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Heeres Offiziersdolch: Aluminum fittings

Article about: This is most of my small but growing collection of aluminum fitted Army daggers. They are not only difficult to find, but beautiful to my eyes as well. I presently own these made by Schuttel

  1. #1
    djr
    ?

    Default Heeres Offiziersdolch: Aluminum fittings

    This is most of my small but growing collection of aluminum fitted Army daggers. They are not only difficult to find, but beautiful to my eyes as well.

    I presently own these made by Schuttelhofer, Spitzer, JA Henckels, Puma, Tiger, EPack, Max Weyersberg, and Paul Seilheimer.

    I have identified 4 distinctly different types of this crossguard and the above 8 different makers. All are extruded/cast aluminum alloy with a matte finish and were never plated. We sometimes see some parts similar, but that have a much more "shiney" appearance and are/were plated at one time and the plating lost to time.

    EPack seemed to be the most prolific user while other makers "tried" the material less often. It was phased out fairly early in the dagger manufacturing period due to war requirements for the metal.
    DJ



    I'm always looking to buy this type Army dagger....
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  3. #2

    Default re: Heeres Offiziersdolch: Aluminum fittings

    How ya doing DJ?

    I never asked, but exactly how many army's do you have?? I know its a lot from what I have heard.

    Best,

    Kris

  4. #3
    djr
    ?

    Default re: Heeres Offiziersdolch: Aluminum fittings

    Hello Kris....Hope all is well with you. NICE of you to inform me of this site.

    I have sold most of my Army collection and retain only 35, or so, pieces (them being the cream of the crop to me anyway). I kept my EPacks, 5 Eickhorns, aluminum fitted examples and a few odds and ends, but sold about 130 others..... Took a while, but all is gone now (or spoken for).

    These aluminums are fascinating to me (like no others) and reason I held onto them. EPacks are, in my opinion, generally the most well-made Armys of the period. These 2 types are my primary focus now....
    DJ

  5. #4

    Default re: Heeres Offiziersdolch: Aluminum fittings

    DJ,

    You would know if anyone would. I like the contrast with the fittings and the scabbards, always have with these aluminum pieces. Did not know you sold so many.

    What are you buying or are you?

    Best,

    Kris

  6. #5
    djr
    ?

    Default Bump and DE-Bump.. 2 questions

    Kris
    Still buying EPack and aluminum fitted Army daggers (And any other that strikes my fancy ).

    Both are getting to be difficult to find in collectible condition AND prices are rising all the while, everywhere.

    The contrasting look you refer to is what I call the Tuxedo Look, a phrase coined by a friend of mine, A. Jablonski.
    DJ

  7. #6
    djr
    ?

    Default re: Heeres Offiziersdolch: Aluminum fittings

    Here is an updated picture of my aluminum fitted Army daggers. Makers/assemblers: Seilheimer, Tiger, Puma, JA Henckels, EPack, Schuttelhofer, Max Weyersberg, and Gustav Spitzer (to date anyway). Four distinctly different fittings. Who made 'em?

    I suspect EPack myself since they sold these to other maker/assemblers, but it may well have been (and probably was) some outfit that did the casting for EPack and the others. Each maker/assembler more than likely Only finished the fittings and assembled them. EPack put more into the finishing work than anyone I've seen AND Epack used two different designs that resemble their "normal" crossguard designs. EPack hand enhancement was 2nd to none, but even they varied in workmanship/finishing of these fittings.

    We find these aluminum fittings finished with a "brushed/matte" look to them. That's the only way they were finished and used as an end product. I've attached a picture giving you a good close look at the "matte" finish I describe..... Notice the "sandblasted/matte" fiinish. Totally unlike any other finish you ever see on an Army dagger.

    I've seen many examples, by several different makers, of an aluminum alloy used as a base material and plated. I've seen a bunch of this type that had obviously lost the plating and showing a bright, polished looking aluminum look to the fittings. These are not what I call "Classic Aluminum fittings". The "Classic Aluminum" type fitting was cast and possibly sand blasted (AND will always show signs of this Unless the aluminum base is what's actually showing sans plating) to give it the "matte" finish? Making a lot of assumptions here that make sense to me but would enjoy hearing others opinions.....

    I also think these were used fairly early and then dropped due to increasing demand for aluminum for the war effort. I've seen that some think they were used late in the manufacturing period, but that makes no sense to me with the war looming and the urgent need for aluminum in the war effort.

    Enjoy and throw you opinions into the ring.
    DJ
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    Last edited by djr; 07-21-2008 at 06:42 PM.

  8. #7
    djr
    ?

    Default re: Heeres Offiziersdolch: Aluminum fittings

    Ever since I saw my first aluminum fitted Army dagger (BY EPack), I've felt they constitute a Collecting Field all their own due to their rarity and non-conformity (to a certain extent) setting themselves apart from the norm we see in Army daggers (material-wise). NOT sure I remember seeing nor hearing of an Army dagger with repo'd/faked aluminum fittings. That may be around the corner though?

    I'm always on the look-out for more of these beautiful pieces, but gladly welcome the "Competition" should anyone become interested in this field of collecting. I'll gladly share what info I've accumulated to help in your search and authentication efforts. I've found that, as bad as I want to own ALL of these, that's Not a realistic outlook.

    I've read and talked to a few collectors that held the opinion, early in their collecting, that aluminum was felt to be not original and was passed on by many. Makes me cringe to think about that. I only hope I picked several of those up and saved them for history's sake.

    I catalog my collection, document it, and thereby insuring (with a little help from my family and their not throwing these out the back door when I leave) that the "fine" points are not lost to time.
    DJ

  9. #8

    Default re: Heeres Offiziersdolch: Aluminum fittings

    DJ,

    Aluminum daggers are my favorites. Here is my Pack dagger.

    Now, please help me find a mint ALUMINUM NAVY DAGGER.

    Bob Hritz
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    I am seeking Golden Party Badge # 77578, Luftwaffe blue summerweight flight pants, used Geschwader Immelmann officer's cuff title.

  10. #9

    Default re: Heeres Offiziersdolch: Aluminum fittings

    Great picture DJ, they look gorgeous! I should certainly enjoy such an example if & when the opportunity arises. A very striking contrast with much appeal!
    I must agree that from the material, maker marks & workmanship they can only be early.

  11. #10
    djr
    ?

    Default re: Heeres Offiziersdolch: Aluminum fittings

    Bob
    I'd kill for that one! Really a beauty. It appears to sport a glass type grip as well. I own one like that w/glass type grip. Mine is pictured in Tom Wittmann's Army book, glass grip and aluminum fittings. Your's (&mine) is a double whammy in my books. I take it by the sound of your voice that it is staying at your place? Where would one find an aluminum fitted Naval dagger? EPack must have tried their hand at fashioning a Naval Dagger fittings (crossguard and pommel anyway) from aluminum. If I see one, you'll be the 1st to know. It might be trade bait for that Army?

    Vaughan
    Thanks for the kind words, but flattery will get you every where.....
    Denny

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