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I would like to hear people's opinions on the finer points of restoration work. My question specifically is, how do you know if your dagger would benefit from say a scabbard repaint on an otherwise very nice all original M36? I am referring to a dagger which has an overall condition much nicer than the paint on the scabbard I.e. A disparity between the condition of the dagger and the condition of the scabbard.

In the classic car hobby a repaint would not lower the value if it was done properly. Why would a repaint lower a dagger's value if it's done properly?

Thank you!

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Hi having been in the hobby since 1982 I have pondered the same questions regarding restoration. Most people realize that the vast majority of German tunics and caps were de-nazified at the end of hostilities by removal of breast and cap eagles. These were re applied and are often undetectable most accept and do not care (unless SS tunics or caps) I believe because there is such a strong supply of untouched original daggers collectors shun restoration (unless they are doing it themselves, missing scabbard screws or replacement grips) we almost never disclose these enhancements but when a scabbard is repainted or leather is replaced or a grip is restored there is impact on value. The same holds true for parts daggers. I believe that should the day come when values are so high or supply so scarce with demand high restoration wont matter. I am 52 and I dont think seriously that I will live to see the day. Restored toys are the same cheers and best, Ryan

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Marvin,

It's your dagger. From the sound of it, you are not too pleased with the looks. Repainting sounds easy but....

The problem will be doing it without leaving big clues it has been done. To do a decent job, you'll have to take the hardware off the scabbard, remove the existing paint, repaint, then put the hardware back. This includes 5-6 screws that are easy to bugger up either removing or reinstalling. Also the top scabbard fitting which is a very difficult this to get off without leaving traces. And you need the correct black paint.

Repainting without removing the hardware will end up looking too obvious.

What does it look like now ? Show the screws, etc.

Dave

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Hi Marvin,


My very personal point of view...


Is the dagger for you? or you are planning to sell it?

IMHO if it is for you... do what you feel better... whatever it gives you more pleasure when watching the piece.

If you plan to sell it... I think you should keep it as it is. A 80 years old piece must look at least old. A repaint would make it look as new...

If you plan to keep it, the market value doesn't matter so feel free, but if you plan to sell it... guys like me woult preffer to touch history better than touch mint paint...

Sorry for my english.

Kind regards,

Marc

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Just to clarify a few points, yes the dagger is mine and I have no intention of selling it. However we all know that as collectors we are merely temporary stewards of the item. At some point in the future it will find its way back to the collectors market due to the fact that none of us are immortal.

I can tell you for a fact that in the world of fine art collecting restoration and conservation work are considered absolutely necessary for the preservation of the item through time. All of humanities greatest works of art have been retouched and restored at various points in their history. Leonardo da Vinci's mona Lisa and Sistine chapel have undergone restoration work. The work of the old masters such as Matisse, Van Gogh and countless others are meticulously and painstakingly restored every day around the world. The restoration work undertaken by these experts does not diminish the value of the art. In reality it makes the artwork much more valuable and able to withstand the rigors of time.

To further clarify my question, I have been in the restoration business for many years and it is not terribly difficult to simulate crazing and natural age/patina on paint. When you understand the physical stresses that caused the crazing to develop overtime re-creating it is not impossible. I am not suggesting using a can of spray paint from the auto parts store. They did not use Surwin Williams latex house paint on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, on the contrary they used replicated pigments from the period and artificially aged all of the restoration work so that it is now nearly undetectable. Yes I acknowledge all restoration work is detectable on a certain level no matter how expert the hand of the restore is.

Those of you interested in restoration work might remember the unfortunate incident of billionaire hotel magnate Steve Wynn putting his elbow through Picasso's 140 million dollar "Le Reve" 1932 portrait of his mistress, Marie Therese. Restoration on the painting was carried out successfully and most world renowned experts say the repair is almost undetectable. In the example of Picasso's Le Reve, The damage was man-made, I also feel the damage to the scabbard of the dagger in question was man-made due to improper storage conditions. Why is restoration work advisable on one but not the other.

So, with the above clarification i'll restate my original question. Would it ever be advisable to do a museum level restoration to include artificial patina/age on an otherwise beautiful untouched dagger with lets say 75%original paint coverage and some minor oxidation showing through the paint but no dents.

