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#10776 08/14/2009 07:09 AM
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I have just returned from Pennsylvania, where I just purchased, directly from the family of the deceased veteran, a chained NSKK High Leader dagger with Hunlein inscription. I video'd about 1 hour of interviews with the family, and got a notarized statement from them, placing the dagger in the hands of the veteran in 1945. I've got photos, DD214s, sworn statements from the son of the veteran (who is a Vietnam veteran as well), as well as a lot of interesting video testimony. Dagger is in outstanding condition, and photos will be forthcoming. I will also be editing the video and posting it on my website in due course.


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We can't wait, Craig - even I wish to see irrefutable evidence!

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Oh, by the way, if the dagger is so "outstanding" - why are you having it "restored" - which is what you are known to be doing?

Not quite cleanly "out of the woodwork", anymore, is it?

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Whether real or not (I'm no expert), the dagger can be found of Craig's blog. Wink

http://craiggottlieb.blogspot.com/

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I also wonder why(if thats is what your doing with it)would you wish to restore it? I dont have all the facts so I dont really know if this is true. Maybe you can share the real facts here.
Bret Van Sant

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I hope you have proof of that attack Fred. You are clearly in violation of the rules of this forum.


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Why would he get it restored Fred if he says...

"The dagger is in nearly perfect condition,"

He also says he has NOT taken any pictures of it yet, so how do you know this?

Sepp

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I looked at the photos which are here
http://www.craiggottlieb.com/d...ame=NSKK+High+Leader

It does not say a thing about being re-covered, so it must not be.
Bret Van Sant

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Gents, the photos of the dagger have not been taken yet as Craig has said in the link provided by Pat. The one shown is another one.

Regards

Russ

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quote:
Originally posted by Ruski:
Gents, the photos of the dagger Winkhave not been taken yet as Craig has said in the link provided by Pat. The one shown is another one.

Regards

Russ


Thank you Russ, Wink I should've read better, my mistake Red Face

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quote:
Originally posted by Houston Coates:
I hope you have proof of that attack Fred. You are clearly in violation of the rules of this forum.

Houston-
I knew of another that came directly from a veteran back in the early 80's. That was also dismissed by certain experts. I also know of one that is in the collection of a very famous American general officer and knew the individual who saw it and took pictures of it(which I have seen).
When one tries to purport being an expert, it can be a tough fall off the self built pedistal.


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Just a note to clarify all points: 1) the dagger pictured in my blog is NOT the dagger I bought out of the woodwork recently. I did not photograph the dagger I bought, because I sent it off immediately to Tom Wittmann within 12 hours of returning from my trip, for two purposes:

a) To have him document its condition so there would be NO issues later of originality or tampering. Especially given that there is something VERY special about this piece that I will show in due course.

b) To have Tom glue down a portion of the leather, which, although 100% original, had come loose over time. Fred and I have spoken about this, and he is in agreement that this was the correct thing to do in this particular situation. Hardly a restoration.

The dagger will be on display at MAX, and the veteran's family who I bought it from will be attending the MAX show. I am giving Tom Wittmann an exclusive on the photos of this piece for his book (I'll likely publish one picture on my blog).


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Houston,

I wasn't aware that I was violating any rules - but if I was then I apologise, no problem there.

Craig and I have exchanged some commentary about this dagger already - so he will know that I was having a little tease with him, concerning "outstanding condition" and "restoration". Craig actually told me he was having a loose portion of leather glued back into place. And yes, I agree that is the right thing to do in the circumstances.

My position regarding these "Huhnlein" pieces remains clear, and the same as it was before - I have my own researched evidence - but I am willing to receive with an open mind any new and viable information.

I am not worried about being "knocked off my pedestal" - if the truth is out there, then let it be seen and examined. All I ask is that it be confirmed to the same rigorous standards that are asked of myself.

