Product Description: This Heer Dagger by Hörster has great character. The scabbard and handle fittings are made of zinc, with pleasant toning and patination. This dagger has a steel blade with crossgraining still lightly visible. The blade has taken on a dull grey appearance. The reverse of the blade is maker marked with an etched, commercial type manufacturer marking for the form of E. u. F. Hörster in Solingen. The handle has great detail to the oak leaves on the pommel, and to the crossguard eagle and swastika emblem. The orange trylon grip has one small chip, and shows some handling wear. The orange color of the grip is deeper on the front, and a bit lighter on the reverse, presumably from having been displayed for many years. This Heer Dagger by Hörster is complete with its original scabbard, which has mostly reverted to the gray color of the base metal. Traces of the original silvering remain in the recesses. Both scabbard bands and suspension rings remain intact. Overall, this handsome dagger remains in excellent condition.
Historical Description: After WWI, the German military, known as the Reichswehr, was restricted to a relatively small force. Hitler changed this in 1935, reintroducing universal military conscription, and creating a new German Armed Forces- the Wehrmacht. Within the Wehrmacht, the German Army was known as the Heer, and a new dagger was designed and introduced for the officers of this new German Army in May 1935. As with all German Army officer uniforms and accoutrements, they were not issued; rather, the officer had to purchase them. These were ceremonial and decorative pieces of regalia, that were worn on occasions that did not call for carrying a sword. The overall pattern and design of the dagger remained consistent throughout the production run, but the large number of individual manufacturers created a wide variety in details, especially with regard to the handle fittings. There were approximately 42 different manufacturers of the blades. There were construction changes over time as well. Early German Army daggers generally featured plated brass alloy handle fittings. Later, zinc was used. Wartime type scabbards were generally unplated, with a gray finish. Production of German Army daggers ceased around 1943. The German Army was a huge organization, and large numbers of these daggers were produced. But there were many specific variants that were produced in low numbers, especially the highest quality, luxury type pieces for well-heeled officers. Some daggers were personalized and customized, and are unique. The striking and attractive design of the German Army dagger was well-received by officers at the time, and these are very sought-after by collectors today.
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