An unobstructed view minus the “box” outline.
An unobstructed view minus the “box” outline.
I do understand your points. However I think you forgot to mention one thing that make have a direct bearing on some of the lettering. It appears that the sword was Stamped and the edges are raised and not flattened by any subsequent smoothing operation.
Could this be a stamping done post production by an unscrupulous Nazi Dealer who wanted swords he sold to be marked with the SS quality proofing and thus get more money personally?
If so where did he get dies that look so close to the originals the Herm Rath actually used.
I just went back and looked at the two swords posted next to each other and I see the same faults in the one on the left.
Interesting. (rubbing my chin). LoL
And if you think that makers of stamping dies are unskilled. Or don’t know how to copy stamps. Perhaps you should get in touch with some gun collectors where that has been a recurring problem for years. Or maybe someone who collects certain kinds of coins, and has to deal with that problem.
As for looking at the images, I can’t help you there if you are not able to see the differences. But I can repost the side by side image so it’s a little closer. FP
*** NC- it looks like your sword came off eBay in 2007. Is that correct?
Good eye! I didn't catch the remnants of that phantom proofing diamond. Wow. Great catch.
I believe we're seeing latent evidence indicating the location in which the applicator had initially decided to apply the various markings. Clearly, these markings indicate at a minum a double strike, and a double strike not on a flat surface- resulting to uneven depth of stamps. It's plausible that the intent of the 1st strike, was to simply score the blade creating a light outline of where the die will be placed for the subsequent double and possibly triple strike. Perhaps the phantom diamond is the evidence which indicates where the applicator had originally determined he would set the markings.
Looking closely at the outline of the phantom diamond, it appears to me that the phantom mark was applied before the main markings we see…. the Rath and the sigrune inspection stamp. Perhaps, the applicator, after he had applied the initial lightly stamped diamond/sigrunes, he realized his folly and understood he must move the diamond stamping further down the ricasso so as to be able to fit the
Herm.Rathentire set of marks which otherwise would not have been accessible due to the encroachment of the obverse langet. Moving the initial sigrune stamp and subsequent Solingen and Herm.Rath farther down would have permitted the room needed to apply the stamping. Keep in mind that all Army sabers with the Raths’ distribution markings I’ve ever see on said Heer sables, was stamped in the form of the rocker under the respective langet- meaning the stamping had to be applied to the blade prior to the saber blade/hilt assembly and respecting peaning of the tang to the P-guard under the pommel/backstrap assembly. The 1 exception I can think of was a Rath distribution marked Heer with the stamping effected on the spine of the blades ricasso, about 2” below the quillion.
To date, I have not seen another saber, other than the Police degens we are all familiar with. The degen Herm.Rath stamping is standard- the format we’d expect to see on a degen:
Herm.RathAgain, with respect to the hilt assembly, there is no doubt that pattern is proprietarily belonging to the Krebs firm. It was common for blank blades to be used ini the construction of sabers. Blanks may be purchased as excess and utilized to complete the saber manufacturing process by the company who owns the hilt design. It could also be the result of a subcontractor which was responsible for the assembly, once they received the hilt from Krebs, or whoever the respective hilt manufacturer was. That said, I believe the first scenario is more likely. Krebs, etc., obtaining blank blades and subsequent assembly.
Fred brings up a good point as well which was initially touched on early in these discussions. It relates to the use of various strategic metals in the manufacturing process- and the availability of such metals to the Solingen blade industry. It’s important to consider when the government released specific decrees regarding new limitations placed on certain types of materials used in the blade industry, yet critically essential to the war effort. These decrees and the availability of materials needs to be considered. As Fred mentioned, SS proofed and inspection stamping was not something which started in 1933. It was a process, and we need to know the dates when the types of sigrune inspection stamps were introduced and subsequently required vs. what date a piece was manufactured, and of what materials were used in the manufacturing process and how the strategic metal decrees and overall inventory affected the time frame when this type of stamping was introduced and seen. I believe Fred has much better data on that question than I do. But it’s critical to understand the various date ranges of certain types of markings- this is often how we date a particular artifact. By virtue of its respective marking, we can narrow down and often determine a year of manufacture. Eickhorn is a good example: the firms maker marks evolved during the course of the 1930’s through early to mid 1940’s. The same can be said for the introduction of specific markings- especially the SS inspection mark.
It becomes very technical. The information gleaned from what we know is a critical component used in the review process, the study, and ultimately to ascertain the validity and legitimacey of a piece which is under heavy scrutiny, exactly like this Krebs Army Saber, Pattern Nr. 3.
More to come.
(I just logged on to post a few images I had worked on earlier to try and clarify some of the issues before tending to some other things. So a look at what has just been posted will have to be a little later.) FP
I did not buy the sword from Ebay. However I can only speak of what history I have been apart of.
This is a great opportunity to study and fine tune how we investigate pieces. What makes this topic so interesting is that as we study the markings and under closer inspection we start to see small details we overlooked earlier. Fred did a great job noticing that phantom sigrune diamond. That could very easily be a critical piece of evidence that might leed to some very sound conclusions- of course, no matter what the group, or each individual collector concludes, will only be theories. That said, I think we can look at some of the stronger evidence, which is clearly available for study and viewing, and draw conclusions based on what we already know about the saber. At the end of the day, i'll use the civil standard- proponderance of evidence to draw my final conclusion and my final hypothesis- which cannot be tested to perfection because certain elements will never be available to use as evidence to validate one theory over the other. Again, at the end of the day, it's up to the individual collector to formulate thier own conclusion.
