SPECIAL2 #37637C Naval Assault Dirk with Nazi Pommel – Puma
This original Naval Assault Dirk is extremely rare and only the second or third example I've ever had the privilege to offer over the years. These remarkable daggers were considered for adoption by the Puma company in their 1939-40 catalog and they were described as “Model #8”. The Puma firm made a few of these daggers but apparently sales were slow and with the war breaking out the apparently decided to discontinue the piece. As a result there are probably no more than a dozen or so of these daggers in existence. This example has a Nazi pommel on the top in the 1938 changeover pattern. Apparently the original owner of this dagger did not like the original ball top and replaced it with the standard example that all of his fellow officers were wearing.
The hilt of this dirk is essentially the same as I show in my Navy Book on page 362. The scabbard bands are identical to the examples I show on page 361.
If you are not familiar with the 1938 changeover pommels you can see two examples on page 230 of my Navy book which are identical to this example. This example also exactly matches the gilded finish and level of wear of all of the remaining pieces of the dirk. This outstanding pommel in in the form of an eagle who looks to the left, with full detailing to the bird's eye, beak, neck, talons, recessed wings and wreath area. The swastika is in the center of the wreath, nicely rendered in relief. The majority of the original gilding is intact on this pommel, being at least 90 to 95% intact.
The unique crossguard on this crossguard is identical to the example I show on page 362 of my book. It features an obverse center block with a one-of-a-kind eagle with half-open wings that have a squared off look to them. The bird clutches a mobile swastika. On the opposite side of the guard the center block has the traditional fouled anchor which is randomly pebbled in the background.
The blade release button is the style which has been drilled, rather than the notched type. The button works well and is complete.
The quillon arms are quite special as they are large at the center and taper to teardrop ends. These arms are further decorated with a floral pattern which is bordered throughout the design. The original fire gilding is still present in the backgrounds of the floral designs, giving a muted contrast to the brighter gilding on the surfaces of the rest of the hilt. Overall a really beautiful design here.
I took a look inside of the of the hilt and, of course, the pommel is not numbered as we believe it would have been added by the original wearer at a later date. The lower portion of the guard as well as the butt plate are stamped “20” with the very small numbers used by the Puma firm. The blade tang is also stamped with the same small “20”.
The grip of this dirk is also in perfect condition. It is constructed with a carved wooden base with a celluloid covering. The celluloid has toned to a nice ivory color, and is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire. It is interesting to not that these Puma grips the tang clearance hole at the top is square rather than round, a good tip for those of you out there if you're even looking at a Puma Assault Dirk.
The scabbard is a real beauty, have a deep, hammered finish. The scabbard is in full Mint condition, having nearly 100% of the original gilded surfaces. It is further enhanced by the unique bands that are sometimes used on these Assault Dirks; we also sometimes see them with roped knot type bands. These special bands are the same as those shown in my Navy Book on page 361. They resemble Army style carrying bands, having overlapping oak leaves with acorns. The gilding is also all there on these bands. The carrying rings are plain and also have some of the original gilded finish remaining. The throat is held in place by two flat head side screws which appear to be steel with an old gilded finish.
The Puma Assault Dirks I have dealt with in the past have always had plain blades, and the same is true here. The blade is still bright and shows only the most minor traces of age. It is fashioned with double fullers and a ricasso. The tip is still needle-like.
The reverse ricasso is stamped with the familiar diamond shaped logo of the Puma firm, complete with the usual cat head. The location city, “Solingen”, can be seen below the diamond. The original reddish felt washer is in place.
This is an opportunity rarely offered for those out there that are assembling an advanced Naval collection. Original Naval Assault Dirks rarely come up for sale and as such are the very definition of a good investment. This piece has all of the condition you could want coupled with the fact that it is 100% original. This is your chance to acquire a dagger that almost no one else has!
