BACKGROUND: In March of 1919 Benito Mussolini established the "Fascio di Combattimento" (Union of Combatants) political party in Milan and fascism was born in Italy. Shortly afterwards the FdC adopted the black shirts that the anarchist laborers of the Romagna region of Italy had worn previously. Mussolini was first elected as a member of the Chamber of Deputies in the general election of 1921. In a fortunate set of circumstances, due to a general strike, economic chaos, and a dissatisfied populace, Mussolini was able to depose Premier Luigi Facta and was appointed as Premier by King Victor Emmanuel III following the infamous "March on Rome," on October 28th, 1922. Now with Mussoliniís "Partito Nazionale Fascita" (National Fascist Party) firmly in control, the black shirts were to become ubiquitous throughout Italy. A decree of February 1st, 1923 reorganized the fascist militia and introduced a new designation, MVSN, "Milizia Volontaria Sicurezza Nazionale" (Volunteer National Security Militia). On July 25th, 1943 the Grand Council and King Emmanuel accepted Mussoliniís "resignation" and had him imprisoned, which resulted in the Italians conceding to unconditional surrender on September 8th, 1943, bringing an end to Mussoliniís fascist rule. The Fascist Grand Council was the supreme constitutional authority in Italy from 1922 until Mussoliniís arrest in September of 1943.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: M1937 MVSN Leaders dagger with scabbard and leather hanger. The 19.5cm long , bright, steel blade has a 1.5cm ricasso, an unsharpened blade and an unsharpened false edge. The hilt is made from a solid piece of aluminum, with a single curved quillon and an eagle head pommel. To either side of the handle are black bakelite, one which has to its center a gilt fasces, and to the other the head of a brass screw. An interesting feature of this model of knife is that when held in the hand the sharpened edge faces up. The 23.5cm long steel scabbard retains most of its black paint. The scabbard has a brass throat insert along with two brass hangers that encircle the scabbard. The hangers leather straps have interlocking double hooks that attach it to the scabbard rings. The other ends of the straps are attached to a stylized Mussolini "M" which is in turn attached to a spring loaded belt clip which has embossed to one side a Roman eagle. Comes with its original dagger knot. Very nice, untouched original condition showing only the expected age.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $1,110.00

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