AN 'SA' 1933 PATTERN 'HOLBEIN' DRESS DAGGER,
circa 1937, with double edged 8 3/4in. blade etched with the motto ' ALLES FUR DEUTSCHLAND' (everything for Germany), makers mark and 'RZM' mark to the reverse, brown wooden grip inlaid with an eagle and swastika and the 'SA' roundel to top of hilt, cast, plated fittings with no acceptance stamps TOGETHER WITH its original brown metal scabbard with plated chape and throat (blade with slight staining and tarnish, mild losses to plating on fittings and scabbard finish)
Provenance: In 1933 Hitler commissioned Professor Woenne of the Solingen School of Commerce to design an edged weapon for dress wear by the SA and SA reserve. The dagger was issued for wear in February 1934 and was styled after a 16th century south German hunting dagger known as a "Holbein" dagger. The Holbein dagger featured a hunting scene on its scabbard based upon a scene from a Holbein painting called "The Dance of Death", hence its name. The curved grip was made from a number of different woods including Oak, Pear, Walnut and Maple, Birch etc. At the centre of the grip was inserted a nickel, later plated tobak Nazi eagle with wings spread, holding a wreath with the Nazi swastika at its centre. At the top of the wooden grip was inserted a small circular insignia with a runic version of the SA initials. After 1935 the dagger could be purchased from RZM approved outlets rather than through the SA Gruppe HQ. As a result, the SA Gruppe HQ inspection stamps disappeared and were replaced by the RZM logo and makers code number etched on the reverse side of the blade instead of the more traditional makers mark. It should be noted that up until 1938 some makers still used their trademarks along with the RZM marking. It seems that there was no major issues with the Nazi Government on this point, rather it would seem more like the cost of the extra labour became the main point of stopping this practice as well the diminishing need for SA/ NSKK daggers. The RZM stamps ensured that a dagger met the national standards of manufacture and was suitable for wear. At this time, the dagger fittings were generally made from plated zinc fittings and painted steel scabbards. These daggers were in many cases very well made but lacked in quality when compared with the early made hand fitted daggers. By the time manufacturing ceased in 1943 over 3 million SA daggers had been produced. This number just fulfilled the first order placed in 1934!