Near Mint. $17,995.50
SPECIAL2 #37645C 1848 Prussian Naval Dirk
The 1848 Prussian Naval Dirk was the first official pattern introduced for wear. The next 100 years of naval dagger designs are based on this 1948 pattern. If you are not familiar with these daggers I suggest you read the chapter in my Imperial book that details them; there are several pieces shown there that are similar to this dagger. In particular the piece shown on page 12 is nearly identical except for the shape of the grips.
This dirk has a ball pommel decorated with very highly detailed cattails and reeds. These reeds have lots of hand-enhanced detail and this pommel is much nicer than those we see used in 1919. The pommel sits atop a series of cresting waves that are in very high relief, also better than those seen from 1919 onward. The pommel is peened over at the top so the dagger cannot be taken down.
The crossguard is the familiar Imperial capstan type, being the first time this design was used. The crossguard consists of a fouled anchor center block on each side. The anchors are highly raised and the rope has been hand-enhanced. Even the shank of the anchor has had hand-enhancement. The backgrounds have random pebbling. The quillon arms are four-sided and flare out at the ends with capstans. These capstans are very crisp and sharp, moreso than the later Imperial style.
The grip is a beautiful genuine Elfenbein which is most probably hand carved. This grip is baluster shaped; it is thicker at the top and thins towards the bottom. There are six ribs cut into this grip. It has toned to a beautiful golden hue on both sides and is slightly lighter on the edges where there are cracks on both sides, giving fine character to the Elfenbein.
The scabbard is also unique to this Prussian dirk. It is nice and straight throughout, having only a couple of the most minor traces of wear. The basic pattern is that of lightning bolts. It has the same sort of palmettes above and below the carrying bands that we see on later dirks, albeit slightly smaller. The same is true at the lower portion of the scabbard where there are rising lightning bolts, with ermine feet below and acanthus leaves at the very bottom. It is interesting to note that the ermine feet go all the way around the scabbard, as do the bolts and the leaves. This is not the case on later issues. The bands are in the guilloche style, again slightly smaller than we normally see. The guilloche style simulated ropes lashed to a pier. The eyelets are small and plain, as are the carrying rings.
The one totally unique aspect of these '48 pieces is the fact that the lower chape is shaped somewhat like an ear. The borders are nice and thick and well defined. If you aren't familiar with this aurifom design you can see a couple of specimens on page 11 of my Navy Book.
The blade of this example is typical of the '48 pattern. It measures 9¼ inches in length and is the style with a center fuller, double edges and a short ricasso. The plain blade is a polished type. It does have some minor age pitting in the few places but overall is it still mostly bright and given the age grades at about Excellent Plus. The release lock was not the type we see later on, but is actually a small piece of steel fashioned into an S-frame that binds against the scabbard throat. One end of the lock is contained within the hilt. The blade has a nice red felt buffer.
These '48 Dirks were worn until the 1860's until there were too many instances of their being used in bar room brawls, et cetera, and they were banned. After the 1902 Pattern Dirk was approved by the Kaiser many of the older officers elected to get their old 1848 Pattern out their sea trunk and wear it again. If you are a naval history buff and a serious collector of Naval Dirk, in my estimation a collection that does not contain one of these pieces is missing one the start of it all! A good investment here, and a very sound, collectible example.
Near Mint. $7,195.50
SPECIAL2 #37673C Imperial Half Size Mess Dress Naval Dirk – W. K. & C.
This diminutive Mess Dress Naval Dirk is extremely beautiful and delicate. It measures only about 9¾ inches, yet it complete with all of the details seen on its larger counterpart. It was most likely meant to be worn as part of evening or dining dress when a full sized dirk would have proved too cumbersome. This dirk amazing detail throughout, and the gilded surfaces are 100% intact. A picture of a similar dirk can be seen in the Johnson/Wittmann Imperial book on pages 67 and 68.
The pommel cap is an absolute stunner; it has very high serrated finials which act to support a cross-topped orb. The upper portion of the pommel below the finials is diamond checkered with dots punched into the center of each figure. The eight domed shields which ring the pommel are also of extreme detail, having raised pebbled patterns around each border as well as alternating designs of crosses and Prussian eagles. The workmanship is absolutely fabulous.
