Product Description: This large double oval SA Dress Dagger is a very desirable early production piece by the firm of Carl Eickhorn, a maker associated with high-quality pieces. The steel blade on this dagger is very nice, with cross-graining running from the guard to tip. The blade does show typical light runner marks, as well as other scattered light marks. The etching is crisp, with strong original darkening. On the reverse of the blade, it is marked on the ricasso with the sought-after early large double oval Eickhorn mark. This style of maker mark was used on the earliest Third Reich produced blades by this maker. The handle of this piece is very appealing, with solid nickel upper and lower guards that show a nice, even patina throughout. The reverse of the lower guard is stamped “Nrh” for SA-Gruppe Niederrhein. The rosewood grip shows only light wear, with an early type nickel inlaid eagle and enamel SA roundel. There is one very small hairline crack on the reverse of the grip. The scabbard is the expected early anodized type. The scabbard body shows some age and patina, with some marks throughout. The scabbard fittings are solid nickel silver and match the patina of the dagger nicely. The scabbard remains straight and undented, and the screws and suspension ring are intact. Overall, this piece is a nice and very appealing example of an early German SA dress dagger. The condition rates as excellent.
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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