This is a bad A$$ thread - REALLY appreciate all the discussion and input from the contributors! Thank You for increasing my brain power!
Great insight bouncing around from a great group of members in this thread. Like the look of these black grip dress daggers but it is one piece for the money they command I have steered clear of in my years of collecting. Too many unknowns for my liking and too similar to the affordable Heer dress dagger to compel me to ever procure one.
"WWII Militaria collecting has no cure and the only medicine is to collect more" - My Opa
Collection Website: http://www.tothehiltmilitaria.com/
Collection Video: https://youtu.be/Kexpyo4G7ts
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/petrucci.rossi?fref=ts
Google Page: https://plus.google.com/103940649893850060890/about
I agree with Rossi that a black gripped dagger isn't worth 3 or 4 times the price of a army dagger with a normal grip. But how about if you could get one for the price well below $ 1.000. It would still be nice to know what you have. First of all I think these grips are original (pre WW2) and not some kind of fakes produced by dealers to earn extra money. Second it seems logical to me that Klaas painted them white to make them look like normal grips. So it's fair to say that there's a good chance that all black gripped Klaas armies are stripped (cleaned) of the white paint. But the black grip Eickhorn still puzzles me because I have never seen a black gripped Eickhorn with traces of white paint. So again, I would like to ask my fellow collectors what they think:
1. Black grips on Eickhorn army daggers are post war
2. Black grips on Eickhorn army daggers were painted white and all of them were cleaned after the war
3. For some reason Eickhorn used black grips for a short while and they were worn like that by army officers
Wim has his presented his point of view using period documentation and anybody who wants to argue with that - I think has a very long hard road ahead of him. With TMJ’s book mentioned I’m assuming it was posted in favor, and might be what he was told or believes. But that doesn’t necessarily make it a fact, and I can as a general matter cite some examples and/or information from his books that have zero basis in fact. Leaving it at that (unless of course there is a challenge to present my arguments).
From a mid 1936 issue of “Die Klinge” about what was currently being made in Solingen for all of the different groups, having zero mention of any supposed “Railway” daggers. With only white grips for the German Army daggers mentioned, also including the fact that all of those who had been authorized the Portepee (which included senior grade NCO’s) could purchase the Army Officer's daggers at approved outlets.
With my own personal observations as one who was at the time a relatively minor participant in the GDC “Great Grip Color Discussions” - that some forum members here might still remember? With the GDC my first online dagger collecting forum where I was participating as a new member about 14-15 or so years ago? At that time there was a group of dealer/collectors who were crazy for all of the different kinds of grip colors. Deep orange “General Officer’s” grips - no problem - there was something for eveybody. Buying, selling and trading grips, with some examples that had some unusual colors that I haven’t seen before or since then (perhaps new manufacture?). Or maybe it was because of imperfect imaging, who knows? All told I don’t know how many daggers they permanently messed up, but I think that it had to be a lot of them. Which regrettably was not a shock to me as years before I had seen the mixing and matching of all sorts off daggers/parts with stacks of especially the political types laying on the tables at large shows before the public was let in. Something that had made me reluctant to more seriously try my hand with collecting daggers until I was better educated (I was specializing in guns at the time).
So at the end of the day with all of that baggage laid out above for inspection and comment:
1) They could be postwar, possibly from an original source? With a course of action that may or may not be a deciding factor a less invasive version of the spectrographic analysis that was used for analyzing some TR period blades.
2) What caused the color breakdown of the white colored grips was the sensitivity and ongoing chemical activity of the plastic resins which varied with each batch (no two were the same and there were also multiple period plastics makers). With for the black grips an unstable plastic, and possibly poor surface preparation likely reasons for the paint loss. With some examples showing almost all of the paint gone and looking like it all fell away naturally. While others might show signs of mechanical abrasion, and/or re-polishing.
3) “For some reason”………. in the TR period German Army? Pure speculation, and highly unlikely IMO. When every maker who could afford it after existing stockpiles were depleted could have had at least some access to alternate solutions for white grips (besides the painted types) such as wood cored grips, milk and possibly even melamine based plastics.
Best Regards, Fred
Fred, What color is the grip on the so called 2nd model railway daggers? You don't have to go into the 2000 word explanation, just the color.
Never had one-and never would. 50 years ago, I'd never seen such a thing. It seems to me, that these began showing up in the last 30-40 years and were unknown before this time. What is the earliest appearance of a black grip dagger that anyone knows of personally? The prices they ask for these things is absurd and not a single period photograph of one of these things in wear is known, that I've ever heard of. The German's were always camera happy-they took photos of Everything under the sun-does anyone seriously think that someone as innocent as a Railway official would not have wanted his portrait to be proudly taken so he could set it on his mantle? Why wouldn't they? They weren't Einsatzkommandos coming home from a hard week in Poland executing thousands of victims.
If there weren't so many examples now existing and known, I'd have suggested that they might have been an experimental sample run of Heer daggers, but there are far too many out there for this to be true. Black gripped daggers like these, in my opinion, are a relatively modern scam and personally, if I had one, I think that I'd be looking for a nice White grip to change with it to make the set normal again. Anyone that pays the money that they demand for one of these needs to step back and do some re-evaluating...
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
THIS IS A SURVEY FOR THOSE INTERESTED ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THE FIRST MENTION OF A DAGGER FOR THE DEUTSCHE REICHSBAHN (April 1941) AND WHEN IT WAS NOTED THE DAGGER WAS NOT TO BE WORN (July 1941). REMEMBER THIS IS JUST ABOUT DEUTSCHE REICHSBAHN (and its pattern dagger) AND NOT WHAT HAPPENED WITHIN THE BAHNSCHUTZ-ORGANIZATION.