I have no desire to disrupt Craig's thunder when he presents his new discovery. However, as he is brash enough to make the claim: "NSKK High Leader Debate Is Over", as he has done so in commencing this thread, then I expect to see it followed through with verifiable evidence. So far Craig presents no evidence.

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If its going in TW's book none of us will ever see it please show it meantime
Well said Fred you are a credit to this hobby and I am surprised that Houston another stalwart is taking issue with you lets just enjoy ourselves and not start sniping at each others

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Fred,
There are well respected people who have bought these from vet sources to include a friend who was the first “Hotel Buyer”. You are the only person I know of who questions these daggers, if you need to attack this dagger perhaps you should present your scientifically derived source of information.
Best Wishes,
Bob

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I wish to state that I understand Fred was having a little fun with me, as I was having a little fun with him by so-naming this thread. I suppose a few "smiley faces" were in order, within the text Smile


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If I had to rely on one of these gentlemen to give me counsel, it would be Fred. Without any hesitation. That is my strong personal opinion.

Mark

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Bob: Fred has laid out his opinions, which I can with his permission, summarize:

1) He doesn't like the signature on the blade, believing it to be "unlike" actual Hunlein signatures.

2) He believes the markings on the back of the silver chain version are below the quality standards he expects.

3) He observed the appearance of the NSKK High Leader and a fake "plain bladed" NSKK reproduction, surface at the same time - the late 1970s, I believe. Since the signatures match, he believes they were both made by the same forger.

I don't think there are any more "points" in his theory. I don't mean to put words in Fred's mouth, and hope I've fairly and respectfully summarized his beliefs.


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On another forum a while back, there was a long discussion of a particular military issue P-38 pistol. With the new owner actually meeting with the GI who acquired it following a well known tank battle at the end of the war. The new owner had more than sufficient documentation. With a letter and some other details that the pistol was exactly as it was found when the GI originally acquired it. From the GI himself, not a third party.

The problem with it was that it was a late war pistol was either chrome or nickel plating. (For non gun collectors: the Germans did not chrome or nickel plate their military issue service arms.) My point being that while all of us have to respect the GI, and his service to his nation. Postwar “documentation” no matter whatever the source - is not “proof of the matter”. And in the case of the pistol. Was worthless for any other purpose than that the pistol came from the GI.

I’m looking forward to seeing whatever configuration this particular dagger is in. To see how it compares to some of the others that are in currently in circulation. FP

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I believe the correct spelling here is Huhnlein. Wink
One agrument,at least IMO, that could be put forth in favor of this dagger is all the other political leaders Himmler,Rohm etc. had their own presentation dagger so why not the head of the NSKK?
I have a documented SA presentation dagger in my collection which was presented by an officer with the rank of Standartenfuhrer which is equivalent to a Colonel in the US Army. I'm stating this to point out that you didn't have to even be the head of a political organization to have a presentation dagger.
Now having said that I,like most,tend to defer to Frederick Stephens when it comes to blade etches in general and facsimile signatures in particular.
I along with many other await the presention of additional evidence here.

Fred:
If you're referring to that P38 with the "Himmler Inscription" I too believe it was done post war.
Jim

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Jim, To the best of my recollection at the moment - without going back and trying to find the thread. Was that the pistol was just an ordinary "garden variety" late P-38 by Spreewerke GmbH ("cyq"). Except for the fact that it been either chrome or nickel plated.

And 100 "Certificates of Authenticity" are not going to make it right. Best Regards, FP

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I believe that's the one Fred. IMO: The firearm itself(Late War P38),the engraved inscription nor the current condition fit the "Vet" acquisition story at all.
N.B: I don't want to hi-jack this thread so that will be my last comment on this pistol here.

Jim

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Jim, I’m not trying to “hijack” this thread either, but I think a clarification is in order. Again from memory, the GI in that thread was involved in a filmed tank battle between a M26 Pershing Tank and a Panther (or Panzerkampfwagen IV?). In a city or town (a built up area) with film footage taken by a combat cameraman.

