Product Description: An extremely well-preserved Italian 1937 Officers Dagger with Hanger Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale (Voluntary Militia for National Security/MSVN) “Blackshirts” Model 1937 Leader’s Dagger, measuring 35 cm in total length when inserted into the scabbard. It features a 19.5 cm-long, nickel-plated, magnetic steel blade with a sharpened tip and upper edge. The blade sits securely within an aluminum hilt with a hooked quillon and pommel that presents as a double-sided eagle’s head. The handle grip consists of two pieces of black celluloid inset into the hilt, both of which sit fully flush. Riveted to the obverse of the handle is a gilded Partito Nazionale Fascista, measuring 12 mm (w) x 26 mm (h). The Italian 1937 Officers Dagger with Hanger is accompanied by its original scabbard, constructed of a lacquered black magnetic metal shaft. Gilded bronze fixtures are secured to the shaft at the tip, mid-section, and throat. Emanating from the latter two are loops for the accommodation of a hanger. The throat retains a partially-functional spring catch to hold the dagger in place during storage. Minor running marks are visible to the blade, but the dagger remains in an overall extremely near mint condition. It is accompanied by a matching hanger, consisting of a functional gilded bronze spring clip decorated on the obverse with a raised Italian national eagle. A narrow loop set into the bottom edge of the clip accommodates two leather straps, topped by a gilded monogram of Benito Mussolini, with each strap completing in a functional bronze spring clip to lock onto the scabbard’s loops. Unmarked, minor tarnishing and material fatigue is visible to the bronze fixtures and leather straps, respectively, but the Italian 1937 Officers Dagger with Hanger remains in an overall near mint condition.
Historical Description: The first Italian youth Fascist organizations were formed in 1919 and 1922. The Opera Nazionale Balilla (ONB), was formed in 1926. Originally a volunteer organization, it was eventually made compulsory for boys aged 6 to 18, and girls aged 8 to 14. Young men and women aged 18 to 21 would join additional organizations of the ONB, and there was a preschool program for children younger than 6. A paramilitary organization, it was tasked with indoctrinating young people as well as educating them. Male members of the ONB wore a uniform that was based on that of the Fascist Blackshirts. In 1937, the ONB was rolled into the consolidated Fascist youth movement, the Gioventù Italiana del Littorio (GIL). At the outbreak of WWII, male GIL members over the age of 18 were called up to serve in the military. Later, youth organization members as young as 16 were drafted. The uniforms and regalia of the Italian fascist youth movement are sought-after historical items.
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