The crossguard is the capstan type, also displaying superior workmanship. The center blocks both have detailed fouled anchors with random background pebbling. The four sided quillon arms stretch outward to end in bell-shaped capstans which are also hand-enhanced.
Completing the outrageous spectacle of the hilt is a genuine Elfenbein grip. This grip has six sections and spirals downward and to the left. It is in superb condition with no flaws anywhere, and is tightly wrapped with twisted silver wire.
The scabbard is an exact miniature of the Imperial Naval lightning bolt design. It has stamped palmette designs over and under the carrying bands. The lower portion of the scabbard bears the traditional lightning bolts, ermine feet, and pointed, highly detailed acanthus leaves. Even the edges above the acanthus leaves also have ermine feet stamped into them. The bands are high off the surface of the scabbard and in the guilloche style, simulating the look of looped rope. The eyelets are plain surfaced and are equipped with miniature carrying rings.
The magnificent blade is nearly 5 inches long. It has high quality, nickel-plated surfaces with a needle-like tip. The blade has a center ridge formation rather than the double fullers we see on the full size version. The ricasso is fairly long, and is stamped with the early W. K. & C. Knight Head trademark. This early stamping dates this dirk to somewhere around the turn of the last century. The original, new-like brown leather washer is in place.
If you are looking for something gorgeous and jewel-like to add to your desk or perhaps display with other Imperial Naval artifacts, this little dirk is a real head turner. I believe that these W. K. & C. Mess Dress pieces are the the most delicate and beautiful of the dirks made during the period. A real treasure here!
SPECIAL2 #37674C 2nd Model Naval Dagger with Elfenbein Grip & Damascus Blade
This beautiful 2nd Model Naval dagger is equipped with Eickhorn mounts. These mounts are textbook throughout and were most likely purchased by the producer of the blade, Paul Dinger, in order to show off this fine treasure.
The pommel is a beauty, having the typical Eickhorn look and appearing to have 100% of the original gilding. The details to the bird are excellent throughout the head, beak, breast feathering, half-opened wings, talons, wreath and brighter mobile swastika within.
The crossguard is also a fine matching example, featuring fouled anchors in the two center blocks. The quillon arms have raised acanthus leaves which are nicely detailed, and end in enhanced buttons with nipples in the center.
The grip is an outstanding genuine Elfenbein. It is very beautiful, with subtle grain running throughout the surfaces of both sides. The grip has toned to a beautiful color and is in totally perfect condition. This stunning grip is tightly wrapped with twisted brass wire.
Accenting the hilt is what appears to be the original-to-the-piece silver bullion portepee. The bullion has toned to a fine golden color and remains in completely perfect condition, still in the reef knot tie. The slide and stem have the characteristic “V” weave and the lower silver bullion ball has a “cat's anus” insert.
The scabbard is in completely perfect condition, also having 100% of the original gilded surface. It is stamped with a pattern of palmettes over and under the two carrying bands, and the lower portion is decorated with lightning bolts, ermine feet, and finely detailed acanthus leaves. The eyes have crisp triple serrated surfaces, and the rings still have traces of gilding on them, an indication that this dagger was seldom worn. Overall a very fine scabbard here.
The best thing about the dagger, though, is the hand forged Damascus blade. This blade is in the Small Roses pattern, which was extremely difficult to make as well as being extremely expensive. It is very rare to see the Small Roses pattern. When it does show up it is mostly on Imperial era sword blades. This blade is in perfect condition with outstanding details throughout the rare and intricate pattern. It has dual fuller construction and, at the reverse, has a built0in locking mechanism. I took a look at the tang of this blade and it has the stampings “P+D” as well as the remaining letters “ECH” and “DAM”. The “Echter Damaszener” stampings were made prior to the fitting as well as the cutting of the channel for the blade lock, so only these letters remain. These stampings were mostly used to identify blades as being Damascus and many times all of the stampings were obliterated during the fitting process. The original brown leather washer is in place on this dagger.
