The German Navy or Kriegsmarine officially carried daggers as early as the 1840's and continued to wear edged weapons throughout the Third Reich Period. Most collectors are concerned with 3rd Reich Naval Dirks which are referred to as 1st and 2nd Model Naval Patterns.
Naval dirks were normally produced of gilded brass fittings and scabbard, with white grip and bright blade often having nautical theme etchings. The scabbard was produced with a engraved lighting bolt pattern or had a hammered finish. The so-called 1st Model, actually a Model 1929, was equipped with a round pommel top. After 1938, Naval Dirks received a pommel change which depicted a closed-winged eagle which clutched a wreathed swastika. These dirks are often found with a portepee, i.e. a decorative tassel wrapped about the grip.
NVL12 #47656 2nd Model Naval with Orange Grip by E. & F. Horster
This is a fine naval dagger and we seldom see Horster pieces with orange grips. This piece apparently has a ball top as it is now equipped with the 1938 changeover pommel. The pommel is a real beauty having the deep deep recesses in the wings with he highly vaulted out wreath and swastika. The details to the bird's head and breast feather are also excellent. The crossguard has the standard fouled anchor center blocks with acanthus leaves on both of the quillon arms. The arms end in buttons with large nipples in the center. The grip is in perfect condition and is a beautiful orange color. The color is very striking and it is tightly wrapped with a brass springy style wire. Accenting the piece is a fine nylon style portepee which is original to this dirk. The portepee is set in the double reef naval tie and has just a bit of fraying where it comes out of the tie and a little bit of fraying to the slide. The stem beneath has the “v” designs and the ball is a matching nylon color with the standard stuffing. The scabbard is a lightning bolt example. It is in nice condition showing some usage signs but no dings or dents. The design deeply stamped with palmettes over and above the carrying bands ending with lightning bolts acanthus leaves and ermine feet. The ermine feet show some wear to their design which we would expect because this is an early dagger probably produced about 1935 or 1936. The bands are in good condition showing the overlapping oak leaves and acorns and they also show a bit of wear to the surfaces commensurate with the usage of the dagger. The eyelets are the standard triple serrated type with the serrations still there but showing wear. The throat is retained by twop dome head screws. The blade is in very fine condition still being mint. It has an excellent nickel plated surface retaining its needlelike point. As another way to tell that this is an early piece the blade is etched with the sailing ship scenes. The obverse features the anchor in the center with a fully rigged masted sailer heading towards the viewer. On the reverse side there are floral leaves and an additional sailing ship flying the ensigns sailing on a bank of sea plants. Further, the obverse ricasso is stamped not etched as the later example where with the trademark consisting of the double ovals having the firm’s name and location within “E. & F. Horster Solingen”. In the center is a large letter H with the smaller HS letters in the middle being pierced by a sword. The original leather washer is in place. A very fine dagger here which has seen usage throughout the war and has come through it all in good condition and having lots of interesting aspects to it. An outstanding collector piece.
Excellent Plus Plus. $1,795.00
NVL12 #44139C Model 1919 Naval Dirk with Single Hanger
The Model 1919 Naval Dirk is a relatively rare edged weapon. It is often referred to as a "Mourning" dagger because it was produced with a sombre black grip and scabbard, presumably to reflect the dark times after Germany's defeat in the First World War. The Kreigsmarine decided to abandon the Crown pommel used during the Kaiser's reign, returning to the 1848 variant which is where the round pommel began its like.
This 1919 pommel is decorated with reeds and cattails set atop a cresting wave. On this particular piece the pommel is made of brass and has been peened to the tang so that the tang cannot be taken apart.
The crossguard is matching brass and is the thinner style we see on earlier pieces. It features a fouled anchor in the obverse center block, the reverse block having foliage and a circle in the center that looks like it could have been used for a push-button release. This dagger does not have a push-button, although the lack of one is common in daggers of this vintage. This was a cost cutting measure as Germany was dead broke after the war and further bled dry by the Treaty of Versailles. The guard arms have good acanthus leaves, button ends, and crisp nipple tips. This crossguard design replaced the capstan type used during the Kaiserzeit.
The grip looks to be mad of black horn, or possibly back celluloid of a carved wooden base. Since the dagger does not come apart it is hard to tell. It is also interesting in that the grip only has five ribs, less than we normally see. It is tightly wrapped with a very small gage twisted wire.
The scabbard is made of steel and has been painted black. The scabbard tapers slightly along the length and ends in a ball chape. It remains straight and the original paint is quite bright and not in bad shape at all. It is equipped with a single figure eight carrying band which is decorated with rope-like designs that extend to the eyelet and the carrying ring. The throat is retained by a pair of steel dome head side screws.
The blade of this dirk is 8 1/4 inches long, cut down from an older vintage blade. It is etched and remains fairly clear, with a fouled anchor and sailing ship and one side and only the ship on the other. Looking at the blade it is easy to see were a workman had trimmed down the edges and the ricasso so it would fit the bayonet-like scabbard. These conversion methods were often used during this period as money was very thin on the ground, and it is not uncommon to see reworked blades dating from this time. The blade also has a blade release mechanism which acts to keep the dagger tightly in place but does not actually lock it.
Along with the dagger is a nice, Naval style blue web belt. This belt has only a single hanging strap, being of black leather and having a lion mask buckle. This buckle is silvered rather than gilded but apparently this is the way this dagger was worn. There is also a steel regain chain connected to the belt which would have been another money saving feature; normally they were made of more expensive brass.
This is a very rare dagger. If you understand the history of this piece the difference in quality from later pieces makes perfect sense. The 1919 Model is often missing from most Naval collections. If you are intrigued by these most interesting daggers you can read all about them on pages 181 and 182 of my Navy Book.
