I felt the need to write an article on WW2 Nazi German Daggers & Dirks and the reasons why this web site does not get involved in them to any significant degree. We do buy Swastika era bladed weapons, but we do not go out looking for them; we tend to only buy WW2 German daggers and swords when they are part of a lot of other items. We are not prolific dealers in them because of the absolute nonsense barfed out by collectors and so called experts of Nazi dirks / daggers / swords.
I have personally been involved in a legal battle over a WW2 German dagger with self-alleged expert and author Frederick (John) Stephens and proven what he wrote in an appraisal destined as court evidence to be utter nonsense. Frederick Johnson makes money from these “expert” appraisals which, for me, shows they are hardly unbiased. In this one matter, Frederick Stephens described a German diplomat’s dress dagger, which I am 100% certain is genuine, as a reproduction. In his appraisal he stated that the Eickhorn trademark to the blade was clearly laser etched and therefore a fake.
Using a pseudonym and associated email, I contacted Frederick Johnson on the pretense of an unrelated matter, and sent him a full sized image of the same trademark on the same dagger blade (without showing the dagger as a whole), with close up industry images of different etching patterns and I asked if he agreed the Eickhorn logo was acid etched and genuine. Frederick Stephens, not realizing this was the same dagger and logo as in a court testimony appraisal he had written, said the logo was clearly acid etched and genuine. I will gladly be an expert witness against his veracity in any other court proceedings if anyone needs my help; I have other examples where he has got things very wrong. What makes it even worse is that Frederick Stephens started employed life in the printing industry, so he should get etching methods and types right every time, as printing plates are, that’s right, etched.
Further, I find Frederick (John) Stephens to be totally dishonest. Why? Because after I caught him out on a subject that should be bread and butter to any self respecting expert, did Frederick Stephens apologize and admit his error? No, he simply changed his court submission appraisal to say the etching was etched but later. I consider that act to be both Fraud and Contempt of Court, criminal acts in the UK.
The person who paid Frederick Stephens for his appraisal lost in court. I tried to convince him to have the dagger sent to a laboratory that specializes in determining substances with specialty in organics. I suggested he do this as, being a German diplomatic dagger, if the grip pieces were genuine mother of pearl, which I was sure they are because I have a lot of experience with mother of pearl on antique daggers, then it would put its authenticity beyond all reasonable doubt. Unfortunately he did not want to spend any more money on the subject and sold it on, well below what it was worth in my honest opinion, no doubt afflicted by Frederick Stephens’ appraisal. The only issue with the dagger I found, which Frederick Stephens failed to pick up on, was the engraving to the sheath. It was spuriously engraved with a Nazi German diplomat’s name. How do I know it was spurious, added later to try and increase the value? Because my later research discovered the named German diplomat is a fictional character in a well know book about spies during WW2, that is how. But even with the later spurious engraving, as happens a lot in all edged weapon markets, I am certain the dagger is 100% authentic.
The guy I believe is a genuine expert is Tom (Thomas T.) Wittmann is the United States, whom I have had a few email discussions with. And all of these wannabe experts on forums and elsewhere who decry anything they do not know about and are likely jealous of, have a habit of stating items are fakes and “parts daggers” when they are not. To quote Tom, “Anyhow, you are right that there is an unnecessary paranoia that persists over daggers being “parts” pieces all of the time, which, as you say, is untrue. 98% of the daggers we see are absolutely original, no matter what some of the bad-mouther’s say. This hobby it is often not really what IS, but rather what collectors think IS”.
For me, what I find most incredible about the non-experts is that, somehow, they allege so many genuine pre-RZM (pre / early war) blades existed after the war for new bits to be made and added! Really, if these were stores items, why did the makers have so many and simply not add their RZM mark when it was mandated, which did happen. Add to this that Solingen’s factories were bombed and burnt to the ground towards the end of WW2, plus that making Nazi / Swastika items was illegal in post war Germany, and given the forumite and other “expert” alleged massive scale of so called “parts daggers”, the extent of actual parts daggerrs is dubious at best.
I find the WW2 Nazi German dagger collectors market to act contrary to logic and to my own preferred antique swords market. If an antique sword is clearly well made (not just solid) and different, experts relish the research to find out about it. In the Nazi dagger market, there are very few genuine experts, and the wannabe experts simply label bespoke items as fake / reproductions or parts daggers, without being able to cite substantive factual sources. Even if it were not so, Nazi daggers do very little for me from a personal interest standpoint and the collector’s market does have a large percentage of right wing extremists / modern day Nazis (who are not prone to expertise in any field), who I am glad to avoid. There are many reasonable level-headed dealers and collectors of course, but it is a minefield and I steer clear of these when I can!
When we sell WW2 German daggers here, we ignore the nonsense. We look at the blade etching and logo, and fittings quality. The Indian sub-continent, Eastern European, Spanish and Chinese reproducers just can not accurately reproduce authentic / high quality German daggers. Making Nazi items in Germany after the war somehow with a stash of authentic earlier blades may have happened small scale, and I doubt very well, but en mass? To quote Sherlock Holmes (yes, I know he is fictional); “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable (according to the wannabe experts), must be the truth”. As Tom Wittmann said; “98% of the daggers we see are absolutely original”, and I say that if you can not easily tell the horrible reproductions that make up the other 2%, then God help you.
For our WW2 and other German daggers and swords, please visit our German Sword / Daggers Page.