I would think that this dagger was probably produced by Dinger as a private order. These Damascus smiths worked for themselves as well as subcontracting for Solingen blade companies. A dagger like this represents one of the finest and highest quality examples that was made during the period. If you appreciate the beautiful workmanship of these Third Reich Damascus smiths coupled with the fine condition and looks of Eickhorn mounts, this is a dagger that you will enjoy for many, many years.
SPECIAL2 #37620C 1st Model 1929 Naval Dagger – Alcoso
The hilt mounts still have 100% of the gilded surface over the fine brass base. The pommel Is the round style which has been peened over the top so the dagger does not take down. The pommel features the cattail and reed motif which are positioned over a set of cresting waves at the bottom. It has been hand-enhanced throughout the design.
The crossguard is the narrow style that we see on these early daggers. The obverse depicts a fouled anchor which has fine pebbling surrounding it. The reverse center block has a diamond with rays emanating from it, a hallmark of Alcoso that we also see on their Third Reich daggers. The quillon arms have beautiful, highly accented acanthus leaves on those sides and end in fine lined buttons with nipple tips.
The grip of this dagger appears to be of carved wood covered in a fine celluloid. This celluloid has toned to a beautiful, ivory-like color, and remains in perfect condition. This grip is tightly wrapped twist gilded brass wire.
The scabbard is just terrific. It is completely dent-free and also has the original gilded finish. It is in the lightning bolt motif, with palmettes around the bands. Further down are the lightning bolts and a pair of ermine feet. At the bottom are the highly detailed acanthus leaves; another hallmark of Alcoso construction appears is evident in the points on these leaves. The bands are extremely appealing, with rope knots on both sides. The rope has been hand-enhanced for further realism. This enhancement extends to the eyelets, and the carrying rings are plain. The throat is retained by two flat head brass screws.
The blade of this dagger is most desirable. It is in Mint condition and is double etched, featuring the sailing ship motif. It retains a needle-like tip and has 100% of the frosting behind the etched pattern. The obverse depicts a fully rigged sailing ship, flying ensigns and sailing on a bed of sea plants. This ship is highly detailed and a pleasure to study. Above the ship is a fouled anchor, and the etch finishes with floral designs.
On the opposite side the sailing ship motif is repeated but it positioned higher on the blade, eliminating the fouled anchor. On the obverse ricasso is the early Alcoso scales trademark. The scales have the initials “ACS” interspersed. This style of trademark preceded the design used during the Third Reich. There is a fine reddish blade buffer in place.
If you have been looking to complete your Naval collection, or perhaps just add a very choice piece and encompass two periods in history, this dirk is highly recommended. Apparently the original owner of this piece retired prior to the Nazi era, and, because of this, saved a real treasure for future collectors.
Near Mint. $2,605.50
SPECIAL2 #37621C Model 1872 Kriegsmarine Applicanten Dirk – E. & F. Hörster
This beautiful Kriegsmarine Applicanten Dirk is an outstanding condition that belies its considerable age. The hilt is basically a one piece unit, with the grip and crossguard of a single brass casting. The gilded finish throughout the hilt still appears to be in 100% condition. The pommel portion of the grip is rounded and is positioned to the left side. The combined backstrap and pommel run vertically down to the crossguard. On the left side of the grip there are ribs, built into the casting, which act as a hand grip.
The crossguard has a smooth center block on the reverse, while on the obverse center there is an intricately rendered Imperial crown. The crown has three domed shields at the front, with fine simulated finials rising up to hold an orb topped with a cross. The guard quillons are shaped not unlike a bowling pin, and are rounded at the ends.
Below the center block is a separate piece consisting of a folding clamshell. This clamshell bears a raised-out, detailed fouled anchor with random pebbling scattered around it. This anchor has very realistic ropes around the anchor shaft and flukes. I also note that the number “01” is stamped on the reverse of the clamshell fitting.