Excellent Plus. $2,995.00
NVL12 #47545 1st Model Naval No Maker
This 1929 model naval is an extremely nice dagger being in very fine condition throughout. The pommel is the ball top variety which has outstanding engravings to the reed and cattail formations and it also has fine cresting waves which go around the bottom area of the pommel. The crossguard features the standard fouled anchor center blocks with acanthus leaves on all of the crossguard surfaces. The guards end with buttons and having nipples int he center. The grip is a very pleasing light yellow color and it is a solid celluloid variety still benign in mint condition. It features double twisted brass grip wire.
The scabbard is completely straight throughout and is the hammered variety. The scabbard has very fine details to the hammering and it is equipped with the earlier type carrying bands being in a figure 8 on the obverse and just standard ropelike design on the reverse. The eyelets are also in ropelike shape with their two brass carrying bands. This beautiful scabbard has its throat retained by two dome head brass screws.
The plain blade is in full mint condition having very fine quality nickel plated surfaces. The blade features double fuller and has a needlelike tip. The blade buffer is a green felt type still in excellent condition.
A very fine conditioned original 1st model naval which is difficult to find and would be a very good addition to any naval collection.
Near Mint. $1,695.00
NVL12 #47505 2nd Model Naval Dagger with Hammered Scabbard & Plain Blade
The fouled anchor crossguard is also a fine example, with crisp acanthus leaves, button ends, and nipple tips.
The celluloid grip is a beauty, having toned to a deep ivory color. I like the age residue that has built up around the grip wire in the ribs. This wire is twisted brass and remains tightly wrapped.
The scabbard is an outstanding hammered type and remains totally straight and dent free. The chape is plain, and the bands are decorated with fine overlapping oak leaves. The eyelets are smooth and the throat is retained by a pair of dome head brass screws.
The unmarked, dual fuller, nickel plated blade remains in full mint condition. The original red felt blade buffer is in place.
Naval daggers with plain blades were generally produced after the outbreak of the war as a cost saving measure, often issued to NCO’s who were not about to get a fancier model free of charge from miserly German bureaucrats.
Excellent Plus. $1,195.00
NVL12 #37673C 1902 Naval Officer's Dirk with Deluxe Grip, Damascus Blade and Chased Scabbard
The simple act of holding this 1902 Naval Officer's Dirk is stimulating; one cannot help appreciate the beauty of this piece. It is a short style dirk, measuring about 14½ inches overall. It is in outstanding condition throughout, with literally no flaws.
The dirk is constructed of finest quality brass. The pommel is the extra-cost type, with the raised, serrated edge finials. These finials gather at the top, supporting an orb which is in turn topped with a simulated cross. The open area beneath these finials is hand checkered and has little dots in each square. The eight panels that run around the pommel are all beautifully rendered, having raised, pebbled borders that contain alternating crosses and Prussian eagles.
The crossguard is also a matching beauty, having fouled anchors on the center blocks of both sides. The anchors are raised and nicely detailed, with hand applied pebbling in the backgrounds. The quillon arms are the four sided types that end in stylized, bell-shaped capstans at the end.
The grip is a tremendous Elfenbein example. This grip has toned to a golden color and is in nearly perfect condition throughout. There are a few small hairliners that run down the edges of both sides giving the grip the kind of character we like to see.
The scabbard is completely dent-free and shows little evidence of usage, if any. This scabbard has a hand chased design which features a bow motif above the upper band. Below the upper band and on both sides of the lower band are hand engraved oak leaves which are positioned side by side and run around the entire scabbard. These oak leaves have also received hand enhancement on their veins. At the bottom of the scabbard the oak leaf motif is continued with the addition of three beautifully rendered acorns with hand checkered caps. The lower chape has an additional oak leaf. Even the button below has the oak leaf bottom extended to it. Some terrific work here! The scabbard bands have fluted surfaces which run north to south with a raised border on both edges. In the center are raised, overlapping oak leaves which run throughout the band. The eyelets also have hand carved oak leaves, as do the carrying rings.
Drawing the blade is a real pleasure. This blade is a very fine Damascus example, with double fuller construction and a ricasso in the shape of a “V”. The Damascus is in the Maiden Hair pattern and is quite beautiful, being slightly different than we normally see. The blade is completely free of age and remains in Mint condition. The original red felt buffer is in place below the crossguard.
I haven't taken this dagger apart as it is very tight and it would be a shame to loosen the mounts. There is no point in looking inside as this dagger; is what it is.
Fish & Wildlife Certification included.
Near Mint. $4,525.00
NVL12 #46246 Transitional Weimar Period Depot Naval Dirk No Maker
The dagger is equipped with a Third Reich pommel which most likely was a replacement for the original ball top which would have come with this dirk. The pommel is in nice condition with good detail to the eagle;s head wing feathers wreath and swastika.
The crossguard is the narrower type that we see on early naval daggers. It has the twin fouled anchors on each of the center blocks. It is interesting to note that on the reverse center block the fouled anchor is quite worn which is an indication of lots of usage over the years.
The grip is a celluloid off-white example still being in fine condition. It is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire.
The scabbard is basically straight throughout showing a little bit of carrying signs but no dents. It is a lightning bolt variety except that it is equipped with the earlier figure 8 knots on the obverse of the bands. The pattern is good stamped into the brass not having palmettes like the usual would be in Third Reich time but rather having a series of curls above and below each of the carrying bands. At the lower portion are the lightning bolts ermine feet and pointed style acanthus leaves. The acanthus leaves show quite a bit of wear commensurate with the wear on the crossguard. The reverse of the scabbard bands also show good wear. This dagger certainly saw a lot of history during its time.
It is also interesting to note that the reverse of the upper scabbard is property marked "338". The blade reverse ricasso is also stamped "338" and additionally has above this a large "M" for marine positioned over an anchor.
