.R.G.M.”. The original brown leather pebbled washer is in place.
A nice ¾ size miniature here, measuring overall about 9½ inches.
Excellent Plus. $695.00
MINI #34035C Half-Size Army Dagger Miniature – J.A. Henckels
This half-size Army Dagger miniature is much nicer than most of the ones that we see these days. Instead of gray metal hilt fittings and scabbard this example has very nice silver plating throughout. The hilt fittings still have the majority of the silvering intact and have a nice patination. The pommel is nicely done with the standing oak leaves running around the circumference as is the ferrule. The crossguard has good detail to the open winged eagle which clutches a mobile swastika. The scabbard is a fine pebbled example with two carrying bands also having good oak leaf detail. The scabbard is equipped with a good strong metal runner.
The blade is a fine example being nickel-plated. The plating is still 100% throughout and this blade rates in mint condition. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the logo of the Henckels company consisting of two Eqyptian like twins. There is no washer on this example and I doubt that it was produced with one.
A very good well preserved half-size Army Dagger miniature.
Near Mint. $525.00
MINI #31505C National Hunting Cutlass Miniature – E. & F. Hörster
This Hunting Association miniature is a great looking example, being about 9¼” in length. The cutlass has a one-piece hilt section but the simulated grip is painted brown to make it look like it is antler. The rest of the fittings are in nickel plate to include the pommel cap with screw which acts as a tang, ferrule, cross guards with up-and-down quillon ends and clamshell. The plating is all in perfect condition throughout these mounts. The center of the simulated grip has the Hunting Association insignia, consisting of a stag’s head with swastika in the center having rays coming out of it. On either side of the stag’s head are the initials of the organization “DJ”. there are a couple of areas where the paint has worn from the grip, but overall it is at least 90% - 95%.
The all-metal scabbard also has made an attempt to simulate the leather shell. The metal has pebbling and has been painted green, giving the look of leather. This original paint is starting to thin in areas, but overall it rates about 60% - 70%. the upper and lower mounts are the same as the large cutlass, having scalloped edges where they meet the shell. The acorn type lug nut appears to be maybe a replacement, as it is slightly out of proportion with the scabbard. It is certainly better than none at all.
The blade is a double-etched example, being still nice and bright and having outstanding detail to the hunting scene etches. There is just a little bit of plating that has peeled at the tip area – probably from opening letters – but still, the blade is in near full mint condition. The reverse ricasso is etched with the double ovals of this company’s logo. The company’s name and location are trapped within “E & F Hörster Solingen”. Inside is the large “H” with the smaller “h” and “s” letters in the center being pierced by a sword. The original green felt buffer is in place.
A nice item here, and getting very difficult to find in this condition.
Excellent Plus. $650.00
MINI #31992C Miniature Stag Gripped Bayonet
This miniature Stag Gripped Bayonet is of highest quality construction throughout, and I do not think it ever had a scabbard. It measures approximately 7½ inches in length. The hilt fittings are nickel-plated and are in the exact contortion as the large full size pieces. The nickel plating throughout is still in bright perfect condition. The eagle head pommel, which faces to the left, has a simulated button and mortise lock on the front and rear respectively. This simulation is done with engraving the likeness of the hardware into the metal. The lower quillon is exactly the same as the large counterpart and the upper part of the crossguard has the curve in the lip to simulate the clearance for the rifle barrel.
But if this is not enough there has been a fine genuine set of grip plates cut from stag antler and perfectly fitted to this beautiful piece. These grip plates are an impressive dark brown and tan with very nice graining throughout. They are yellow on the edges from exposure time. These fantastic grip plates are retained by two steel rivets having dressed heads on one side only. The blade is the same as a full size example having a single edge ricasso and fuller on both sides. The blade is nicely tapered at the end and has highest quality nickel-plated surfaces. The blade still remains in near full mint condition showing only the most modest of age. There is a red felt buffer which is still in place.
This is one of the greatest looking miniature bayonets I have seen. It is also in first rate condition. A very rare item here and a top piece for the serious miniature collector.
Mint Minus. $1,495.00
MINI #8372 2nd Model Luftwaffe Sword Miniature Mounted on Propellor
I have seen many Luft miniatures on the casted propeller, but this is the first I have seen on a finished wood prop. The wood appears to be a mahogany. It has fine grain and is finished with a varnish or shellac. There is a black felt base on the bottom. The 2nd Luftwaffe miniature is also unusual. It is a one-piece, casted style, having really outstanding detail. The swastika pommel and crossguard feathering are just the best. Even the simulated grip wire is easily distinguishable. The blade is also a nice one. It is fashioned after a Luftwaffe sword as it has the center fuller - guess the manufacturer probably made these in the sword variation too, utilizing the same blade. The scabbard is mounted to the prop via two struts. It has fine pebble pattern, carrying rings, and if not in the right perspective, could easily be mistaken for the real thing. A fine item here, most likely missing from even an advanced collection. Very rare item.