The scabbard is of leather which has been decorated with twin lines that run down the edges of both sides. The reverse has sewn-up seam. The leather throughout is still extremely supple and shows little age. The scabbard mounts are plain, the upper example having a long lug for the attachment of a frog. The lower mount has twin lines decorating the obverse. Both have scalloped edges where they meet the leather shell, and are retained by numbered staples.
The 13 inch blade is really a pleasure to gaze upon. It is in nearly complete Mint condition, being a slab-sided type with a ricasso. It is double etched. The etch is in new-like condition, with 100% of the original frosted backgrounds. The lower etch depicts a fully-rigged sailing ship, ensigns flying and bearing down on the viewer. Above this, in the center, is an Imperial crown set atop a fouled anchor. The etch ends with floral designs as well as a cannon, drum, and standartes.
The reverse etch also has the sailing ship, this time off the ricasso. This ship has visible portholes and even a smoke stack sticking up through the masts, which is the type of hybrid ship in use during this period of German naval history. In the center is an Imperial crown over a fouled anchor. The etch ends on the upper area with a cannon, standartes, and a trident. A very beautiful blade here, and quite historic with the striking etches of the time.
The ricasso is stamped with the producer of this examples in tow lines, “E. & F. Hörster / Solingen”. The original brown leather washer is in choice condition, in place and still protecting the blade after all these years.
Applicanten Dirks are extremely difficult to find; they were worn by candidates circa 1872 and onward. Around the turn of the century, paymasters also adopted these Applicanten style dirks, however they usually has much more elaborate mounts than this plain and simple type. If you are working on an Imperial Naval collection, this example will make an outstanding addition. You are not likely to find an better conditioned dirk.
Near Mint. $3,145.50
SPECIAL2 #37628C Transitional Imperial Naval Dirk with Elfenbein Grip, Damascus Blade and Period Photograph – Carl Eickhorn
This naval dirk is extremely historical, especially with the original documentation. These documents show the original owner, an admiral, surrendering the dagger to a US Army Major. In the photograph the dagger is without question the piece I am offering here; the capstan guard and the fray on the portepee are easily visible and a dead giveaway as to the identity of the piece. The admiral looks extremely tired in the picture, which is understandable, but his bearing is resolute. Perhaps one of your research-minded types could identify him. The US Major is a member of the Signal Corps, as evidenced by this marking in the corner of the photo. Further, he wears the helmet of a Major and stands with a holstered 45 as he accepts the dirk. This is truly a wonderful photograph!
The dirk is an Imperial example that has been upgraded to Third Reich specifications. Obviously the surrendering admiral purchased this dagger prior to World War I. The dagger is equipped with the 1937 changeover pommel. If you are not familiar with this type of pommel you can see an example on page 229 of my Navy Book which is identical. These changeover pommels have a much deeper recess at the opening of the wings. Additionally the head of the bird is extremely detailed, with a beautiful eye, beak, and protruding brow. Because of the deep recesses in the wings, the wreath which surrounds the swastika is also highly vaulted. When the '37 pommel was introduced, Naval officers owning daggers from other eras where not required to change it out, although most opted to install the new variant. The pommel still has some of the original gilding in the recess.
The crossguard is the original Imperial type. It features fouled anchors on both sides of the center block, nicely raised with fine randomly pebbled backgrounds. The guards have four-sided quillon arms which end in a simulated capstans at the tip. A capstan, of course, is a device used on ships to apply tension to ropes and cables. It is a species of windlass, only with a vertical instead of a horizontal axle. It resembles the hub of a wheel with (usually) four spokes, each of which would be pushed by a sailor.
There is an outstanding Elfenbein grip on this dagger. This beautiful grip has toned to a golden color and appears to be completely intact with no chips or cracks. It is tightly wrapped with a skein of twisted brass wire.
