Maker: “Wilhelm Hoppe”
McSarr Rarity Scale: 8 out of 10
Time Period: Early – 1933 to 1934 Manufacture
Product Description: This SA Dagger by Wilhelm Hoppe is a very collectible original piece that has a lot going for it. First of all, Wilhelm Hoppe rates an 8 out of 10 on the McSarr rarity scale, making this a very rare and thus desirable dagger maker. Also, this is a very early production example, circa 1933-34. This SA dagger by Wilhelm Hoppe features a very nice blade that still retains original crossgraining and lots of original luster. There are some light typical runner marks, and very minor gray marks, but the motto and Wilhelm Hoppe maker logos remain crisp, with plenty of original darkening. The handle on this one is very attractive with a great old patina. The handle fittings are solid nickel silver as is typical on these early pieces. The grip has some light marks, but no damage, and the grip eagle and SA enamel button show no damage, only honest wear and age patina. The reverse of the lower crossguard bears an “Ns” SA district stamp. The scabbard on this SA dagger by Wilhelm Hoppe is a nice early one with matching wear, matching nickel silver fittings, and the expected early anodized finish. The original anodization is 90 percent intact, with some minor freckling. The lower scabbard tip fitting is slightly damaged, with a minor bend, but remains complete. The overall condition of this outstanding early piece remains excellent. This is a really nice SA dagger that is loaded with appeal and would compliment even an advanced collection.
Historical Description: The “Sturmabteilung” (SA), formed in 1921, was the original paramilitary branch of the Nazi party. With the Nazi rise to power in 1933, a dress dagger was introduced for wear with the iconic “brown shirt” uniform. As the SA was a huge organization, with an eventual strength of close to three million men, there was a huge demand for these daggers, and they were produced by 123 different makers, from larger factories to small, cottage-industry workshops. The daggers featured a wood grip with an inset enameled SA emblem and the German national eagle and swastika emblem. The blade was etched with the motto of the SA, “Alles für Deutschland.” The early daggers were crafted with the utmost quality, in both workmanship and materials. Originally, the name and logo of each manufacturer was etched on the reverse of the blade. These early daggers featured hand-fitted nickel silver fittings, and scabbards that had an anodized coating. Prior to around 1935, the daggers were stamped with an SA group letter on the reverse of the crossguard. In 1936, the Reichszeugmeisterie der NSDAP (RZM) organization began to standardize the manufacture of the SA dagger. Commercial type manufacturer markings were to be eliminated, and replaced with the RZM logo as well as an RZM code to indicate the manufacturer. Late production daggers marked with RZM logos usually are made with plated zinc fittings, and have aluminum grip eagles. Instead of the early anodizing process, later scabbards were simply painted. During the transitional period around 1936, many daggers were manufactured bearing the RZM logo and maker code in combination with the earlier type maker names and logos. These transitional daggers can be found with early or late features, or a mix of both.
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