Product Description: This rare transitional Helbig SS dagger is a very desirable example of a Model 1933 Schutzstaffel Dienstdolch. It was manufactured by F&A Helbig of Steinbach, who were assigned the SS contract code RZM 1163/38 (1938), and both their RZM code and full maker mark appear on the blade, making this a transitional piece. The blade on this one is near perfect, with full original crossgraining. There are very slight, typical runner marks on both sides of the blade, and some graying areas near the bottom portion of the blade, near the manufacturer markings, and on the front of blade. The acid etched “Meine Ehre Heißt Treue” motto along the blade’s length and “Gaefler F. & A. Helbig Steinbach Kr.M.” maker mark on the ricasso are both very lightly executed, as is expected on products from Helbig. There is a slight gap between where the blade meets the lower cross guard. This dagger has a gorgeous handle. The ‘fat’ crossguards are steel based, and heavily plated, which is textbook; another typical Helbig feature. The black dyed hardwood grip fits very well, and looks excellent, with only minor lifting to the reverse with a couple of minor flake chips where the lower crossguard meets the grip. The aluminum eagle is noticeably high up on the grip, which is again typical of Helbig. The SS roundel retains 99% of its enamel and has a perfect fit. At the top of the handle, the nut lost most of its plating, and is showing base metal, with an old patina. At the bottom of the handle, there is a very slight gap between the seated blade and the bottom crossguard. This rare transitional Helbig SS dagger is complete with its original scabbard. It’s steel based, with a black enamel painted scabbard, and looks great. The scabbard is completely dent free, and the original glossy black paint remains an amazing 99 percent intact. The metal fittings on the scabbard are also steel, with full heavy plating that retains beautiful original luster. All four scabbard screws remain intact, and the ball at the tip remains perfectly round. The suspension ring is present as well. This dagger is a choice piece, with a lot going for it, and loads of visual appeal. It is in a very strong excellent plus condition overall.
Historical Description: The Model 1933 (M33) SS dagger was first serviceable dagger produced for the SS. The design was derived from a 16thcentury Swiss hunting dagger called the “Holbein”. The M33 SS Dagger was worn by all ranks within the SS. Becoming a member of the SS was held in high respect during the Third Reich, and their daggers became a symbolic piece within its ranks. Every year on November 9th, the new SS men would pledge their full allegiance to the Führer (Adolf Hitler) in front of the Feldherrnhalle monument in Munich and receive their dagger as a symbol of that oath. The inscription on the blade “Mein Ehre Heißt Treue”, which translates to “My Honor is Loyalty”, was the motto of the SS. Manufacturing for these daggers began late in 1933 and continued until 1942 when production of all daggers ceased to conserve materials and labor for the war effort. Today, collectors categorize these daggers into three main categories; Early, Transitional, and Late period. SS daggers produced from 1933 to early 1935 are early and have anodized scabbards, nickel fittings, and are generally of a higher workmanship. Transitional period daggers were produced from 1935 to 1938, are usually found with painted scabbards, plated fittings and RZM codes with their makers logo on the blade. Late period daggers were produced from 1938 to 1942 and are similar to the transitional period daggers in that they use plated fittings, painted scabbards but will only be found with the RZM logo and code on the blade.
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