The blade is a plain type which is usual for depot pieces as the navy was not spending a lot of money on daggers that were issued to NCO's. This blade however is a high quality nickel plated example still having its original bright luster double fullers on both sides needlelike tip and the blade still rates in mint condition. It is also interesting that since there is no blade release button on the crossguard the retention method used on this example is one of the spring types that latch below the throat area. A much cheaper method of retaining the dagger than the pushbutton blade release method. The original leather blade buffer is still in place.
A really nice example here of a depot piece still being in its natural state and being also in nice condition.
Excellent Plus. $1,595.00
NVL12 #45770C 2nd Model Naval with Bullion Portepee and Hangers by WKC
The mounts are all beautiful textbook WKC. The pommel has 100 percent of its gilt as does the crossguard as does the crossguard. The pommel is a fine example having excellent detail to the bird’s head breast feathering wings and raised wreath with swastika. The choice crossguard features the center block with fouled anchor having acanthus leaves decorating all four areas of the crossguards. The end buttons are in good condition with nipples in the center.
The original to the piece portepee is one of the silver bullion types. It has toned to golden color and is set in place in the double reef knot. A beautiful knot here that really does much to accent this great piece.
The scabbard is also in brand new condition. It has no dents or wear and easily has 100 percent of its gilt throughout. The scabbard is the lightning bolt variety. It features the palmettes on either side of the bands with lighting bolts ermine feet and acanthus leaves at the bottom. The bands are the high of the surface WKC type featuring overlapping oak leaves and acorns. The eyelets are triple serrated and are still crisp throughout.
Attached to the scabbard rings is an outstanding set of Kriegsmarine hangers. These hangers are the gilded aluminum type and the strapping is the fine black moire obverse with black velvet backs. The strapping shows no wear whatsoever, The hardware features the lion mask buckles which are also pristine with 100 percent gilt. The same is true of the snap clips slide and aluminum regain chain with hook.
The blade of this example is just as nice as the outside. It is a full mint conditioned example featuring the fouled anchor nautical etch. The etching is pristine perfect highlighted by the 100 percent shading in the backgrounds. The blade is of highest quality nickel plating having needlelike tip. The obverse ricasso is stamped with the knight head trademark with the firm’s initial beneath “WKC”. The original red felt blade buffer is in place.
If you are looking for the best of the best in a naval dagger with full accoutrements this piece should appeal very much to you.
NVL12 #37953C Imperial Model 1902 Naval Dirk with Shortened Scabbard
We often see with Imperial Naval dirks shortened scabbards, as the original examples from 1890 where made with a standard length long scabbard. Rather than discard a long scabbard they were simply cut down. This identical piece can be seen in my Navy Book on page 103. In the scabbard this piece measures about 14 inches long.
The pommel is the style with high finials that have serrated edges. These finials support an orb and a cross at the top. The six domed shields that surround the pommel are all pebbled, alternating between designs of Prussian eagles and crosses. The pommel shows minor traces of wear. This pommel was pinned to the tang by the manufacturer and as such this dirk cannot betaken down.
The crossguard below features fouled anchor center blocks, and the four-sided quillons have panels filled with fine pebbling. The quillons terminate in stylized capstans.
The grip is a very pretty genuine Elfenbein, still being in perfect condition. There are some very attractive striations on both sides, with tones and gold and graining throughout the entire grip. This grip is wrapped with twisted brass wire.
The scabbard has been shortened to about 10 ¾ inches. It is interesting to note that the scabbard, at one time, was a lightning bolt variety. The bolts, however, have all been peened over. Further, the bands were once the guilloche style but they too have been peened over to match the shell. Even the eyelets and carrying rings have been peened. A very interesting scabbard here; it really speaks to you of the history of this dirk. The throat is retained by two dome head brass screws.
The fine Damascus blade is about 9 ½ inches long. It has a very nice, subtle Maiden Hair pattern that gently flows the length of both sides. The blade has double fullers and a ricasso. I see no age on this blade and it looks to be nearly mint to me. It is buffered by a red felt pad.
A very nice, historical piece here!
Excellent Plus. $4,850.00
NVL12 #45401C 2nd Model Naval by Paul Weyersberg
The pommel is a very nice example featuring good detail to the bird’s head breast feathering vaulted wreath and swastika. The crossguard also is in nice condition with fouled anchor center blocks. The quillon arms are decorated with raised acanthus leaves and have button ends with fairly long protruding nipples in the center.
The grip is a wood base covered with celluloid. The obverse grip remains in perfect condition and has a very nice ivory tone to it. The reverse grip unfortunately has developed a crack in the next to last rib and I also see signs of perhaps a small hairliner in the lower rib of the reverse. If the dagger is being displayed though this should not be a problem.
The scabbard is a good example still being straight and showing a few minor carrying signs. It is the lightning bolt variety with deeply stamped acanthus leaves followed by lightning bolts ermine feet and acanthus leaves. The bands are a high off the surface type with overlapping oak leaves and acorns. The eyelets have good triple serrated edges. The throat is retained by two flat head side screws.
The blade is in good condition however it is not all that bright. It has a slightly gray look to it which I don’t know whether it was made this way or whether age has done the deed. The blade is perfectly formed with a needlelike tip. It features the standard fouled anchor nautical motif on both sides of the blade. The reverse ricasso is etched with the double ovals which contain the firm’s name and location Paul Weyersberg Solingen and in the center is a sword piercing a wheat shaft. This blade grades at about excellent. The original brown leather buffer is in place.
A good Weyersberg piece here that is pierced accordingly.
NVL12 #45210 2nd Model Naval by Carl Eickhorn
The pommel is a real beauty being the changeover style that was instituted in 1938. It is a very fine eagle having deep recesses in the wings with large vaulted wreath and shiny swastika in center. The detail to the bird’s head is also outstanding.
The crossguard could not be nicer having the fouled anchor centers with the acanthus leaves on each of the quillon arms. The button ends are in good condition with nipples in the center.
