Product Description: This is a killer example of the 2nd Model Luftwaffe Dagger by Eickhorn. It’s a complete rig, with all of its original accoutrements, and is about as nice of an example as one could hope to find. The dagger itself is in near mint condition. Eickhorn was a maker renowned for quality products, and this example is no exception. The swastika on the pommel retains all of its original gold finish, front and back. The blade on this is magnificent, with what looks to be the full original factory cross-graining throughout, and mirror-bright surfaces. There are some very small spots of graying. The reverse of the blade bears a crisp, dark Eickhorn squirrel logo. The handle features a honey-colored grip with no cracks, and a tight wire wrap. The handle fittings are aluminum, with a very detailed eagle, and the really eye-catching gold swastika pommel. The portepee shows only very light wear, with no damage. The scabbard is dent-free, with some minor age patina evident at the tip and throat. This set is complete with the original hangers. The zinc-based fittings are marked D.R.G.M. indicating a copyrighted design, and the hanger clip is additionally marked with an RZM logo and manufacturer code. All of the metal fittings on these hangers feature highly detailed oak leaf ornamentation. The original finish on the fittings has faded with time, as is typical with these zinc pieces. The velvet and wire bullion on the hangers show only minor wear and age. This 2nd Model Luftwaffe Dagger – Eickhorn is extremely attractive, and a very desirable example of this dagger type.
Historical Description: The Luftwaffe dagger was a piece of regalia with a unique history. After WWI, Germany was prohibited from having an Air Force. In 1933, the Nazis formed the Deutscher Luftsport-Verband (DLV), which was a paramilitary aviation organization. DLV officers wore a long dagger. In 1935, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler instituted the new German armed forces, the Wehrmacht. One of the branches of the Wehrmacht was the Luftwaffe. Luftwaffe officers at this time wore what we know as the first model Luftwaffe dagger. This was a shortened version of the earlier DLV dagger. It featured a scabbard covered in blue leather, and a blue, wire-wrapped grip. The crossguard featured a round, “sunwheel” type swastika, flanked by downswept, stylized “wings.” The pommel was in the form of a vertical disc, with another, larger “sunwheel” swastika. In 1937, the Luftwaffe instituted a new dagger form, known to collectors as the second model. This new dagger was similar to that worn by officers of the German Army. The second model had a metal scabbard with impressed decoration, and no leather covering. The crossguard bore a Luftwaffe eagle, clutching a swastika. The blue grip was replaced with one that was orange, white or yellow. The various types of grips were a matter of personal preference and did not indicate branch or rank. The pommel of the new dagger featured a swastika within an oak leaves motif. The blades of these daggers were steel, and many but not all were manufacturer marked.
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