It is also interesting to not that, internally, the lower guard is marked “4”. Looking at the grip we see four notches at the top, which ties in nicely. The tang itself is stamped “579”. On the opposite side of the tang we see the traditional Eickhorn markings that we also see on Third Reich Damascus pieces, “DAMAST”.
Wrapped about the hilt of this dirk is the original silver bullion Naval portepee. This portepee has some fraying at the top loop on both sides and where the cord exits the loops of the reef knot. This is good as it matches the example shown in the accompanying picture, making for easy identification. The slide and stem have the tradition woven “V” design and the silver bullion ball below has the “cat's anus” style stuffing. Overall a really great hilt here, one that speaks to you of three distinct periods of German naval history.
The scabbard shell is the pebbled type and it is completely dent free. The scabbard bands are a narrow, overlapping oak leaf type, and have interspersed acorns. The oak leaves have lots of hand-enhancement, as do the eyelets which bear the same pattern. A very nice touch here. It is also interesting to note that the upper eyelet is nearly worn through from the weight of carrying this dagger for all of those years. A great thing to see here, as this dagger is indeed quite heavy and one can only imagine the stress placed on the eyelet and carrying ring while the dagger was swinging about year after year. The rings are also hammered to match the scabbard. The throat is retained by two brass dome head screws which appear unturned.
The blade is an outstanding “Damaststahl” in the Maiden Hair pattern. It is a beautiful blade which remains in Mint condition. It has double fullers and a ricasso, the reverse of which is stamped with the Eickhorn Imperial marking of back to back squirrels with the initials “CE” beneath. The original reddish felt blade buffer is still in place, showing some wear to the edges but still looking great.
To me this is a dirk that that serious Naval collector has just got to have; it is a wonderful piece that spans three periods of German naval history. Looking at this amazing dagger simultaneously in-hand and in the photograph of the moment of the surrender one can't help but think, “It just doesn't get better than this!".
Excellent Plus. $6,295.50
SPECIAL2 #37630C 2nd Model Naval Dagger with Elfenbein Grip, Hand Chased Scabbard, Portepee and Damascus Blade
The hilt mounts are exceptional, being constructed of high quality brass with nearly 100% of their original gilded finish. These mounts appear to be the variety that was produced by Carl Eickhorn, but in the case of a special order dagger such as this one the mounts may have been purchased by the Damascus smith.
The pommel is a beauty, with all detailing to the bird's head and breast feathering and good, raised wreath with a mobile swastika inside. The crossguard features the traditional fouled anchors on both sides and the arms are decorated on both sides with acanthus leaves. The crossguard ends have good, accented buttons with nipples in the center.
The genuine Elfenbein grip is in outstanding condition. This grip has no cracks or chips anywhere. The obverse has a light golden color with some attractive grain evenly spread through the surfaces. The reverse of the grip is slightly lighter in color and has an interesting faint line that runs down the center, perhaps caused by the presence the portepee.
The portepee is a most impressive silver bullion example tied in the Naval reef knot. It is in perfect condition, exactly matching the fine condition of the rest of the dirk. The slide and stem have the distinctive “V” pattern, and the lower ball is of yarn-like bullion thread with a “cat's anus” insert.
The scabbard is similarly remarkable. It is completely hand chased with a pattern that I can't recall ever having seen in the past. It consists of a series of floral designs set in panels with curved, raised border around them. These floral embellishments seem to be laurel with large size berries. The center area between the two bands has a pebbled oval design. The lower portion of the scabbard has more of the laurel-like floral designs, and a smaller oval mimicking the larger one seen above. A good portion of the original gilding remains on the surfaces of this scabbard; it is very beautiful indeed!
The scabbard bands feature an “X” shaped design, as well as more laurel leaves that jut outward from this marking. There are exaggerated berries in the upper and lower portions of this “X”. The eyelet is also hand engraved to flow with the rest of the scabbard designs. The rings have small, hand-engraved laurel leaves with nice accents to the veins. The throat is retained by two dome head brass side screws.