The wood carved grip is covered in white celluloid still being in perfect condition. This grip is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire.
The scabbard is straight throughout. It is a very fine Eickhorn scabbard having nearly 100 percent of the original gilt still on the obverse. It features palmettes over and under the carrying bands and at the bottom are deeply stamped lightning bolts ermine feet and acanthus leaves. On the reverse of the scabbard the gilding is still at 100 percent at the upper area above the band and at the lower area below the second band. The area in between the to bands was obviously the place where the original wearer chose to hold his hand to keep the dagger in place. The gilt has worn off this area and if anything kind of talks to you. The bands feature fine oak leaves with acorns and the eyelets are the triple serrated type. The throat is retained by two dome head screws.
The blade is of highest quality and still in full mint condition. It is a nickel plated example with its needlelike tip. The frost behind the fouled anchor etch is 100 percent and really shows off the raised work here. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the 1935 through 41 squirrel logo. The original brown felt buffer pad is in place.
An extremely nice Eickhorn dagger here.
Mint Minus. $1,425.00
NVL12 #34380 2nd Model Naval by Carl Eickhorn
This is a very fine piece having all of the original gild finish, accept for a small portion about the size of a quarter on the scabbard obverse over the area that features the lightning bolts. The mounts throughout are all classic Eickhorn. The hilt parts are in choice perfect condition. The pommel features the finely detailed eagle clutching a wreath with swastika. The cross guard has outstanding detail to the acanthus leaves on the quillon arms, the fouled anchor center blocks and the button ends with nipples in the center. The off-white grip remains in perfect condition having a base of carved wood. The grip is wrapped with tight twisted brass wire.
The scabbard is straight as an arrow featuring the lightning bolt design. The scabbard reflects full original gild finish with the exception of the small area over the lightning bolts mentioned above. (The next owner may wish to simi-chrome just this small area to bring back the brightness of the brass). The palmettes are deeply stamped around the bands, as is the case with the lightning bolts, ermine feet and acanthus leaves. The bands feature overlapping oak leaves and acorns being in choice crisp condition, to include the triple-serrated eyelets. The throat is retained by two dome head center screws.
The double-etched blade is in full mint condition, being of the finest quality with choice nickel-plated finish. The background frosting is still perfect and really sets off the raised areas of the fouled anchor nautical scenes. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the 1935-41 Eickhorn trademark. The original brown felt blade buffer is in place.
A very fine piece here.
Mint Minus. $1,350.00
NVL12 #45007 1st Model Naval with Orange Grip and Hammered Scabbard
This naval dagger is an incredibly nice piece. It is one of the rarely seen 1st Model types having survived the adjustment of putting the 1937 eagle on it. Apparently this offer retired prior to that time.
The pommel is an outstanding ball top featuring reeds and cattails over cresting waves. The pommel has nice detail.
The crossguard is also extremely nice having fine fouled anchors in the center blocks with good acanthus leaves and having line enhanced ends with nipples which stick out quite far. Just looking at these mounts I feel that this dagger was most likely made by the Hörster firm.
The grip is a very beautiful orange example having one tiny crack on the reverse bottom right rib. Other than this the grip is in perfect condition and is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire.
Decorating the hilt is a fine aluminum style knot which appears to have been on the dagger for a long time. It is tightly set in place in the double naval reef tie. It shows only the most modest signs of usage.
The scabbard is an outstanding example being completely straight throughout and having very fine hammered finish. The bands are very nicely rendered having enhanced oak leaves and acorns with eyelets having the typical triple surface serrations. The throat is retained by two dome head screws.
The blade is also a very fine example being in almost complete mint condition. It is very bright having finest nickel plated finish. The frosting behind the fouled anchor etch is still all there with just a slight bit of age noticeable in a couple of areas in the frosting. Otherwise the blade is perfect. The original leather buffer is in place.
Original 1st Model naval daggers are quite difficult to come by and are a real must for an advanced naval collection. This one really has the looks to a long with its rarely encountered ball top.
Near Mint. $2,195.00
NVL12 #44618C Naval Honor Pommel with Diamonds
This naval honor pommel was one of the examples that were left over at the end of the war as they were never used for anticipated orders of honor daggers which did not materialize. These pommels were given to Jim Atwood in the late 70's. The pommel comes with original letters sent to Atwood by Helmut Eickhorn stating that the pommels were made by his father with much care with the diamonds and according to special orders given to his firm. He further states he wants 600 francs for each pommel. According to the letter 20 pieces were given to Jim Atwood.
This example is one of the original pieces. As most collectors are aware there were special honor daggers made for naval officers such as U-boat captains and in one case a torpedo boat captain who had already won Knight's Crosses with Swords and the dagger was thought to make for something special to further award these gallant naval people. As far as we know there were approximately 17 of these daggers at least that is the amount we currently know of. It's possible there are still more to come to the attention of the collecting community. The honor pommel is slightly larger than a normal naval pommel and has beautiful detail to the bird's head open wings breast area talons and wreath.
The platinum applied swastika is set with 17 rose cut diamonds. The pommel is also threaded for insertion on to a tang. I have sold a number of these pommels over the years but it has ben some time since I have had the opportunity to offer another one. This one is specially significant because it comes with the original Eickhorn to Atwood letters not just copies which I have had in the past.
A very beautiful item here and a special addition to any advanced naval collection. If you have a copy of my naval book I cover in a chapter the naval honor daggers and I also feature one of the leftover pommels in color on age 432. This pommel we are offering is identical to the one pictured in the book.
NVL12 #44583C Gilded Aluminum Naval Pommel
We know that there a few naval daggers that were made by the Carl Eickhorn firm that were made of all gilded aluminum. Eickhorn was experimenting with using aluminum for production and we have seen other daggers in the past such as RAD leaders which were also produced of aluminum by Eickhorn.
