Product Description: This is a choice example of a Fireman’s Dress Axe, as worn for ceremonial and formal occasions by firemen in the Third Reich. It is in better than excellent condition overall, extremely well preserved considering its age. The brightly polished nickel head is extremely fine, and close to flawless, with a bright, nearly mirror quality polished finish. The handle is dark wood with a rich finish, and shows only minor wear with a few very small dings. The handle fit remains very tight, and none of the original, nickel-finished screws show any signs of tampering. The upper part of the handle, close to the head, retain rings for suspending the axe in wear. This fireman’s dress axe is very impressive, and would be hard to upgrade.
Historical Description: Firefighting as a vocation dates back hundreds of years in Germany. In 1938, the Nazis nationalized the local fire departments, and made them a part of the police force. In large cities, volunteer fire departments augmented the full-time teams. During the war, compulsory fire departments were also formed. As with the members of any Third Reich civil organizations, the men in the various firefighting departments wore a variety of uniforms, from coveralls and work clothing, to dress uniforms. Firemen had to obtain their own edged weapons for ceremonial and formal occasions. They could choose to wear either a dress bayonet, or a dress axe. The dress axes were all private purchase, though one could have received one as a presentation gift. There was no one set pattern for these, and they reflected individual taste. The most simple versions featured polished nickel heads, and black or brown wood handles. More elaborate examples were also produced, some with ebony or even real ivory handles, and luxury gold fittings.
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