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Hi everyone, I am new here and hope this is the right place to post. I have been interested when looking through the offerings of various sellers. I notice quite a few seem to have high end items attributed to prominent figures during the war. I was wondering what this community's impression is on those types of things is. I included links to two in this posting from purported reputable dealers. The first looks authentic to my knowledge, but the second looks like a peculiar engraving based on other types of engravings done at the time. Reading through the forums I am finding there are some individuals who will say anything to try and make a sale, and am trying to get a better sense of trustworthiness. Thank you everyone for your input.

https://www.lakesidetrader.com/item.php?ID=17200

http://www.wwiidaggers.com/26064.htm

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HistoryFan, first let me welcome you to the forum. When you look through the forum, the many pages and threads, there is a mass of packed knowledge.
In general, itīs not the best solution to post links (mainly you will not get much answers due to a link), as once the link is dead the thread in the forum becomes worthless.
These two dealers are well known and remarkable but in each case you have to do your homework. We all are humans and can do mistakes. It sure is a good way to ask for opinions in the forum but as said, please, with pics.
When I do a look at the two edged weapons (the luft generalīs degen of Dahlmann with the engraved name on the scabbard, offered by lakesidetrader and an army officerīs dagger with a dedication to a RK recipient on the scabbard, offered by TTW) imho both edged weapons are original, period ones. Concerning engravings I will not / cannot do any statement as these are very hard to judge simply with pics and an in hand inspection would be necessary.
Regards,


wotan, gd.c-b#105

"Never look for sqare eggs" as a late owner of an original FHH-dagger used to say.
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Thanks for the insight. Do you have any suggestions for someone new on generally verifying blades before purchase. I know there are quite a few books out there, but I don't know their accuracy. Wittman seems to have a variety of areas covered in his work.

And as for nonstandard engraving, is there anyway of determining when it was done? There are quite a few initial and name variants, and it seems like no one could verify the style as authentic, but rather would have to base it on other factors. For example, the sword I linked has an engravement that matches the condition of the rest of the piece (ie cleanliness and oxidation). However, the dagger's scabbard section could have been polished down at anytime to apply the phrases.

Thank you again for the help.

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Dedications were not always applied to new daggers or swords. Many men valued their original pieces and dedications were applied later.

No way to tell if either of the items mentioned above were dedicated as new or later.

Dave

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Thanks Dave, I will keep that in mind. I appreciate the help.

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Going out on a limb here but I find a price of almost $10.000 for a standard army dagger just unbelievable. Just because the scabbard has an inscription shocked
Anyone who pays that amount has lost thousands of dollars the moment the money is transferred. I doubt if a dagger like that will fetch more then $2.000 on any militaria forum. Just my opinion. What also strikes me is that an entire unit (like a tank-division) could not raise a little extra money to give their commander a dagger with something extra like an ivory grip or dammast blade. I would have felt ashamed to give my commander a dagger that only costs a few reichsmarks on behalf of the entire unit for such an important occasion.

Danny

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Thanks Dr73. I agree that given the options available at the time for that particular item raises some flags, especially given the appearance. That's why I'm trying to learn more about the methods of the time and trying to regonize authentic pieces.

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HistoryFan

-"Given the options available" - What options do you mean?

- "Given the appearance" - tell me more about why that appearance bothers you.

Dave
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To be clear I am not saying this is a fake item by any means. I am posting here to try and get some input so I can learn more about spotting what is indicative of authenticy.

As for other options, I was referring to the special additions that manufacturers added to army officer daggers. To some extent this mirrors Danny's opinion. These include raised up initialling, engraved initials, ivory grips, etched blades, and the like. I agree it is more likely, but of course by no means guaranteed a gift to a higher ranking officer would have at least something special applied.

In terms of the appearance, what raises a but of skepticism is the look of the engraving in the photos. Perhaps it is the lighting, but the polishing down of the scabbard section does not appear to be fully even, particularly outside the engraving. Also, the letters themselves, if you look closely do not look all that professional in terms of consistent size or font. And the quality is a stark contrast to the rest of the dagger.