The pommel that we are listing here is of all aluminum construction with beautiful gilt plating. The pommel does not appear to be an Eickhorn and quite honestly I looked through many pommel types and I can't identify the maker of the pommel. It is extremely beautifully designed and it is also possible it may be some type of prototype.
The wings and vaulted wreath with swastika have a close look to the pommels used to replace the ball tops in 1938 but again not the exact look.
This pommel is 100 percent original and perhaps the next owner of this piece will be able to identify its producer. In the meantime it is a very beautiful thing and would make a nice addition to an advanced naval collection.
NVL12 #43854 2nd Model Naval Dagger - E. & F. Hörster
The pommel eagle is excellent, with fine detailing and a nicely vaulted wreath and swastika. The crossguard is also nice, with the standard fouled anchors on each side of the center block, good acanthus leaves, button ends, and crisp nipples.
The grip is one of the later, molded types. It has a very small crack on the reverse, visible on the second rib from the bottom. There are also traces of the mold lines on both edges. This grip is tightly wrapped with thin gage brass wire.
The scabbard is a lightning bolt type. Even though the gilding is totally gone it remains straight. The palmettes, lightning bolts, and ermine feet remain crisp, and the bands have a fine patter of overlapping oak leaves. The eyelets are the usual serrated type. The throat is retained by a pair of brass screws.
The blade is double etched in the Sailing Ship pattern. Although this blade remains bright there is some pitting on the center ridge on both sides. The etch itself remain quite nice all things considered, with all of the original frosting in the backgrounds. The obverse depicts an anchor and a sailing ship on a bed of sea plants. The reverse has an even larger sailing ship but omits the anchor. This example is stamped with the familiar Hörster H trademark, and the original brown felt blade buffer is in place, showing wear to the edges.
A good 2nd Model Naval Dagger here, with some period wear and tear. It is priced accordingly.
NVL12 #39690C Imperial Heavy Naval Dirk
This immense and most beautiful Heavy Naval Dirk is extremely desirable and missing from most Naval collections, as Heavy Dirks are very rarely seen. In their day they were much more expensive than a standard Naval dirk, and, times being what they were, they were often passed over by frugal mariners for a more reasonably priced example. If you are not familiar with these dirks I show a number of them in my Imperial book on pages 68 through 84.
This outstanding piece measures nearly 17 inches long and all of the mounts are of large (almost oversized) proportions. The hilt is equipped with a large and beautiful pommel that has extended finials. These four finials act to support a royal orb and cross at the top. The upper portion of the pommel is finished with diamond shaped engravings. Running around the pommel are eight panels which alternate between depictions of crosses and Prussian eagles. The panels with the crosses are slightly larger than the eagle panels. The detailing throughout this pommel is superb.
The crossguard is also quite oversized. It features large center blocks that have highly detailed fouled anchor designs. The area around the anchors has been finely pebbled. These guards are four-sided and liberally embellished with fine floral patterns. The quillon ends are in the shape of capstans.
Attached below the guard is a hinged flap which acts to lock the dirk into the scabbard. The scabbard is equipped with a male prong which exactly fits the hole that is drilled into the flap.
The grip of this dirk is an extremely impressive, deluxe example. It has nine ribs, all of which are in perfect condition with no chips or splits. These ribs are tightly wrapped which a skein of three silver wires, the center strand being twisted.
The very long scabbard is not as elaborate as some of the others I’ve seen in the past, but it is still quite impressive. Instead of palmettes it has long floral patterns which I have never seen before; these flowers almost look like morning glories. There are also little accent dots in the brass, almost imparting a look of motion to these fine floral designs. At the lower portion of the scabbard are a series of lighting bolts, floral designs, and a set of ermine feet. The lower chape ends in an elaborate stepped design. The scabbard shows some traces of wear but has no dents or dings and it remains in very good condition. The bands are the guilloche style that simulate naval hawsers tied around pilings, while the eyelets have smooth edges and a serrated center. The throat is retained by a pair of dome head screws.
The large large blade of this dirk is just shy of 12 inches long. It is interesting to note that this blade is a fine, artificial Damascus example in the Large Roses pattern. The blade remains in mint condition, having the usual dual fullers traditionally seen on Naval blades. Presumably the original owner of this dirk opted for the less expensive artificial Damascus blade as a cost cutting measure after spending a princely sum on the heavy style dirk! The blade is buffered by a wide leather washer which is original to the piece.
If you are a serious Naval collector this piece is represents an opportunity to acquire an ultra-rare, original example at a reasonable price. It is a very beautiful dagger that is sure to bring a smile to your face with its immense size and historical importance.
Excellent Plus. $10,000.00
NVL12 #43173C Imperial Naval Paymaster's Bayonet
This rarely encountered edged weapon is extremely beautiful and in very, very fine condition. The workmanship represent the best available at the turn of the last century. The gilding on the hilt remains about 95%, which is very good for such an old dagger.
The hilt of the bayonet is gilded brass. The left side is has grooves to afford a good grip. There is a built-in pommel and backstrap. The backstrap is decorated with sprigs of oak leaves and acorns, with obvious hand enhancement throughout. Atop the pommel is a beautiful high-raised Imperial crown, complete with chiseled finials and an orb. The detailing throughout the pommel is extraordinary, with exceptional alternating panels featuring Prussian eagles and crosses. There is a lot to study here!
The crossguard is the Imperial "capstan" type. Sometimes on these Paymaster pieces we see guards that look more like bowling pins; given the differences we can assume the type of guard may have been an option left to the purchaser. The guard has wonderful raised fouled anchors in the center block. The block has a raised border and pebbled backgrounds. The guard arms are four-sided and end in stylized capstans.