The new owner met with the GI. Pictures of them were taken (etc.), and the GI gave him a letter attesting to the pistol being acquired after the battle already plated. So there is no question that there is “documentation”. It’s just that the documentation is worthless for any other purposes than that the item was acquired from that individual. Because anybody who has collected guns for more than 5 minutes knows that the Germans did not chrome or nickel plate their government issue combat firearms. Which is something that the new owner had difficulty in accepting. And even now I suspect that he may still believe that everybody else is wrong (which is not that uncommon sometimes with individuals and their prized possessions). Best Regards, Fred

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Here is the notarized letter from the family that I bought the recent NSKK High Leader out of the woodwork, from.



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It should be noted that to preserve the "chain of custody" and to provide a witness to the condition of the piece, I expressed it directly to Tom Wittmann (who is also gluing down the portion of the leather that had come loose). When it is returned to me, I will photograph it and post pictures in my gallery. My photos will include pictures of the beautiful engraving on the upper scabbard fitting. I have recently completed the research on the person named as original wearer, and he was indeed a Brigadefuhrer in the NSKK, from the Landau area. Thanks to Mike Constandy for finding this information out.



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Craig,

I can see that this thread, and its subject matter, is taking on a life all of its own - so Jim M, and F.P. (both of whom I respect greatly) your deviation into pistols and plating is another interesting aside. However, I must concentrate on my main issue, and as Craig has chosen to summarise it in the thread above here, then I will respond accordingly.

Just for the record, there is no animosity or "personal jabs at each other" here - but we are doing a bit of "sparring". Some distinguished observers are concerned that we are "getting at each other" - so I am sure that Craig will confirm that this is all in good spirit.

And so to the business: Craig states:
1) He doesn't like the signature on the blade, believing it to be "unlike" actual Hunlein signatures.
Response: You are absolutely right - there is a serious difference and defect in the signature construction, and it does require some explanation. I have tried, and I cannot find a good explanation to account for this - and please do believe me, Craig - and all the others who genuinely incline towards your view - I really have tried to see if I can find any justification for your unequivocal acceptance for this form of signature - but I have failed to find anything. No doubt your are going kindly correct me, with the missing proof.

Craig states: 2) He believes the markings on the back of the silver chain version are below the quality standards he expects.
Response: NO Craig, I never stated that at all - come along, if you want to play this game then get your facts right. I have stated on several occasions that the issue with the markings on the back of the cartouche, the so called hallmarks and Otto Gahr marking, is that they are FAKED. The are crudely cast into the reverse, and entirely inappropriate. I do not have a problem with your disagreeing with me; but please at least be truthful about why we differ in our views.

Craig states: 3) He observed the appearance of the NSKK High Leader and a fake "plain bladed" NSKK reproduction, surface at the same time - the late 1970s, I believe. Since the signatures match, he believes they were both made by the same forger.
Response: Well, you are almost right in this comment, Craig. It wasn't in the "late 1970s" - it was the EARLY 1970s - but such a distinction is not important in your way of analysing things. The actual details and photos were subsequently published in Angolia's book, in 1974.
As for the identical similarity of the signatures - my conclusion was that they had come from the same original master source. The remaining question is:
a) Are both signatures fraudulent?
or:
b) are we to believe that the fraudulent signature was exactingly copied from a confirmed original master example?

As you clearly feel that you know much better than I on this matter (after all, you are buying these Huhnlein's out of the woodwork all of the time!), please do offer me the benefit of your knowledge - and share it with the rest of the community.

I do not mind your summarising my earlier comments, because I know, Craig, that we are both doing it for the greater benefit of the collecting community.

I await your wisdom, with great interest.

Frederick J. Stephens

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Craig,

With reference to the Gruner document which you have kindly supplied, as I was submitting my reply to your earlier comment, would you please supply COMPLETE imagery of all the pages of the membership Card.

The isolated page which you submit, although very interesting, is not sufficient information.