Like I said, I'm looking for opinions of more experienced and knowledgeable individuals, not raising accusations of a fake.

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Hi,
in our new book about German edged weapons we are doing for Schiffer, we are mostly focused on named pieces.
It's definetley a problem to judge whether an inscription is genuine or not.

High quality blade etchings with blueing and gold inlays are reproduced today, though age can not be faked well.

Well executed hand engravings when showing some real and honest wear are likely to be original. A few hints can lead to a better understanding of the genuity. Unfortunately to publish these hints would provide the fakers with informations they are actually do not have, as it seems.

A few basic rules:
- age can not easily be faked
- a skilled hand-engraving is always more recommended than a cheap machine engraving
- Pantograph engravings are unusual and therefore sometimes questionable
- have a keen eye to laser engravings. Obviously they are of modern times
- an engraving should always make sense and should be done in correct German language, make this sure

Best;
Hermann

Last edited by Flyingdutchman; 05/07/2017 02:59 PM.
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Thanks Hermann for all of the tips. Are there any types of specialists that can determine whether something is laser or hand engraved? I know those people exist, just not if any actually do authenticity work.

Also, could you please point to things to look for indicative of authenticity on pictures of a piece so I can see it for myself? I would be very grateful if you could look at either at what I linked, or show me some other item. I would prefer to see something high end since those are more likely to be forgedvor reproduced.

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"Are there any types of specialists that can determine whether something is laser or hand engraved? I know those people exist, just not if any actually do authenticity work."

As Wotan said at the start: "Concerning engravings I will not / cannot do any statement as these are very hard to judge simply with pics and an in hand inspection would be necessary." No knowledgeable person will give you an opinion from photos unless it is a very, very obvious error.

Also keep in mind that that dedications were done by jewelers who used various styles and who possessed different levels of skill. Army daggers were usually engraved on the observer of the cross guard but the length of the dedication you are looking at would have been difficult/impossible to put there.

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Sorry, I should have specified. I was referring to in person observations, particularly for potential laser cuts. As in experts sith a good reputation who could be hired to make that type of determination. I ask because I know there are a great many experts in various fields, such as document examiners, who simply do not take authentication work. I think it has to do with the cost and volume of other work they are contracted for.

And thank you for the information about the engraving. It hadn't crossed my mind how much of it would have been done independently by individuals as oppsed to large firms or custom orders. That does leave a lot to variation. What Hermann says about wear seems very inmportant for helping making determinations. I still need to see more real wear to get an idea about what to spot.

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Flyingdutchman has written some excellent points. I personally would add one point which perhaps is the most difficult: See, if the engraving conforms the german language "style" and the german "style" of these times.
Somebody said "if you want to collect german items you have to understand german" and this is NOT meant in ANY political way and not limited simply to the german language. It goes into the direction of german feeling of these times.
As most faked inscriptions are made out of germany, mostly in not german speaking countries, mostly by not german speaking people, there are often a lot of minute errors which at least can lead to suspect. Yes, I know that also period inscriptions have not been flawless all the times, but I personally would avoid these also in each case.
Regards,


wotan, gd.c-b#105

"Never look for sqare eggs" as a late owner of an original FHH-dagger used to say.
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http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Kommandeur

The Duden is the official German language book. Pls keep that in mind.


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It is obvious that kommandeur should be spelled with two M's. To me that would be a BIG red flag. I also am not very impressed by the quality of the engraving. This and the previous comment about the dagger not having any special options like an Ivory grip or damast blade make this dagger very questionable (and I am being diplomatic here).

Danny

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Totally agree the etching is very poor quality and the spelling mistake just makes it even worse.


Regards Sean
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Thank you everybody for your advice so far. I had not even considered that a forger would get the language wrong. I had assumed they would at least look it up first, but obviously not.I will definitely keep that in mind moving forward!


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