Below the crossguard is a hinged, folding clamshell. This clamshell is just slightly elliptical, featuring a beautifully detailed fouled anchor with hand-enhanced ropes and set on a pebbled background. The reverse is fitted with a hinged flap blade lock. A "12" is stamped on the inner area of the lock and the clamshell.
It is interesting to note that this bayonet is personalized with the name of the original owner, "W. Burmeister", neatly and professionally scribed. I tried to look him up in the Imperial rank list, but there were no Burmeister's with a "W" initial listed as a Paymaster.
The scabbard shell is constructed from black leather. This leather remains in very fine condition, showing little age, and is decorated with twin edge lines. It is sewn up the rear. The mounts are also a work of art. Both mounts are scalloped where they meet the leather and very finely peened; this is the smallest, closest peen I have ever seen. On the obverse and reverse are finely rendered oak leaves, and the chape is festooned with detailed, enhanced acorns. The chape ends in a ball that also has designs around it. The upper mount is fitted with a carrying lug. The gilding on these mounts matches the hilt perfectly.
The blade of this bayonet measures nearly 11 inches long. It is amazing how bright it is, given the age. The nickel plating is outstanding, with only a few minor rust spots on the spine that aren't very noticeable. The blade features a shaded panel on both sides, each with a crown over a fouled anchor. At the ricasso is a fully rigged sailing ship, complete with ensigns, and the top has a military motif with cannons and the like. The spine is decorated with laurel leaves. The etching throughout is extremely nice. The original red felt blade buffer is in place.
If you are looking for a very rare Imperial piece, this is for you; the condition is outstanding and it can even be researched! A first-rate and very scarce piece here.
Excellent Plus. $3,395.00
NVL12 #43175 2nd Model Naval Dagger with Plain Blade - Carl Eickhorn
The pommel is nicely formed, with good checkering to the eagle's breast and a crisp wreathed swastika. The crossguard features the standard fouled anchor center blocks, acanthus leaves on the guard arms, and button ends with nipple tips.
The grip is carved wood covered in celluloid. The celluloid on this example remains in perfect condition, tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire.
The scabbard shows age and carrying wear. There is no denting but there are plenty of signs this dagger has been around. It features the standard lightning bolt pattern engraving, along with the usual palmettes around the bands, ermine feet, and acanthus leaves at the bottom. The bands have overlapping oak leaves and remain sound. The tripe serrated eyelets show some mild wear. The throat is retained by a pair of dome head brass side screws.
The blade is a plain type with twin fullers on each side. It remains bright and has a fine, needle-like tip; it is nearly mint. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the "Over the Shoulder" Squirrel trademark used by Eickhorn after 1941, and the original red felt blade buffer is in place.
A good late war 2nd Model Naval Dagger here at a reasonable price.
NVL12 #42264C Imperial / Weimar Short Naval Dirk with Damascus Blade
The ball top pommel has outstanding detail to the engraved reeds and cattails. These are positioned over cresting waves, which form a collar at the bottom of the pommel. Most of the original gilded finish remains.
The crossguard also has most of the original gilding. It is an Imperial "capstan" type, with raised fouled anchor center blocks and randomly pebbled backgrounds. The guard arms are four sided, ending in stylized capstans.
The grip of the dirk is a constructed of carved wood with a celluloid coating. It has toned to a very pleasing off-white color. There is a very small hairline crack running through two or three of the obverse ribs, but it is barely noticeable. The rest of the grip is in perfect condition, tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire.
The scabbard is quite interesting as it only measures 6 ½ inches long. It does not appear to have been cut down, but looks to have been made this way. It is decorated with palmettes on either side of the bands. There is a short area that is plain, changing to lightning bolts and vague ermine feet towards the bottom. The band is has very straight edges on the overlapping oak leaves. The serrated eyelet retains a gilded carrying ring. I believe that this dirk was made more as a desk example than one to be worn as it does not balance proper when held by the ring.
The blade is a gorgeous thing, being fine Damascus in the Small Roses pattern. There is no doubt that this blade was long when it was forged, having been cut down to accommodate the short scabbard. The Small Roses pattern is very pronounced and as good as you will ever see. The blade has double fullers which run to the tip, a clue that it was once longer. This blade is unmarked and I did not remove the grip to check for stampings, but I suspect it was made by one of the Imperial masters. I did not want to risk a further crack in the grip by taking it apart. The blade remains in mint condition, with a needle-like tip. The original red felt buffer is in place, with a little edge wear but still sound.
A very beautiful little dirk here, and a perfect additional to an advanced Naval collection... or perhaps a very expensive letter opener!
Excellent Plus. $3,795.00
NVL12 #39819 GI Market 1946 "Naval Dirk"
This "Naval Dirk" is a great find, being made postwar for sale to our GI's as a souvenir. More than once have I been offered them by GI's who swore they were war vintage... but now we know the truth, as you will see.
This dagger is constructed of what appears to be pot metal, although it might be brass; it's hard to say. The pommel has a standard eagle and swastika design and looks to be a changeover example from 1938, most likely used up by the factories at the end of the war. It has nice detailing and is deeply toned.
The crossguard is interesting example as it has no blade release button slot. The detailing throughout the center blocks, acanthus leaves, and nipple tips is terrific as it was never actually used.
The grip is wood covered with off-white celluloid, tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire.
The scabbard is straight throughout, with a great finish and most of the original lacquer. It is constructed of gilded steel, in the lightning bolt motif. The fact that there are no eyelets and the carrying rings are welded directly to the bands betray this piece as a post-war creation. The bands are high off the surface and the throat is retained a screw in the reverse center. It is interesting to see the original side holes are present, although they are empty. Apparently they were part of the manufacturing process and simply left in place.
The blade is a fine, mint example, with a double fuller and no etching. The tip remains needle-like. It is nicely produced, although the blade lock slot was left in place despite there being no blade lock! The original leather blade buffer in place.
