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K011162 OFFICER'S DAGGER WITH PORTEPEE. (Marinedolch mit Portepee)

BACKGROUND: The Kriegsmarine, ({War} Navy), was the last of the three branches of the German Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), to adopt a dagger with the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), national eagle and swastika emblem, on January 28TH 1938. The Kriegsmarine dagger was a modified version of a traditional design that dates back to the creation of the Königliche Marine, (Royal {Prussian} Navy), in 1848. The main modification of the Third Reich era dagger was a change in the Weimar era, Reichsmarine, (National Navy, Circa 1919-1933), pattern, "flame" shaped, pommel to one featuring the national eagle with the swastika. Dress regulations for Officers and certain senior NCO’s prescribed wear of side arms, including the dagger, as a component of particular forms of dress. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniform items, including the dress dagger, and accoutrements, (hangers and portepees), and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the Navy’s OKK,Offizier Kleider Kasse, (Officer’s Clothing Account), system. As a result the Officer’s dress daggers and accoutrements were only available at specially designated retailers and could be purchased, at additional cost, with additional enhancements including pure ivory grips, an assortment of ornamental, etched blade designs on the daggers, hammered scabbards and twisted rope patterned scabbard suspension retaining loops. When worn the dagger was accompanied by a portepee and specific suspension hangers. Originally designed as a functional item to secure the blade sidearm to the holders wrist the portepee evolved into a purely decorative accessory and was to be worn with all Kriegsmarine Officer’s daggers. Regulations of May 7TH 1943 discontinued further manufacture of the portepees although those already issued continued to be utilized. By late 1943/early 1944, with the German’s worsening war situation, the ornamental Officer’s dagger was no longer deemed to be a dress requirement and regulations of February 25TH 1944 discontinued wear of the dagger, to be replaced with the much more practical, loaded pistol although the dagger was still worn on a limited basis.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 9 7/8", (25 cm), long, nickel/silver plated, drop forged steel construction, stiletto style blade with dual, narrow, central, fullers to each side. Both sides of the blade feature an acid etched design with fouled anchors, a trident, serpents and an ornate foliage pattern. The blade is still fairly bright and clean with minor surface scratching and a couple of small areas of chafe wear to the base metal resulting in some small areas of light surface spotting. The obverse ricasso is well marked with the stamped manufacturer’s logo and initials with the logo consisting of the profile of a medieval style helmet positioned above the initials, "WKC", indicating manufacture by Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Co. Waffenfabrik of Solingen-Wald. Of Note: Interestingly most manufacturers marked their blades on the reverse ricasso although WKC consistently marked their blades on the obverse ricasso. The thin, blackened, leather blade washer is intact. The dagger has a nicely detailed, fire gilted, brass construction crossguard and pommel which are both intact and show light to moderate age tarnish. The crossguard features an embossed fouled anchor to both the obverse and reverse centerpieces and an ornate foliage pattern and rosette tips to the horizontal arms. The reverse centerpiece of the crossguard has an integral spring loaded locking button which is fully intact and still functions. The pommel is a likeness of the Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), style eagle with down-swept wings, clutching a canted, wreathed swastika. The age and usage dulled, fire gilted finish to the crossguard and pommel are retained about 90% with spots of wear to the base brass with some minor verdigris spotting. The dagger has a yellowed celluloid grip mounted on a wooden sleeve with twisted, dual strand, brass wire wrap still intact. The celluloid grip is in overall very good condition although the brass wire wrap has tarnished to a very dark shade. The dagger comes with a woven, silver/aluminum, portepee which is tied in the correct manner. The portepee consists of an interwoven, silver/aluminum, cord with an interwoven, silver/aluminum, slide and stem and a twisted, silver/aluminum, braid crown and ball on a formed template base. The portepee shows very heavy age and usage tarnish and some verdigris resulting in a very muted appearance. The portepee cord also has a small chafe spot revealing the underlying white fabric base. The dagger also comes with its original, fire gilted, brass scabbard with a random, hammered, design. The scabbard has both of the sweated on, embossed, oak-leaf patterned, hanger suspension bands with the scabbard rings and hanger loops all intact. The inserted, top throat of the scabbard is secured in place by two, small, dome headed screws, with one situated at either side near the top edge. The age and usage tarnished, fire gilted finish appears to be mostly intact with small spots of wear to the bass brass being just visible and small areas of heavy verdigris spotting, primarily by the scabbard bands. All the components display the same age characteristics. Nice matching, aged dagger, portepee and scabbard.

GRADE ***1/2                             PRICE $950.00

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