Last edited by StarvinMarvin; 11/28/2017 07:21 PM.
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Last edited by StarvinMarvin; 11/28/2017 07:09 PM.
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Starvin
To throw my 2 in.
NO, sounds like the dagger in question is nice as it is, any where near 75%, leave alone.
Yes they restore paintings, letters, paper items.
You try to upgrade a collector coin,or a firearm, ruin.
Nice daggers should be left alone, or I think, and have seen over the years, that restoration drops the value.
Thanks and good luck,
Ed

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That's a very good point Ed, Maybe dagger collecting has more in common with coin collecting than collecting artwork. Interesting perspective I had not considered.

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I see your point...

Unfortunately, daggers are not Picasos.

I found once a very nice Gottlieb Hammesfahr early dagger on sale at a very reasonable price, and I opened a thread here for discussion.

The unanimous advice was to forget about the piece because it seamed to have a repainted scabbard.

Collectors prefer untouched pieces.

Cleaning the blade is considered for some a crime... repainting the scabbard... I guess is something much worst.

Let's see others opinions.

Regards,

Marc.

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Here is a representative example of what I am referring to. This photo is from JR's wonderful website. JR is the man!!



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Starvin
Yes I believe you are correct. Dagger collectors are a lot like coin guys and firearm guys(and gals).
They like items left AS IS, not messed with.
You can not clean the items even, just a super light wipe, but not even this with coins.
JR ans Kris are super people to learn from. I was lucky enough to meet them both years ago at our local little show, and found out they live about 20 min away. Every time I pass on a great deal on a common dagger, I blame it on JR. But then when I finally find a nice one, JR gets the blame also.
Have not seen your dagger, but I would wait for sure before I did anything to it. SS dagger, email JR a picture of it for his opinion.
Take care
Ed

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Originally Posted By: sellick8302@rogers.com
Hi having been in the hobby since 1982 I have pondered the same questions regarding restoration. Most people realize that the vast majority of German tunics and caps were de-nazified at the end of hostilities by removal of breast and cap eagles. These were re applied and are often undetectable most accept and do not care (unless SS tunics or caps) I believe because there is such a strong supply of untouched original daggers collectors shun restoration (unless they are doing it themselves, missing scabbard screws or replacement grips) we almost never disclose these enhancements but when a scabbard is repainted or leather is replaced or a grip is restored there is impact on value. The same holds true for parts daggers. I believe that should the day come when values are so high or supply so scarce with demand high restoration wont matter. I am 52 and I dont think seriously that I will live to see the day. Restored toys are the same cheers and best, Ryan



Ryan,

You make some fantastic points. Your last paragraph is incredibly insightful.

Thank you!

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Ohw please do not repaint that chained scabbard. Removing the patina is removing history. It's not that you're going to 'safe' the dagger by giving the scabbard new paint...

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Truth be told, my question was more of an academic exercise to provoke discussion. I have no real intention of "messing" with any of my daggers.
The members here have brought up several very interesting points. It would seem that dagger collectors have more in commmon with coin collectors than art or classic car collectors. Although I do think that, just like coins 99.9% of daggers would have their value deminished by cleaning/restoration there are always exceptions. There probably are instances where restoring a dagger would increase its value.

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Coin restoration

Here is a link to a famous example of a rare coin that benefited greatly from cleaning/restoraton.

Last edited by StarvinMarvin; 12/01/2017 05:25 PM.
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Last edited by StarvinMarvin; 12/01/2017 05:27 PM.
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Marvin
There is no reason to prolong this.
If you are bent on restoring this dagger, it's your dagger, paint and polish it, stain the grip, and you have a perfect SS dagger.
Good luck, Ed

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Originally Posted By: ed773
Marvin
There is no reason to prolong this.
If you are bent on restoring this dagger, it's your dagger, paint and polish it, stain the grip, and you have a perfect SS dagger.
Good luck, Ed



Ed,

Sorry, I wasn't trying to "prolong" the issue. I was merely trying to stimulate discussion on this FANTASTIC (but sleepy) discussion forum. My mistake.

Seeing as how Ed has issued his "Cesar like" edict and has proclaimed this topic to be useless and unnecessarily "prolonged". I would like to thank all the wonderful members here who have respectfully participated in what I thought was a very interesting topic.

I'll go back to sitting in my corner now...



Last edited by StarvinMarvin; 12/01/2017 06:44 PM.
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Well, Ed was right.


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