What makes this dagger remarkable and interesting to the Naval collector is the fact that this piece comes with the original certificate issued to the GI, one Corporal Anthony J Kessler, Jr, dated 22 May 1946. This certificate clearly states Kessler was in possession of the dagger and that it was in fact purchased in a Germany factory specifically making souvenirs for the Allies! This certificate is signed by an Air Corp captain has has an official rubber-stamped seal.
So now we know the true history of these mysterious, oft-questioned daggers beyond a shadow of a doubt. A great item here, perfect for the die-hard Naval collector.
Excellent Plus. $895.00
NVL12 #41316 2nd Model Naval Dagger - Carl Eickhorn
The pommel has fine detailing, with good breast feathering on the eagle and a finely gilded swastika that shines out from within the wreath.
The crossguard has the standard fouled anchor center blocks, acanthus leaves, and lined quillon arms with crisp nipple tips.
The grip is constructed of carved wood covered in perfect off-white celluloid. The grip is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire with a little bit of age reside trapped between the ribs, something I always enjoy seeing.
Wrapped about the hilt is what appears to the the original aluminum bullion portepee. This knot is in the proper Double Reef tie, and shows no fraying whatsoever. The lower ball is stuffed with a textured material, and the slide and stem have a fine "V" weave.
The scabbard is as straight as an arrow and retains nearly all of the gilding; the obverse is nearly 100%, while the reverse has some missing between the two bands where it no doubt rubbed against a tunic. This kind of thing really talks to you! The bands are nicely formed, with good oak leaves and acorns and the serrated eyelets remain crisp. The throat is retained by a pair of dome head brass screws.
The double etched blade is a good as you will see. It has fine nickel plating, a needle-like tip, and a beautiful fouled anchor etch. The background frosting remains 100% intact. The reverse of the blade is stamped with the "Over the Shoulder" Eickhorn Squirrel trademark used after 1941, and the original brown felt blade washer is in place.
A very fine Naval piece here, with some period wear, but not much. It is a great collectible example.
Near Mint. $1,495.00
This Eickhorn-produced 2nd Model Naval Dagger has the “Over the Shoulder” style trademark, indicating that it was made after 1941. The fittings and scabbard are constructed of quality brass despite the later vintage.
The pommel and crossguard are in excellent condition. The pommel retains about 90% of the original gilding and has excellent detail. The crossguard is the classic Eickhorn style, with good fouled anchor center blocks and excellent acanthus leaves on the guard arms. The quillons have fine button ends.
The grip is of carved wood covered in celluloid. This celluloid has turned to an off-white color and remains in perfect condition. It is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire.
The scabbard is straight throughout. It shows some signs of usage but nothing bad. It features a fouled anchor with palmettes over and under the bands. At the lower section are patterns of lightning bolts, ermine feet, and acanthus leaves. The bands have overlapping oak leaves and acorns, and show some modest wear. The eyelets are the triple serrated types and also show some wear. The throat is retained by a pair of dome head brass screws.
The blade of this dagger is plain. Normally when we see plain blades it indicates that the dagger was issued to a petty officer. The blade has the typical dual fuller construction, and although it is bright is does have some even smudging throughout the surfaces. The reverse ricasso of the blade is stamped with the Eickhorn “Over the Shoulder” squirrel trademark. The original brown felt blade buffer is intact and in place.
A decent 2nd Model Naval Dagger here if you are looking for a plain bladed piece to pair with your etched example.
NVL12 #37481 2nd Model Naval Dagger – Carl Eickhorn
The pommel and crossguard are the same as those I show in my Navy Book pages 263 and 266. The pommel has excellent detail throughout, with maybe 50 to 60% of the original gilded surface remaining. The eagle retained excellent detail to his head, breast and wing feathering, talons wreath and vaulted swastika.
The crossguard has about the same about of gilding and features the usual fouled anchor design fore and aft. The quillon are decorated with acanthus leaves and end in nippled buttons.
The grip is of carved wood covered in celluloid. This celluloid has acquired a pleasing age tone and remains in perfect condition. The twisted brass grip wire is nice and tight and does a good job setting off the grip.
The scabbard has some dings along the edges either made by someone hammering something or perhaps from rough wear by the original owner; perhaps he was running up and down the length of a U-boat! It is what it is, however, and this dagger is priced accordingly. It is the lightning bolt type. It has good stampings to the palmettes, lightning bolts, ermine feet and acanthus leaves. It also has about 70% of the original gilding on the obverse and perhaps about 50% still intact on the reverse. The carrying bands are beautiful, having a design of overlapping oak leaves, while the eyelets have good serrated surfaces. The throat is retained by two dome head side screws.
The blade is a very fine double-etched type with a needle-like tip. It features the fouled anchor motif and the nickel-plated surface is of highest quality, easily in Mint condition. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the post-1941 Eickhorn trademark with the “Over the Shoulder” squirrel. The original tan felt blade buffer is in place, showing some wear around the edges but nothing too bad.
A nice Eickhorn Naval Dagger here, priced to reflect to the scabbard dings.
NVL12 #35756 2nd Model Naval Dagger – Paul Weyersberg
The pommel and crossguard are identical to the examples that I show on page 293 of my Navy Book. Best not to look at the pommel shown on page 291, as this is not a Weyersberg pommel but rather is an Eickhorn. It was a mistake on my part and if I reprint the book you can be sure that I will replace this pommel with the correct Weyersberg type.
At any rate, the pommel and crossguard are produced of fine cast mounts. This pommel has a slightly longer eagle head than most and has excellent detail to the bird’s eye, beak and breast feathering. The half open wing feathering, talons, wreath and raised mobile swastika are also excellent. The crossguard depicts the fouled anchors on both of the center blocks with good acanthus leaves. The button ends have excellent cut in lines with fairly long nipples that stick out in the center. The grip of this piece is a carved wood covered with white celluloid. The celluloid has toned nicely and it is in perfect condition throughout. This grip is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire.