Thank you

FJS

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The other portions are entirely blank, so they are irrelevant. I wanted the document to be readable on the forum, thus my cropping. I also cropped out The Mooney's address, on the notarized letter. I have a 2nd document somewhere in my email from Constandy that I will post when I can find it. In the interim, here is another testimony about the aquisition of another NSKK High Leader. It is not as "direct" as mine is, but it's still worthy of inclusion in the body of evidence.



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Craig,

I appreciate that if the other pages of the Gruner document are totally blank, then your decision not to waste valuable GD site space with them is entirely understandable. So to save you the concern, and waste of viewer's space, please e-mail the document in its complete entirety to me. Thank you.

Regarding Mr. Mooney, and the notary details, I have no problem with that, and would expect you to protect their private domicile details and any other pertinent information concerning their privacy.

As a follow on comment about R. Gruner - and I do not doubt that the engraving on the scabbard locket is authentic (really looking forward to seeing this!) - my original concept is that these daggers were constructed out of original authentic Honour Daggers, and that the fake chains are the portion which turns them into much more valuable "High Leader" examples. Well it equally applies that the perpetrators converting these unchained SA Honour Daggers, could just as easily convert an original NSKK Honour Dagger into a "High Leader" pattern. So whether or not Mr. Gruner is in fact (or was) an NSKK Leader, becomes an interesting aside to the whole issue. If he can be shown to originally have served in the NSKK, then my argument can focus only on whether or not the chains, markings, and signature, are real. Whereas if Mr. Gruner is documented only as a member of the SA, then your argument becomes distinctly weakened. Personally I hope that he can be shown to be a member of the NSKK - it makes it all so much more interesting, and challenging!

FJS

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Are you guys going to start flogging this dead horse again ? The last time there was going to be a big debate at the MAX show with all the experts on hand. When I asked what ever became of that discussion I was told not to bring such matters up ??? So I really do not give a hoot about these high priced relics one way or the other,unless I find one at a garage sale. They have the kiss of death.Just my opinion but like so many other things you already know that.


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Apologies. The attachment did not load.



Yet another testimony, albeit not as "first hand" as my recent discovery.

As for Fred's refinement of his arguments, that is fine. No intent to misrepresent on my part - merely a quick summary as I remembered the 3 arguments.

I see failings with the reverse markings on the silver chains, but to me, there are two logical and possible explanations:

1) They are fraudulent
2) They are real, and something else must account for their "slop appeal."

Given the evidence in support of these daggers, I believe that conclusion #2 is the best explanation, and I am fine not knowing the answer "why" #2 is true. One could ask the same question "why" about any number of anomalies and mysteries that hobby experience has shown are not as we would like them to be, but nonetheless are associated with real pieces. Use your imagination, and you'll come up with your own examples of "unanswered questions" about real artifacts. I commend Fred for being the first to notice that the markings on the back of silver-chain examples were lacking in quality and execution.

I have no issues with the signatures, as it's known that no two signatures are exactly alike, and the Hunlein signature on the blade is close enough to other signatures of Hunlein, all of which differ from each other to some degree. However, the most compelling argument was made by an associate. In order to believe the account that these are fraudulent, you have to believe the following:

Someone many decades ago, taking a box of original SA Honor Daggers, hatched a worldwide conspiracy to sprinkle them around the world, with strict orders that they would come out of the woodwork under the most natural circumstances, with often NO profit motif. This is not likely.


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Regarding the signatures, I dug this up from an earlier GDC thread:



It's a collage of Hunlein singatures. Note they are all sufficiently similar. In addition, Fred Prinz, on this link:

http://daggers.infopop.cc/eve/...573/m/9960043305/p/4

Shows that the signature on the "fake" dagger is similar, but no exactly like, the signature on the original. I think a side-by-side comparison will show that the signatures are different.