The blade of this dagger is a hand-forged Damascus example in a Maiden Hair pattern. There are a few swirls in the design at the ricasso areas as well as the inner areas of the double ridges. This blade is in perfect condition, and the pattern-welded designs immediately attract the eye of the viewer. The tip on this blade remains needle-like.
The reverse ricasso of the blade has the blade lock but is otherwise unmarked. The tang of the blade is stamped with the producer, Dinger; his initials are stamped into the metal, “P+D”. The original blade washer is a red felt example, with some wear to the lower edge but basically still intact.
A splendid Naval Dagger here, which would easily be a highlight in an advanced Naval collection.
Near Mint. $10,795.50
SPECIAL2 #37636C 1902 Naval Officer's Dirk with Elfenbein 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.
Near Mint. $5,845.50
SPECIAL2 #37675C Early DLV Glider Pilot Dagger – SMF
This early DLV example is in top-notch condition with very little evident wear. The throat is not stamped on this piece; I think because this knife was probably given to a higher-up DLV official rather than issued.
The dagger shows some slight wear and the hanger is equipped with the early, “snout-nosed” snap clip. This snap clip was only around 1936 at the latest.
The hilt mounts are in choice condition. The pommel is the three stage type and shows not hits or any wear for that matter. The crossguard still has quite a bit of the original frosting in the recessed areas of the lower center block. These guards have the usual “K” marking on one end. The center block features the inserted medallion containing the black enamel mobile swastika which is completely perfect. The guard wings are the tripartite style which arch downward.
The grip is a wood based example, bulbous in the center and tapering evenly towards both ends. The original Moroccan leather covering remains in perfect condition, having all of the original grain. There are a couple of taps in the leather but these are just from the dagger being set down on something over the years.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout. This shell has exactly matching Moroccan leather with the same fine grain as the grip. This leather is also in absolutely perfect condition with no blemishes anywhere. The scabbard mounts are also beauties, having the dual accent lines on the edges where they meet the leather. The lower ball is totally perfect. These mounts are retained by the original flat head screws.
Attached to the carrying ring is an excellently conditioned leather hanger. This hanger still is still supple and other than normal traces of usage it is still in great shape. The leather is retained by the two oval disks which are riveted into place. As mentioned above the snap clip is the early “snout nosed” type; this clip still has quite a bit of the original lacquer, indicating that it was not worn a great deal. This is the clip with a spring that is riveted into place.
Drawing the blade from the scabbard is a real treat for the eyes. This blade is in striking, fully Mint condition; it is mirror-bright and needle-tipped, with all crossgrain on both sides. The blade is marked on the reverse with the Seated King trademark of the SMF firm. He sits atop the firm's initials, “SMF”. Below in an arch is the location city of “Solingen”. The original matching blue leather blade washer is in place.
A really great conditioned DLV Dagger here which usage and thus remains superlative condition. If these mounts were cleaned I am sure the would look new-like.
Near Mint. $1,795.50
SPECIAL2 #37634C Imperial Grosser Naval Admiral's Sword – W. K. & C. / Waarenhaus Für Armee & Marine
The pommel of the sword is a real looker, having a cat with a longer jaw than we normally see. This cat is equipped with green and red faceted eyes, the colors meant to evoke nautical navigation lights. The snout of the cat has much hand-enhanced detail, especially to the fur of the lower jaw and the whiskered muzzle. His ferocious looking fangs are biting down on the end of the “D” guard. The head of the cat is relatively plain but for a stipple-like background rising up to the thick mane which has been all hand-enhanced throughout. This mane runs a short distance down the backstrap and eventually transforms into beautiful laurel-like plants stacked on top of each other and ending in an oak leaf which adjoins the mane.