The scabbard of this example is a lightning bolt type. This scabbard is dent free and has excellent stampings to the palmettes and also to the lower lightning bolts, ermine feet and acanthus leaves. This scabbard is the same as I show on page 292, lower. The bands are identical to what is shown in the center picture on page 292. These bands depict highly detailed overlapping oak leaves and acorns. The eyelets have triple serrated surfaces showing a little bit of modest wear. There is also wear in the clearance hole caused by the carrying ring with its weight up against the inner eyelet. This kind of thing really talks to you. This dagger was obviously worn and saw service during World War II. The throat is retained by two brass headless side screws this is also identical to page 292.
The double etched blade is a nice example. This blade has quality nickel-plated surfaces with needlelike tip. The gray backgrounds are 100% showing off the fine fouled anchor etch. This blade remains in mint condition and is a beauty. The obverse ricasso is etched with the double ovals used by this firm. The ovals contain the firm’s name and location, “Paul Weyersberg & Co. Solingen”. Inside is a downward pointing sword placed between two wheat shafts. The original brown leather blade buffer is in place.
A rarely seen Weyersberg naval dirk and an excellent collectible example if you are collecting naval maker “types”.
Excellent Plus, Plus. $1,495.00
This Eickhorn 2nd Model Naval Dagger is in excellent condition, showing signs of wear during the period but still being in very collectible condition. The pommel and cross guard are textbook Eickhorn types, being identical to the examples I show on pages 263 and 266 of my Navy Book. The brass based mounts have fairly good gilding throughout.
The pommel has approximately 50% - 60% of the gilding and the cross guard has slightly more gilding. The pommel has excellent detail to the eagle’s head, breast feathering, wing feathering, talons, wreath and swastika. The crossguard has the usual fouled anchor center blocks with good acanthus leaves throughout the quillon arms. The end buttons are well done.
The grip is an off-white celluloid over wood base. It is in perfect condition throughout and it is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire. The scabbard that is with this example appears to be possibly a Hörster. It is identical to the example that I show on page 285. This dagger was purchased from a Vet family so that the dagger has always been this way since it came back from the war.
This scabbard is an all brass example having fine hammering to the surfaces. The scabbard is nice and straight and the lower chape button has been left plain. The bands are the higher off-the-surface type and they show some wear to the oak leaves and acorn mix but the detail is still there. The eyelets are the smooth type, exactly like the piece shown on page 285. The throat is the thicker type having a fairly good cantilever over all sides. This throat is retained by two brass dome head screws. The scabbard still has about 20% - 25% of the original gilding. It is still clinging in the areas protected by the bands and the throat and there are also smatterings of gilding here and there on the surfaces. A fine scabbard here.
The blade is a choice double-etched example having good, bright nickel plating. There are some very small age spots in some of the frosting but they are only in the form of minor discoloration, not pits. The fouled anchor etches are still bright and very prominent on the blade. The blade easily rates at excellent plus to near mint. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the over-the-shoulder trademark. The blade is protected by the original tan felt washer. This washer shows some breakdown on one side and the other side shows minor age but it is still basically all there.
A nice hammered scabbard with double etch blade here for a reasonable price. If you are looking for one that has seen wartime experience but still will look nice in your collection, this one should fit the bill.
Excellent Plus. $1,595.00
This early Alcoso produced example has a scabbard that is fitted with the reef knot bands being identical to the example I show in my Navy Book on page 296.
The hilt mounts of this example are in excellent condition having some of the original gilding still remaining in the recesses but mostly they are down to the brass. These mounts appear to be the generic type that was used by Weyersberg, Clemen & Jung, Klaas and others. These mounts are identical to the examples I show on page 293. The eagle is of excellent design having good detail to the features and also to the wreath with mobile swastika. The crossguard has the typical fouled anchors with good detail to the acanthus leaves and button ends. The nipples at the end are the same as is shown on page 293. It is also interesting to note that the blade release button used on this piece is the “drilled” type not the usual “notched” type. The grip is a fine off-white example still being in perfect condition and having tightly twisted brass wire. There is lots of old dirt and residue trapped by the wire in between the ribs.
Setting off the hilt of this dirk is the original aluminum portepee. This portepee is the style with wide cord and it remains in the naval tie. Unfortunately there is some fraying where the cords come out of the naval tie but it is still strong and not apt to break. The slide and stem below are the typical “V” decorated type with a bullion ball at the bottom and the “cat’s anus” style insert. This dagger does not appear to have ever been apart.
The scabbard as noted above is the style with reef knot bands on the obverse and regular rope design on the reverse as well as the eyelets. The scabbard motif is the lightning bolt variety. There is some gold remaining here and there in the recesses which exactly matches the gilding finish to the hilt, crossguard and butt plate. The palmettes are deeply stamped as are the lightning bolts, ermine feet and the pointed acanthus leaves at the bottom. This is all typical Alcoso workmanship here. The throat is retained by two dome head brass screws.
The double etched blade is a choice sailing ship variety. The details to the blade etch are excellent with all of the frosting behind it. The blade features an anchor in the center of the obverse with a sailing ship below making its way over some sea plants. At the upper portion are floral designs. The reverse blade is similar except that there is no anchor and the sailing ship is larger. The details are outstanding and you can even see all of the mast lines as well as the ensigns flying. This blade has its original needlelike tip and is in mint condition. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the Alcoso trademark used from 1937 through 1939. It features the scales having the firm’s initials “ACS” interspersed and above the scales in an arch shape is the firm’s block lettered name, “Alcoso” and below the location city of “Solingen”. The original red felt blade buffer is in place.
This is an outstanding untouched naval dirk here by a fairly rare maker and has never been apart. A fine acquisition for a serious naval collector.
Excellent Plus, Plus. $1,995.00