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SA Dagger - Karl Malsch Gust. Sohn Steinbach Kr.Mein.

Article about: This Karl Malsch SA dagger arrived today, which I'd like to submit to the forum dagger database. Sorry my pictures aren't great, I was using natural light, but it's late in the day so they t

  1. #1

    Default SA Dagger - Karl Malsch Gust. Sohn Steinbach Kr.Mein.

    This Karl Malsch SA dagger arrived today, which I'd like to submit to the forum dagger database. Sorry my pictures aren't great, I was using natural light, but it's late in the day so they took on a rather glum blue tone. I took some indoor photos as well.

    The bad:

    The dagger and scabbard are a bit salty. The, ball on the tip of the scabbard is pretty well dented in, and the scabbard itself has a dent in it. The nut unfortunately has scarring from being fiddled with. I've seen worse, but it's evident on this dagger all the same. There is some rust powder from inside the scabbard that was on the blade when I first removed it, along with a light crunching sound as I pulled it out. I thumped out some rust powder onto some paper, it's pretty fine, but it tells me there is some amount of rusting going on with the securing components inside the scabbard. The scabbard itself has a good amount of spotting/rusting/oxidizing, whatever that is I'm seeing. The blade has 6 tiny chips on one side, and exhibits quite a bit of scuffing and light scratching over most of it.

    The good:

    The hanger is not too bad. It's a little dirty, and a tad dry. Perhaps there is something I can do to treat it without damaging it's value? It's a solid piece that is in good functioning condition. The early SA crossgaurd and fittings have that nice golden hue that I so love about these. It looks sharp against the deep dark red of the grip wood. The rare Karl Malsch marking as well as the motto have a nice dark crispness to them despite the rest of the blade's scuffed look. No screws missing, and the blade has nice tight fit in the scabbard that shows the quality of these items and their solid build. The blade has some of its crossgrain evident, the full length of it. I don't think I was able to capture it in pictures, and honestly in person the blade has enough scuffing and light scratching it's hard to tell. But, I believe it's there at least in some degree underneath these issues, if but lightly visible.

    Price paid for dagger, 3 piece hanger, SA replacement roundel (not pictured): $675

    Indoor photos:

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    Outdoor natural photos:

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    Hanger Photos:

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    Last edited by avenger; 08-29-2014 at 03:50 PM.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

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  3. #2

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    Condition is moderate but desirable due to the rarity of the maker. The Motto and Logo are a deep etch type..nice to see that. Your photos are great with deep zoom in shots. Thank you for that. I like the little brass spot seen on the back of the snap clip. The blade is scuffed up..but remember..this is a nice filler.... IF YOU CAN UPGRADE THIS PRODUCER. Its real and has been owned. . The grip eagle I have doubts with and I feel it is a replacement with a mid period plated type..which would explain the tang nut being messed with. It is possible it could be early..but due to the blue photos..I am seeing something different. I still feel you done well with a rare producer..with original early 3 pc hanger. Alot of this can be cleaned up and the rust can be removed from the outside of the scabbard..with a very light oil or 3 in 1 oil type lubricant...if left on the scabbard for few days should lift the rust off. Your Choice..or leave it alone. Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  4. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the reply Larry. What's the giveaway on the eagle? Is there something I can look closer at to tell if it's a replacement?
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  5. #4

    Default

    Try comparing it with another Early SA grip eagle....its all in the sheen of the silvering. Im still not sure if its the lighting playing tricks or not...but the areas missing around the eagle legs are worn down alot and above the wings and head. Generally the wood to eagle fit is very tight..with no gaps..but there are examples with small missing pieces of wood..or wood itself conforming to the environmental conditions. Just like a bedroom door in the summer..which expands in the humidity..and in the winter it shrinks.
    The eagle itself is authentic. Does the eagle wiggle? Better photos with no blue in the background would be best to see. No flash either. Regards Larry
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  6. #5

    Default

    Yeah. Okay, Larry. I see what you're talking about. It could be a replacement. Let me offer some new photos to see if it helps confirm that suspicion or not.

    Here's some better photos that are all about the eagle, and a couple to give you an idea of the color tone and how it fits the nearer crossguard. Perhaps this will reveal what happened? The eagle does appear a little shinier, although it is not silver looking. It has the gold tone the crossguards have. I also tried to wiggle it, but there's zero play, it's snug.

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    Here's a closeup I took under bright white LED light to reveal the nooks and crannies. I made some notes on what I can see in hand, that hopefully are somewhat helpful?

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    Scott
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  7. #6

    Default

    I just noticed my LED light illuminates the crossgrain! There's clearly crossgrain from tip to hilt on both sides. It's just hard to see with all the light scratches in ordinary light. This may be a good method for discovering crossgrain when it's hard to spot. I'm shocked at the difference it makes.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  8. #7

    Default

    Hi Scott Thanks for the better illuminated pics..yes it appears to be early..lighting makes a huge difference. Interesting fact you found out about the LED light...it seems the properties in that type of light bring out more than what natural light or house lamps can do.

    These Steinbach daggers are nothing short of quality and Craftmanship. Most of these Producers were Mom and Pop shops..and alot of heart went into their Production. Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  9. #8

    Default

    Thanks Larry for all your sage advice and help. It's much appreciated!

    I guess then it's reasonable to assume the eagle is original to it?

    I've looked this dagger over very closely, and I think it's seen some moisture either perhaps being rained on some time in the past, or being in some humidity. I wonder if that's not responsible for some of the gaping we see around the eagle. It would explain the light rusting I see when shining my light into the scabbard. The good news is that none of it appears to such an extent that you're going to notice just admiring the piece, only on such close inspection as this.

    I had hoped the simichrome would do more to polish the scratching and remove more of the spotting, but I'm not bothered enough to try a second polish and risk removing any of the detail. I'll probably just coat the blade with the Ren Wax now and call it a day.

    The dagger has a certain character to it, as I'm noticing these pieces share that in common with people. Everyone is different but special in their own way, not everyone is a supermodel, and everyone has a different story to tell. I'll probably look for a more pristine example from a common maker down the road to pair with this one. But for this leg of the daggers journey, it will be well cared for.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  10. #9

    Default

    Can anyone tell me why these 3-piece hangers are so desirable? I just saw one that sold on a dealer site for $280, not even in as good of shape as the one that came with this dagger. They're not even as fancy as the hangers on other military branch daggers. Is it a supply and demand thing or did they have some sort of significance?
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  11. #10

    Default

    Not supply and demand..but how they were originally issued. Some SA men chose to take off the little retainer loop and throw it away..and just having a 2 piece hanger. That little loop is quite costly in todays market being original to the entire 3pc rig. Im always looking for SA daggers with 3 pc hangers..which is a complete whole history of the dagger.

    What is more interesting is the fact that there were many leather makers who supplied to the dagger producers and is the reason why we see so many different sizes and shapes of hangers..belt loops and retaining loops. Even the snap button on the retainer loops vary in difference. With a 3 pc rig..the SA dagger..just isnt another dagger...it has character. Regards Larry
    Last edited by Larry C; 08-31-2014 at 12:30 PM.
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

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