Product Description: This early SA Johanniswerk Dagger is a very nice piece with great eye appeal. The maker of this fine dagger is Johanneswerk in Bayreuth, in Bavaria. This is a seldom-seen maker that ranks a 6 out of 10 on the McSarr rarity scale. The blade on this is in excellent condition. It shows some typical signs of age, with grey spotting throughout and normal runner marks. Both the motto and the maker mark are nice and crisp with great contrast from the original darkening to the etching. The handle on this dagger is gorgeous, with attractive light tones in the grip, which is free of chips, cracks or other damage. The grip eagle and enamel roundel are correct early production and all original. The correct early type nickel silver fittings show a pleasant mellow toning, slightly yellow from age, that is matching throughout. The rear of the lower cross guard is stamped “Fr.” indicating SA Gruppe Franken. This dagger has a very tight, desirable fit, with no gaps between the fittings. The T-nut pommel is tight and looks to have never been turned. This early SA Johanniswerk Dagger is complete with its correct original early anodized scabbard. The scabbard body does show some surface corrosion which is not unusual on these. The scabbard screws are tight and do not appear to have ever been messed with. The suspension ring retains a correct early type hanger with functional nickel silver spring clip. The smooth brown leather shows age toning and is starting to tear a little at the clip end, it should be handled with care. This is a high quality dagger that has a lot going for it. It remains in excellent condition.
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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