Dagger Identification for a friend


December 19, 2012, 07:22 PM
A friend at work brought in two daggers he recently inherited from a relative who fought in WWII. Since I make knives he assumed my "Genius" extended to antiques(I know I am one Guys so don't rub it in). The two daggers are brass and antler handled with some non-descript blades absent of any markings. I told him I would post some photos here amongst some of my more learned colleagues(Buttering-up noted:)) Has anyone ever seen such daggers? The only markings I can find are the brass ss runes on both handles and one of the scabbards. He was told that the handles were human bone but I reassured him that they are stag and not human remains. Thanks for any help I can get in ID-ing these daggers.

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December 19, 2012, 07:28 PM
They appear to be WWII Nazi SS daggers.

I haven't seen those fittings used before and I haven't seen antler used before. I'd look closely to see if you think they antler was a replacement for the original material.

They're very unique and rare or fakes.

You can go to http://forum.germandaggers.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=17&page=1 and see what they tell you.

December 19, 2012, 07:32 PM
Not anything like any SS dagger I ever saw.

These are SS daggers.

Here are most all the known WWII German daggers.
And nothing like them there either.


some non-descript blades absent of any markings.That right there is what we call a Clue.
Any WWII German issue dress dagger would for sure be blade marked by the maker.

Quite frankly, I don't know what they are, but they aren't WWII German issue.


December 19, 2012, 07:33 PM
As a collector of Nazi memorabilia, I haven't seen one of those yet but I'm only 24 years old. I did a quick search on the site I use for ID and I couldn't find it. I'll be watching this thread pretty close because that is extremely awesome! Good luck!

December 19, 2012, 07:40 PM
These daggers look "interesting" :scrutiny:

I am by no means an expert on historical daggers, but the death's head symbols look nothing like SS Totenköpfe. Also, the maker of these daggers slightly overdid it on the "skull and bones" theme. Are you sure your friend's relative brought them back from Europe and didn't buy them after the war in the US?

December 19, 2012, 08:29 PM
HSO. I was able to unscrew the head off of one of the daggers and I am positive they are stag antler handles and the brass escutcheons on the handle appear to be very amateurishly fitted to the antler yet they match the base of the skulls very closely. One of my assumptions about these daggers is that they may be some form of "trench art." I just got off the phone with the owner and his Uncle, who brought the knives back with him left no information other than he did pick them up in Germany. Unfortunately, he is deceased and any further information or provenance died with him. The brass castings of the skulls are very well done but lack the great detail seen in production German daggers from the Third Reich. I believe that the blades may have been swords in a former life. My imagination wanders and I picture a conscripted knifemaker from Solingen on some lonely outpost fabricating daggers out of captured swords and expended shell casings. Thanks for your help Gentlemen.:)

December 19, 2012, 09:40 PM
*cough* Counterfeit.*cough* Fake Nazi memorabilia is big business, probably safe to assume in the hundreds of thousands if not more.

If you've look online at genuine blades most have an elegant appearance in that the moldings and detail are very crisply and beautifully done. The skull and cross bones look they were done by a someone who was overcaffinated and watching too many horror films. In other words this blade lacks refinement, looks like something German 'bubba' put together in his shop to sell to unsuspecting buyers.

December 19, 2012, 09:52 PM
"Benefit of the doubt" Todd says: If I were to look at them more closely, I might convince myself that they were period correct "Theater" knives.

Need lots more detailed photos at least.

December 20, 2012, 01:54 PM
Fantasy pieces.

Nowhere near the quality of NAZI regalia.

If you took away the SS runes, they'd sell as pirate gear.

Here's a real SS Officer's dagger. Note the quality of manufacture and the attention to detail. The deaths head symbol and SS runes look nothing like in the pictures above. The Totenkopf deaths head design goes back to at least the 1740's without change.


December 20, 2012, 01:59 PM
I also doubt "trench art" since faking an SS logo would probably gotten the soldier shot (unless it were made for an SS troop).

December 20, 2012, 02:00 PM
In spite of that hilarious "are we the baddies" skit, the Germans didn't actually think they were eevil. I think this kind of horror movie skull and bones would have raised a few eyebrows.

Per the interenets, that one may be from a bunch produced some time ago by a guy called Joe Walters.


The reference to human bone being used comes right from Walter's con artistry. It's an interesting piece of Americana, ironically, and highlights our odd obsession with the empire we helped defeat. But it's no war relic.

December 20, 2012, 02:24 PM

Great sleuthing!

December 20, 2012, 02:31 PM
Yes, it is great sleuthing!!

That is one I had never heard of for sure!!


December 20, 2012, 03:30 PM
The blades and the bring back story are Bogus.

December 20, 2012, 05:12 PM
Thanks Cosmoline. I found the same data this morning. My friend was disappointed but at least he knows the truth now. He likes the story about Walters the Con. The daggers are spot on to those found on the War Relics forum. Wow! Just found out how much Walters was selling them for in 1980. $350!

December 21, 2012, 07:35 AM
The totenkopfs look happy and disney-esque. The hilts resemble the pickup truck accessories dangling from trailer hitches so common these days.

December 21, 2012, 07:50 AM
did´nt even know the SS made a movie called
"The Sturmbannfuehrer of the Carribean". :-)

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