The National Political Educational Institute (Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt) was an SS-run organization established for the purpose of training future leaders for the Reich. A number of NPEA schools were set-up throughout Germany and many of its occupied countries, with most leaders and instructors coming from the SS.
There were three forms of Political daggers associated with the NPEA. The Student version, the Staff Leader and the Chained Leader. The Student version (produced by Karl Burgsmüller and WMW) had no insignia in the SA style wood grip. The crossguards were solid nickel on early versions and aluminum on later types. The scabbards were an all steel version painted olive drab. There were no mounts on the scabbard.
The blades were etched with the motto of the NPEA, Mehr Sein als Scheinen or "Be more than You Appear". The Staff Leader versions were produced by Eickhorn, and were identical to the Student, except there was a National eagle design in the grip. The Chained Leader (produced by Burgsmüller, Eickhorn and WMW) was worn by instructors and leaders of the NPEA. The dagger itself had the National eagle in the grip but was otherwise the same as the Student version. The scabbard was olive drab, having three nickel plated mounts. The upper and center scabbard mounts carry a chain hanger.
#40973C School Marked NPEA Leader Dagger sans Scabbard - Karl Burgsmüller Berlin / Charlottenburg 5
The dagger is an early example with nickel mounts. These mounts are textbook, with the "straight across" guard at the bottom. These mounts look to have never been cleaned and have acquired a rich, dark, dull patina evenly spread across the surfaces. They are in excellent condition throughout. The tang nut is also a fine example that does not look to have been removed in modern times.
The reverse of the guard is school marked "B 53". This marking comes from the Bensburg school. If you have a copy of the great Weinand NPEA book you can see a similar stamping on page 98. It is interesting to note that the die used to stamp the "B" has a larger upper bowl than the bottom; this "B" is the same on both this dagger and the one show in the book. The "5" has a long curl on the bottom, also identical to the book example.
The grip is a fine one, being a light brown with a good tone and vertical wood grain. It shows mild carrying time but has no problems, and fits the guards like a glove. The Leader versions of the NPEA (at least from Burgsmüller) are fitted with grip eagles. This bird has a beak which points upward slightly and has patinated to match the guards. It retains full detailing throughout.
The blade has not fared very well over the years, most like suffering in the absence of the scabbard. It shows quite a bit go age evenly spread throughout the surfaces. The NPEA motto can be read by is a little vague across the center portions. Although there are no nicks or geometry flaws in the blade the spotting is rather serious. The reverse is etched with the Burgsmüller Berlin / Charlottenburg 5 trademark and the original blade washer is in place.
A good NPEA dagger here. If you have a plain Student scabbard, or even a chained Leader's scabbard, this piece would marry up well with either. A good restoration project here; the hilt alone is worth every penny, especially if you could find a new blade.
Good Plus. $1,495.00
NPEA #40420 NPEA Student Leader's Dagger - Carl Eickhorn
This NPEA Student Leader's Dagger is the Eickhorn version of the NPEA Student Dagger. I say this because Eickhorn always put an eagle into all of their dagger grips, where are Burgsmüller old did with their Leader variant. This must have been a matter of expediency and efficiency for Eickhorn.
The crossguards are nickel plated. The plating remains quite good, showing a little mild age and freckling but really not bad at all. It is nearly 100% intact. The tang nut is a matching plated steel variety.
The grip is a High Center Ridge type with a sort of greenish-brown wood. It fits the guards perfectly and is equipped with a nickel grip eagle. The eagle is the "High Necked" version and shows some wear throughout the center of the bird. The wings and swastika, however, remain quite crisp.
The scabbard is straight throughout. It is equipped with the late production lug used by Eickhorn. The throat is retained by a single screw in the obverse center. This scabbard looks to have been repainted in recent times. The paint job is quite good, however, and the original color was matched perfectly.
The blade has turned slightly gray and does have some age marks here and there, but it is not bad. It has a needle-like tip and the motto is crisp and mostly dark, incorporating Gothic "S" characters in "sein" and "scheinnen". The reverse is matching etched with the post-1941 Eickhorn "Over the Shoulder" Squirrel trademark. The blade shoulders perfectly meet the lower crossguard contour.
A good Eickhorn NPEA Dagger here, not in mint condition but not bad at all.
Excellent Plus. $3,695.00