The “D” guard combination basket hilt is the stationary variety. This guard is decorated with floral designs and, around the center, has a chrysanthemum-style flower which is circled. At the lower portion of the basket hilt is an Imperial crown over a fouled anchor contain with a raised oval. There is random pebbling behind this depiction. The basket detail ends in more floral designs with another chrysanthemum-like flower. There is a short quillon that ends in a teardrop with a engraved border around the design. The ferrule is hard to describe as it is completely covered by the in-place, original Naval portepee.
This very large hilt is most impressive. The folding flap on the reverse of the hilt is designed with a hole to accept a male counterpart on the upper scabbard mount, effectively locking the blade in place. This mount is professionally engraved with the name of the original owner, “Saxer”.
The grip is a very fine Elfenbein which appears to be in perfect condition throughout. This grip has toned to an attractive gold color and has some grain in the surface. It is tightly wrapped with large twisted wire.
As mentioned above the original portepee is still attached to this fine sword, completely set in place in a very complicated knot. It really looks terrific and it is rare to find one of these swords with the period tie still in place. This portepee is the silver bullion type which has long since turned to a golden color. The silver cord is speckled with black and white colors. The portepee shows some age but is not frayed. The slide and stem are intact, both of which have “V” designs mixed with red and black. The large silver bullion ball contains a “cat's anus” style stuffing in the Imperial colors of red, black and white.
The large scabbard shell is constructed out of black leather. It shows some age and a few minor scuffs but overall it is in very sound condition with no problems; it would be easy enough to cover these scuffs if you were so inclined. The scabbard mounts are of all brass construction and having the traditional Naval designs. These mounts are held in place by staples, all of which are present. The carrying rings are mounted on the upper and center fitting and the eyelets are the types with double serrations.
The massive blade of this sword is quite a spectacle, being over 32½ inches long and having the traditional quill back design that runs back over a third of the length of the blade. It is constructed of beautiful hand-forged Damascus. This Damascus is in the Maiden Hair pattern, which is still very prominent and remains in full Mint condition.
The blade has also been triple etched. The backgrounds of the etch show some of the Damascus pattern but for the most part it has a frosted look to it. The obverse etch features some sea plants with an ocean above. Sailing along is three masted schooner which is also equipped with a large smoke stack in the center. Ships of this transitional period in naval history could make way by means of steam engine or sails, the latter no doubt quite useful when your coal ran out! The detailing to this ship is outstanding, showing all the portholes, rigging, and ensigns flying from the masts. Above the ship is an Imperial crown atop a detailed fouled anchor as well as a number of sea plants which end the etch.
The reverse etch features floral designs at the bottom which transform into a wave studded ocean on which sails a traditional three masted sailing ship, flying its ensigns. Again the detail to this ship is superior. Above the ship is a line of sea plants. The spine is also etched with a design of laurel-like leaves. A truly impressive Damascus blade here of great size and weight. One must have has some considerable self importance to walk about sporting a weapon of this caliber. The reverse ricasso is marked in three lines with the popular producer “Weyersberg / Kirschbaum / Solingen”. On the other side is the three line name of the distributor, where no doubt Admiral Saxer purchased this sword, “Waarenhaus / Für Armee & Marine / Berlin”.
The original owner of this sword, Ludwig Saxer, was born in 1869, becoming a cadet in the Kasierliche Marine 13 April, 1889. He had many assignments in his long career, most of which involved torpedo boats in the Chinese colonies of Kiautschou and Tsingtau. After he attained the rank of Kapitäine zur See he served as Chief of Torpedo Boat Division I from 1903 to 1905. After this he was Chief of Staff in the Chinese colony Kiautschou. Unfortunately he became a prisoner of war under the Japanese in 1914, shortly after the war began, and spent almost six years in prison. He was finally allowed to return home to Germany in July of 1920. He was then discharged, holding the rank of Konteradmiral. Saxer lived a long and exciting life, dying in Hamburg on May 3, 1957.
This sword must have seen much history during the years it was carried by this career officer. It is a real museum piece, certainly a candidate for much more research than I have done. This sword would make a tremendous acquisition for the serious Naval collector.
Excellent Plus, Plus. $6,745.50