In the official source for the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DRB), “Die Reichsbahn, Amtliches Nachrichtenblatt der Deutschen Reichsbahn”, nr. 16/17 from April 16/23, 1941 new aspects for the new DRB-uniform were announced, to the public. This was based upon orders from mid-February 1941. The addition for a “weapon” was mentioned first of all. State-secretary Kleinmann negociated with the Chef der Präsidialkanzlei des Führers, the minister of state Meissner, along with the OKW and the chief of transportation about these new DRB-uniforms and/or aspects.
With 5 the wearing of a weapon (Schusswaffe) with a belt was noted. Next to this it was said: introduction of a dagger - Einführung des Dolches für die Beamten von Besoldungsgruppe 8 und 7a – Obersekretär and upwards. It was intended the dagger, which was not worn at all before this date with none of the DRB-uniforms. Wearing was only allowed with special occasions (bei besonderen Anlässen) in Germany, as well as the western and eastern occupied countries. The dagger also was allowed to be worn “when nog being in service” (ausserhalb des Dienstes), so with the walking-out uniform/dress. The drawing as shown before was included with the announcement; the shown photograph, where a dagger was worn, was also one of the included press-photographs, titled: Der neue Dienstanzug bei besonderen Anlässen. From the same guy also other photos were made and published in magazines.
another, but lousy spring 1941-photograph: (Erstmaliges Erscheinen = first appearance)
Due to the period in time (wartime) the dagger may have been hardly used, or even supplied. Was the dagger even actually worn? This is an open question and in fact hard to believe. It was mentioned and shown, that is a fact!
In for example the “Amtsblatt der Reichsbahndirektion, München”, nr. 29 from May 20, 1941 (or the version for Berlin from April 1941) the changes were published (RVM order 57.565 Uskd from February 13, 1941 - this might be then when actual preparations for manufacturing were started) the uniform, which was agreed by those mentioned above, was specified. With the number 10 the weapon (when being available) and dagger with hanger was described and were mentioned. It was especially noted that when the dagger was worn no belt or brocade was worn. Again the moments for the special occasion were noted. The dagger was here described as with Knauf (the top on top of the grip, Griff), which showed a sunwheel swastika, surrounded by oakleaves, the crossguard (Parierstange) with stylized wing/wheel (see drawing as shown before), sheet (Scheide) with so-called Ortband (the tip decoration) and two other bands with ring, to hang the hanger. The grip and sheet were noted to be dark-blue; the top, crossguard and sheet-parts were to be golden colored. The hanger was from gold colored braid with a blue backing, two golden colored buckles and two golden carabine-hooks. Many prices were included with the order. However the dagger and hanger were NOT!!
Note that here just the newly introduced dagger for the DRB was mentioned, and not the one for the Bahnschutz. The dagger also was mentioned in the magazine “Schwert und Spaten”, nr. 3 from March 1941, as well as “Uniformen-Markt”, nr. 5 from March 1941. Samples were send by the Reichsbahn-Kleiderkasse (Hauptleitung), they mentioned. First to DRB-directions of the western occupied countries, then east and later within the German homeland.
It is obvious the use of the dagger was not granted a long life. Not at all!! This one must conclude from notes, published for DRB personnel, serving at Germany (including the Alsace etc.) from July 3, 1941 (order II 5 Klk 1/Uskd). A dagger was no longer included in the list with uniform-parts. Here it is literally said: Zierdolche sind nicht zu tragen (nr.5 from the order)/Dolche sind auf weiteres nicht zu tragen. Daggers (of any kind) are not to be worn, not even with the uniform for special occasions. The reason was simple: saving materials (um Rohstoffe einzusparen).
From this one knows the eventual supplying was halted after about two and a half months (when taken into account February this was about four and a half months). The manufacturing-process hardly was started; the dagger not even was entered in price-list from the DRB-Kleiderkasse and possibly there were hardly send samples in the homeland. Maybe just a few prototypes had been made!!
The all over and often used indication railway(Reichsbahn)-dagger is largely not correct, while the Bahnschutz-dagger was meant instead!! I do hope finally a correct difference will be made and we can get rid of the expressions 1st and 2nd railway or railroad dagger. I do not dispute what author's have written. I just conclude from actual and official information!
So, my question again is: show information from actual sources if you do know more about the above subject (not about I have heard). This goes also - for the benefit of the collecting-world - for the black and white/ebony grips. Come with stated old information, or do show pages from catalogues from manufacturer's (untill now I have not seen black grips with army daggers in cataloques). The white or ebony grip anyway were "laut Vorschrift", so according to regulation. And who is able to show the wearing of a dagger with black grip (consult the German website heeresdolch.de for lots of army dagger information)!!
PS: this is what is noted on the above mentioned website:
viel diskutierten Heeresdolch von Robert Klaas mit original schwarzem Griff, der von Klaas mit weißer Farbe übermalt wurde. Bei Klaas kommen diese Griffe ausschließlich mit einer Typ B Parierstange vor.
Vorsicht, ein originaler Griff sollte etwa 5mm länger sein als ein normaler Griff. Ebenso ist die Stärkste Stelle nicht in der Mitte, sondern etwas oberhalb davon.
Von diesen Griffen gibt es sehr viele Kopien welche aus normalen Kunststoff sind. Viele Sammler sehen in diesem Dolchmodell den “Bahnschutzführerdolch 1.Modell”.
Dafür gibt es aber bis heute keine schriftlichen Belege, weshalb ich hier auch nur von einem normalen Heeresdolch spreche.
Last edited by Wilhelm Saris; 09-11-2015 at 09:17 PM.
"Wir sollen auch unser Leben für die Brüder lassen" (1.Joh.3.16):
zum Gedächtnis Wilhelm Schenk. Er starb fürs Vaterland am 13. Juni 1916