I was tired and finished with this thread until this new data became available- it rekindled my interest becaue we all seek knowledge in this hobby.
There is no doubt the stamping has been sanded down. I have no doubt the displaced material formed a bevel around the perimeter of the characters, and this also was undoubtedly ground or sanded down. I likewise believe that the characters were created double or triple stamping. I wonder how the blade was situated when the stamping occurred. This could account for the significant disparity between character depth from the stamping process. The photos Fred produced on Photoshop/Art.net, etc, are very good. It can clearly be seen that the edges of each character have been gound down, or sanded down, or both followed by a pollishing with a semi-abrassive agent like Semichrome.
This is only 1 of a number of possiblilites-
Note the first row of lettering: Herm.Rath
***A: While facing this photo from our vantage point (looking at the pic on the PC moniter) you immediately notice the massive disparity in depth beginning on our left; the spine of the blade. As the characters continue to our right, toward the blade's edge clearly the quality and depth of the Rath suffers; worst affected the A-T-H. Keep in mind that following the diminishing depth from our left our right (sword spine to the blades edge)- as the blade moves inward from the spine toward the edge the thickness of the saber blade begins to lessen. The blade continues to taper still moving toward the edge (our right ) until the blade become very very thin, giving way to the blades edge.
Knowing these facts, and knowing that the blade's guage is largest at the spine, while the blades smallest guage is at the blades edge. Depening on how the stamp applicator applied the die. I suspect the applicator was not ultra-skilled; if he were, he would have adjusted and compensated for rapid change in thickness from the spine to the edge. IN this case, it appears he did not. Know what backing was used for a firm surface under the OBVERSE side of the blade. This could certainly account in and of itself for the significant disparity between character stamp depth.
***B: Note that the SOLINGEN portion of the stamping, the 2nd row of characters, looks much better. If my hypotheses is correct, than it's likely the stamp applicator learned from his mistakes on the first row, HERM.RATH. Once he removed the die from the blade, he probably did not want to attempt to refit the die into the existing stamp for fear it would create a dead giveaway- the characters would appear as having a larger girth..a bigger font. So, while stamping SOLINGEN he learned from the mistake and used appropriate backing on the obverse side of the blade which compensated for the tapering from the blade's spine to the blade's edge. A simple and easy technique if thought about the process ahead of time and planned for this behavior of the stamping/blade.
***C: The diamond boxed sigrune ispection/proofing stamp. Thank you to Fred (he should be working forensics) for pointing out that phantom inspection stamp. I believe it gives a couple of us additional, plausible theories of how and why. I suspect the DIAMOND SIGRUNE was the intended to be the first stamping applied to the blade. I suspect in what the first step in the learning process for the applicator. He might have selected a spot on the blade to apply the stamp. He might have jumped for some reason while striking causing a miss-hit creating a very faint diamond above and to the left of the actual diamond sigrune. However, I believe it's more likely he attempted to apply the DIAMOND SIGRUNE stamp prior to the HERM.RATH or the SOLINGEN stampings. I contend that it was first attempt, and he was unprepared. He did not supply an adequately firm surface to rest the obverse side of the blade prior to the strike. It's also like he might have been a bit timid as he wanted to be sure he didn't ruin the blade on the first strike. As such, he realized his folly on the first attempt of the DIAMOND SIGRUNE and determined that it was faint enough that the average collector might not notice what has become the "phantom" or "ghost" stamping. It's possible that he intended the other stampings to help camoflage the bad DIAMOND SIGRUNE attempt.
Another key indicator which is some evidence, though not conclusive, as well as being subjective to each persons interpretation, is the location of the entire stamping. The entire stamping, all 3 rows, are completely exposed on the blade's ricasso, conveniently a smidgen further down the blade. This would be critical because it would be impossible to stamp the blades ricasso, directly under one of the langets without disassembly- which includes unpeaning- and I highly believe the stamp applicator did not. He had to locate a spot, as close to the tang as possible, and as close to the langet as possible, however it had to be further toward the blade's tip as the reverse langet would have completely rendered stamping any higher impossible, again, without disassembly.
As Fred stated, there is not question the blade would require some grinding and fine sanding, followed up by a pollish with some abrassives, like Semichrom.
These are some of the ideas i've tossed around. It's one possible explanation in this mysetery. Perhaps as we learn more and study it a bit more, we will reach different conclusions.
Last edited by Swordfish; 10-16-2010 at 12:46 AM.
Just out of curiosity what kind of tool would you use to remove the "Original" Krebs marking? What kind of tool would you flatten it back out with? What kind of tool could you polish it out mirror bright with? More important if the krebs were removed as you say there would be a difference in the thicknesses at the ricasso. That being under the langette thinner on one side from middle of the spine and thicker under ther grip. If you can get me some measurements of the original swords made by krebs or Herm Rath then I can mic it out and we can compare.
Now here is my theory. The sword is original to the war years in all aspects. It was a blank sword and a Herm,Rath employee stamped it maybe even the wrong way. Im sure with all the materials in short supply or even the work fairly expensive the sword thus wrongly marked was not discarded. If its in its scabbard it looks correct. I do not believe that it was intentionally made this way to fool the un-suspecting discriminating serious collector. If so the perpetrator would surely have taken his time and put the stamp where you have indicated it should go. I believe like the M7 bayonet which I have where the blade it turned upside down this sword too is a quality control mistake maybe even made by a new worker at the Herm Rath facility.
But thats just my theory.
Maybe Im wrong. I dont know because I have not talked to the maker of the faker.