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Open discussion about SS transitional Daggers by Helbig, are they genuine or 1960s fakes?

Article about: Gents I would like to hear your opinions about a transitional Helbig SS dagger: did they produce this dagger post or pre WW2 I have seen some sold by big sellers , even those who wrote the b

  1. #21


    I don’t have issues with the Luftwaffe Helbigs that I’ve looked at and put them into a completely different category that is worthy of more investigation (being at heart an SMF type of guy). From the, for the most part, brand new looking ones that turned up “back in the day” (now “aged”) I understand where Ron is coming from, and periodically he has provided additional insight into some early Atwood (or his clones) frauds that we still see being sold by well known dealers. (And please note that the first example Ger posted has a “rusted/aged” blade but a new looking scabbard with bits and pieces of missing paint - but no discernible rust.) So lets step back for a moment and see what we actually see with these “Helbig - SS” daggers aside from the blade etchings. The cross guards and scabbard fittings: When the Germans ran out of copper for nickel silver the RZM permitted cast iron which is (and was) even more labor intensive. With some legitimate period SA daggers in brand new condition still with tags, showing signs of corrosion emerging from the sockets (*technical discussion omitted). With the old molds for nickel silver (2/3) copper still serviceable because they were hand finished one at a time. But then zinc was introduced, and because it was cheaper and faster using die casting (smooth finish uniform sockets and exteriors with only minor touchup required) that is what was used until the end of production with the nickel plating (another strategic material) getting thinner and thinner. But not the limited quantity of “Helbigs” that were apparently made using their own unique tooling along with reasonably heavy duty plating.

    The grips: The RZM originally specified fruitwoods for SA’s and we know from observation that quite a few legitimate period SS daggers used European Walnut (one of the fruitwoods) which is classed as a ‘hardwood’ and reasonably resistant to minor dents and dings, but by no means “bulletproof” to that sort of damage. But the standards slipped for later daggers with some of the M1936 daggers for example having a softer wood with minimal grain structure. And if I remember it correctly, I think that Ron also had a less than enthusiastic view of some of the “Helbig” SA daggers. With a passing comment on the fit being that the grips were most likely made on machines known as duplicators. With the fitting done by hand because with sand casting the sockets are going to vary from one to another. Whereas with zinc die casting all of the cross guard sockets are going to be the more or less the same, and the master pattern can be altered to save unnecessary work in fitting.

    PS: While most collectors here know about artificial aging and some of those who use it to sell shoddy merchandise - I have to admit that some of the items now coming from the former East Bloc have in my estimation have taken it to a new level. Best Regards, Fred
    Last edited by Frogprince; 06-05-2014 at 05:34 PM. Reason: another typo correction

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  3. #22


    I would also have to say that taking the shallow depth motto on a Chained SS dagger..tends to still hold its crisp edges..and double the amount of in an out than most SA and SS dagger blades. The Mid period transitional Helbig dagger is quite far away in blade quality..and much worse than a late SS RZM type. If Authentic..Im quite surprised that these very few in production slipped out the door looking like this. The SS was not just an entity..they were a doctrine of blood and belief. Pretty poor IMO that the Motto etch is supposed to be the representing body of the SS and the dagger itself. I dont remember seeing any horrible tailoring on Gauleiter and SS uniforms..when presenting themselves in high level meetings or Hitler himself !!

    If this dagger is authentic..I find it hard to believe it is. The fittings is a different aspect...but looking at what the dagger and the SS represented as a what Im seeking in this dagger. 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. #23


    The biggest problem I see is the SS helbigs seem very out of character for the company. Ok they were always known for there light stamp, but other than that they made some fantastic quality edged weapons.
    Lets also remember they were the only company to meet the needs of the NSFK with the more resourceful NSFK knife. In this case they came up with a knife made with aluminium fittings instead of nickel and of course the look alike crackle paint finish rather than leather. Ok it didn't catch on with other makers, but they were a beautiful dagger and most likely the last dagger they designed and today they are very collectable!
    Just seems strange a fantastic knife for the dated NSFK and then somewhere afterwards this half hearted helbig SS dagger shows up for Germanys most elite.
    cheers matty

  5. #24


    These always present an interesting discussion.
    A couple points to consider:
    As far as Tom W. he indeed presents these as original in his SS reference.
    The two well known Steinbach makers Heilbig and Malsch used similar parts in their RZM SS and SA daggers. The anomaly's are iron based crossguards, light etching and high eagles.
    BTW, the light etching is often seen on Heilbig crackle finish NSFK's
    I have vet purchased Heibig SA's with all these traits.
    My opinion is that these guys all worked together to some extent and purchased or made the parts locally.
    I do think there is a strong case they original pre-1945 daggers. Just my opinion, same as Ron's or FP's or Tom W's for that matter.
    Personally I do not like them. I think they are ugly and feel crappy but that does not make them fake.
    I will say that I tend to shy away from controversial daggers only cause of threads like this.
    I just passed a tagged one yesterday.
    Finally they can be had for a fraction of an early dagger.

  6. #25


    Not all controversies are equal, and at the end of the day that is what it boils down to with some items until some reasonably definitive evidence is developed one way or the other. With over the last 10 years or so some long standing "collectors beliefs" melting when exposed to actual facts. But with other items you never or almost* never see them called into question (* ie: such as legitimate examples that may have been tampered with). But with still others that you might have heard of, or seen in a book, when looked at closer or information has been developed that casts serious doubts on the item being legitimate it makes me wonder about their level of expertise - which can be considerable in some areas but lacking in others.

    With a case in point for me recently a crudely made (IMO) purported miniature "SS" dagger that has "RZM" markings. With the RZM itself on ongoing project, and something that I've looked at periodically having gleaned period information from reputable sources on its operation ........... the supposedly "period original" opinion from someone that I know also lacks (or lacked) knowledge of the military marking systems - making presumably authoritative judgements relating to the RZM with a poorly done miniature is for me is a little bit scary. Best Regards, Fred

  7. #26


    but aren't Helbig's other daggers known for having a lightly etch maker logo? I know that commonly on their DLV daggers their logo is often buffed away by collectors that polish their blades. These daggers are not considered postwar with their light logo etch by the same maker, correct?

    William Kramer

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