Excellent Plus, Plus. $750.00
MINI #31504C Miniature Imperial Bayonet - Gustav Hungerberg
I have had a lot of these flat style Imperial bayonets over the years, but most of them have been in poor condition. This one is a real beauty and is in near full mint. It is also interesting because it has an etch on the blade. We will get to that further in the description. This bayonet is about 9½” in length. The nickel plated hilt features a silhouette of an eagle head and at the bottom there is a quillon which goes upward into a teardrop. The grip plates that separate these two pieces are of black checkered Bakelite. These Bakelite grips are retained by two steel rivets having dressed heads on both sides. The nickel plating of the hilt is in mint condition. The blade of this miniature is still bright and in mint condition. It looks as though it may have been used to open a few letters but not many. The blade is fashioned like a large full size bayonet in that it has a false edge at the tip area and also has a fuller which runs nearly the length of the blade. It has a first rate nickel-plated finish and in the center there is a destroyer of the old dreadnaught having three stacks and two masts.
Written on the bough of this warship is the famous “Emden”. The Emden was a raider which was positioned in the South Seas and was extremely successful with sinking ships heading to Britain and other ally countries. The maker of this bayonet letter opener was capitalizing on the fame of the Emden. This fine blade is maker marked, “Gustav / Hungerberg / G.M.B. / Remscheib”. This is probably not a maker name but more than likely a distributor. The scabbard with this example is also really a marvel. It has its original black painted surfaces and the paint is still nearly new-like showing almost no age. There are a couple of very minor dings in the finish but nothing that really would keep it from still having a mint rating. A really nice bayonet miniature here and one of the best conditioned I have handled.
Near Mint. $350.00
MINI #28267 Forestry Miniature - Alcoso
These three quarter size deluxe forestry cutlasses by Alcoso are among the rarest of all miniatures. If you do not know what these pieces look like, you can see a nice example in Johnson’s Volume IV on Page 276 or if you have a copy of Skipper Greenwade’s book “Solingen Made Me”, you can see a very fine example on Page 228. This piece looks as good or better than the above two mentioned examples. If features choice silvered hilt fittings throughout. The top pommel is a curved oval variety having oak leaves which run around its circumference. The oak leaves look to have been all hand-enhanced and they are not perfect looking, but they do give a quality look about the piece. Atop the center area is a tang nut which is in the shape of an acorn. In this instance, the cap of the acorn is positioned against the pommel. The ferrule is very similar to that of an army dagger, having oak leaves overlapping each other running about the surface. The cross guard is a fine example, having a center block of oak leaves on both sides and then stretching out are two branch-like quillon arms which also have leaf-like oak leaf detail throughout. These quillons end in rounded shapes. This example has a clamshell positioned beneath the cross guard. The clamshell depicts a large stag lying between two females. There is a forest glen which surrounds the three animals. The silvering throughout these pieces is in excellent condition and does not appear to have been cleaned in many years. The grip is made from a portion of genuine stag. It has nice, pleasing colors of tan and brown and has graining which is raised out and runs lengthwise. This grip is in perfect condition and is very nicely fitted to these hilt pieces.
The scabbard is a shell made of green leather over a composition material . This leather has very fine grain and is decorated with twin lines running down both of the edges. The leather is in excellent condition, showing some minor age but still very pleasing to the eye. The mounts of this scabbard are silver plated matching the hilt. The upper mount is decorated with a acorn which would have duplicated the lug fitting. This acorn has nice detail to its cap and a good point at the lower area. The throat is a built-in fitting. The edge of the mount is scalloped, matching that of the lower mount. This lower example is extremely elaborate, depicting a panel with a forest glen. Standing proudly within the glen under a tree is a very large stag with well-pointed rack. Below this magnificent animal is a panel featuring three oak leaves. The reverse of the lower and upper mount are plain. The chape is a ball-like shape having some engraving around its edges.
The blade of this example shows a little bit of usage, being a double-etched, single edge type. This blade has forest scenes etched on both sides. The etching on the obverse shows a dog sniffing around in a forest, a fox looking to his left and at the end there is a panel of floral plants. The reverse side depicts a couple of stags fighting with each other with a tree in the center for protection and on the end is a fence within a forest and more floral scenes. This fine blade has a ricasso and it is nickel plated, having good frosted backgrounds to the etchings. The point shows a little use from opening letters, but other than that the blade is in good shape and is still bright, having all of its plating. It easily rates in near mint condition. The reverse ricasso it etched with the trademark used by this firm from 1937-1939. It consists of a set of scales having the firm’s initials interspersed “ACS”. Above, in an arch being block lettered, is the name of the firm “Alcoso”. Below is the city location “Solingen”. There is a nice green felt buffer which protects the blade. This is an outstanding miniature and is the first one of these types that I have had the pleasure to offer in many years. This miniature in the scabbard measures just over 9 inches in length. This is the ultimate example for the miniature collector or a great piece to also put with a collection of hunting forestry daggers.
Excellent Plus $2,995.00