S012460 SS OFFICER'S SWORD WITH PORTEPEE. (SS-Führerdegen mit Portepee)

BACKGROUND: The Sword/Sabre is an age old military tradition, that evolved from a functional weapon into an item of uniform dress ornamentation by the start of WWI. This strong tradition continues in many armies to this day as a symbol of strength and power. After Hitler’s rise to power in January 1933 and the reintroduction of conscription in March 1935 a wide variety of new sword and sabre designs were introduced to outfit the rapidly growing Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces). Originally, (Circa 1934-36), personnel of the SS-VT, SS-Verfugüngstruppe, (SS-Special Purpose Troops), the military arm of the SS, Schutz Staffel, (Protection Squad), utilized an altered army Officer/NCO’s sword with the army style gold finished components modified to a silver finish. In mid-1936 distinctive swords were designed and produced exclusively for wear by SS-VT, Police and Fire Officers and NCO personnel with minor variations depending on the branch of service and the particular rank. In all there were four patterns of the SS sword all with minor variations. The variations were determined by the rank/position of the wearer and consisted of the Officer’s sword, the Senior NCO’s sword, the SS-Officer Senior Candidates sword and the SS-Officer Junior Candidates sword. Bestowal of the SS swords was discontinued by regulations on June 26TH 1942, and further wearing of the swords was prohibited in August 1943, except for ceremonial occasions, to be reinstated at the successful conclusion of the war. Edged weapon portepees were originally introduced in the Prussian army in 1808, and continued to be worn with the Dress uniform, as a tradition and identifying item through-out WWI, the Weimar Republic, (Circa 1919-1933), and on into the Third Reich, with minor modifications. Originally designed as a functional item to secure the blade sidearm to the holder’s wrist the portepee evolved into a purely decorative accessory. Originally SS personnel utilized army Officer’s style portepees with a black leather strap and slide and a silver/aluminum crown and ball. In 1936 a series of four, distinctive, swords and sword portepees/troddels were introduced exclusively for wear by SS, Police and Fire Police Officer’s, Officer Candidates, Senior NCO’s and enlisted personnel. This example portepee was authorized for wear by Senior NCO’s and Officers with the ranks of SS-Oberscharführer up to and including the Reichsführer-SS inclusively.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The roughly, 33" long, nickel/silver plated, drop forged steel construction blade, features 19 1/2" long, shallow fullers to each side. The slightly age dulled, blade is in overall very good condition with a few small surface scratches and scuffs. The reverse ricasso is well marked with acid etched manufacturer’s logo, name and location. The manufacturer’s logo consists of the likeness of a crab/crayfish within a rounded bottom, shield shaped, border flanked by the manufacturer’s abbreviated name and location, "Pet. Dan Krebs Solingen", (Peter Daniel Krebs). Of Note: The manufacturers logo of the crab/crayfish cleverly mimics the manufacturer’s last name, "Krebs", (Crab/Crayfish). The sword has the correct white leather washer intact. The hilt consists of a nickel/silver plated, tooled steel and alloy, cross guard, ferrule, "D" knuckle bow, backstrap, pommel and a black dyed, wooden grip with an inset nickel/silver button and wire wrap. The plain cross guard features a downward curving arm to one end and extends upwards into the "D" knuckle bow, with a raised, central, spine to the other end. The bottom edge of the cross guard has the typical, overlapping, SS inspection runes within an octagonal border. The ferrule is ornamented with a vertically embossed, repeating oak-leaves and acorn design. The plain pommel has a screwed on, circular, tang nut with fluted sides. The nickel/silver plating is fully retained with light age tarnish and minor surface scratches and spotting. The blackened hardwood grip has the correct, heavy, single, silver wire wrap and the inset, circular, SS runic button to the obverse. The button features raised, nickel/silver, edge and central, embossed SS runes on a slightly recessed, subtly textured, black background field. The reverse of the wooden grip has a vertical, inset, plain, nickel/silver plated backstrap which secures the wire wrap in place. The sword comes complete with a second pattern portepee, as introduced along with the SS swords in mid-1936. The portepee appears to be tied to the sword in the correct manner and consists of strap, slide, stem, crown and ball. The woven, silver/aluminum strap has a repeating waffle pattern flanked by two narrow, parallel black stripes near each outer edge. The strap has an interwoven, three strand, silver/aluminum, slide positioned just above the stem. The woven, silver/aluminum stem features interwoven black SS runes encompassed by a circle to each side. The crown and ball are both constructed of twisted silver/aluminum cord mounted on an internal wooden base. The bottom of the ball has an oval recess with an inset strip of the silver/aluminum strap. The portepee shows areas of light to moderate chafe wear and age and usage toning. The sword also comes with its original, black painted, magnetic sheet metal construction, scabbard with nickel/silver plated top and bottom fittings. The scabbard retains about 80% of its original black enamel painted finish, with numerous small scrapes and scuffs with light to moderate surface spotting. The bottom, drag fitting has six, vertical, impressed grooves to each side and a flared bottom tip and is brazed to the scabbard. The top fitting is retained by two, small, flat headed screws and features an ornate, Celtic swirl pattern with overlapping arms with narrow impressed grooves and a recessed, subtly textured, background field. The top edge of the scabbard throat is also well marked with the stamped, overlapping, SS inspection runes within an octagonal border. The scabbard also has a plain, horizontal, scabbard band with a raised, metal suspension bar to the reverse and the hanger suspension ring both intact. Nice example.

GRADE ***3/4                             PRICE $

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