Pristine example of the WWII Nazi German SS dagger by ASSO ( A. Schuttelhofer, Solingen-Wald). This is an exceptional original dagger manufactured circa 1943-44 which was sold a few years ago by noted German militaria dealer Tom Wittmann. It retains 98% of the original black enamel paint on the sheath, has a near fine blackened grip and all furniture is bright with little evidence of corrosion to the plated finishes. The blade itself is overall crisp and bright with strong etching but does have some scuffing and crazing from being removed and replaced in the sheath. There is one tiny nick on the blade edge near the tip and some minor scuffing to the mounts. The tang shows a clear median ridge which has been slightly rounded during the fitting process.
The SS (Schutzstaffel) was originally formed in 1925 to act as a small, loyal bodyguard unit to protect the Führer, Adolf Hitler. Under the direction of the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS grew to be the most ruthless and feared organization of the 20th century. They were the vanguard of Nazism and eventually controlled nearly every function of German life and much of occupied Europe. The SS dagger was introduced in 1933. Early on, members of the SS were awarded their daggers during a ceremony at the Feldherrnhalle Memorial in Munich. The annual ritual, charged with mysticism and meant to evoke the traditions of medieval Teutonic knights, was held on 9 November, the date of the unsuccessful Munich Putsch of 1923. Both officers and enlisted men wore the identical dagger until 1936. After this time, only enlisted men wore the M1933 dagger.
This SS Dagger is equipped with brightly plated crossguards and a dyed wooden grip. The black grip contains a National eagle with swastika insignia recessed in the center area and an SS rune button inset at the top. The scabbard likewise has plated mounts. The SS blade is a polished type containing the SS motto, Meine Ehre Heisst Treue (My Honor is Loyalty). The production of later War era examples was more standardized, using less expensive plated fittings and black painted scabbard shells.