But to return to the topic at hand, this thread was started by me to bring to light the first ever documented "direct" veteran family find of an NSKK dagger, which is documented to have been seen in the 1960s, a full 10 years before this craziness was said to have occured. I would suggest that those who wish to review the 'arguments' visit the above-noted thread. No sense in repeating the arguments here. It is in this spirit that I will soon post the THIRD testimony regarding the example that recently surfaced in Denmark, and was purchased by me from the "picker" who has since traveled to the "source" to get a letter signed by the person who found the dagger originally. If Gailen can be convinced to write a statement about HIS find (a most interesting find) we will then have 4 good testimonies with varying degrees of strength, to add to the historical record.


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Just a note to all who are planning to attend the MAX Show: The seminar program will MAINLY consist of a Round Table Discussion Forum on German Third Reich Daggers with Frederick J. Stephens, Tom Johnson, Tom Wittmann and a few others concerning questions from eMail and on site attendees on Friday evening.
I was going to introduce this via the different internet forums on September 1, but seeing this as an opportunity, am informing you now.
So, if Craig plans to attend, this topic, along with some others I have already received, WILL be put up for discussion.
There will also be a paper on price changes during the 25 years the MAX Show has been occurring in the field of TR relics as part of the seminar program.
Ron Weinand
MAX Show Seminar Coordinator


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Since I was mentioned. So there is no misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Here is some information that (just offhand) I don’t recall if I included in the original thread or not.

The signature on the plaque matches not the blades. Nor that of the earlier other document cited (a souvenir photograph to Göbbels ?). Instead the plaque signature matches the signed full sized photograph on page 3 of the book: “(NSKK) 10. DREITAGE MITTELGEBIRGSFAHRT 1938”. With that copy of the very limited edition book being presented on the flyleaf to “Eduard Dransfeld, Generalmajor u. Inspektor des Kraftfahrwesens der Luftwaffe im R.L.M. [Reichsluftfahrtministerium] Berlin 10. Dreitagfahrt im Jahr 1938”.

With a primary difference being the letter “n” being turned down at the end, not up. As seen in this attached image. FP

1938 NSKK Book Link

NSKK_Signature-Inset-2.jpg (38.18 KB, 1144 downloads)
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It should also be noted that the signature on the plaque also does not match exactly, the signature on the autographed photo. Both the plaque and the photo are real. So you have a case here where NONE of the signatures match each other exactly, which is what we would expect of a signature. If you don't believe me, look at your checkbook. Or, I can quote one of the leading autograph experts in the world - I just have to locate his book, which I just got finished reading Smile

Ron: I think this topic would be an excellent subject for part of the seminar. I will be in attendance and will be glad to share my personal experiences if asked. I would also be glad to bring visual aids to contribute to the discussion.


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Thanks for the advanced notice guys. Roll Eyes


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My apologies Frog: Here is the post I was referring to:



You accurately state in the post that both signatures are NOT identical as alleged. But as I stated earlier, there are other threads where we debate this. I just wanted to provide the latest evidence for the historical record, in the form of my recent discovery, plus the other scanned documents I have presented.


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Craig, I’m in agreement that when we sit down to write a check the signature is never exactly the same. Neither are personal hand written autographs. No argument there, although I seem to remember that hand writing analysts (in criminal matters) use certain characteristics to detect fraudulent signatures.

However: When a tool and die maker creates a set of stamping dies. Stamped object # 1 (like a plaque) is probably going to be virtually identical to object # 100. By object # xxxx it might start to break down a little on the microscopic level which can create observable differences.

Likewise in a production environment, etching masks created from a master are going to be very close. Which is why the Himmler signatures on blades from the same maker are not all over the landscape - but are generally fairly consistent from one to the other. This is also why the motto portions of blades from a particular maker are reasonably consistent. (Although sometimes small differences are noted because the masks often have to be cleaned up a little manually after they are applied which can create miniscule variations. The position of the mask can shift a little etc.)

There is much less effort and almost no cost in making an etching mask. As compared to individually creating a raw signature time after time, on blade after blade. With a greatly increased risk of making errors. Like especially (IMO) that very first example in the original discussion, which is at the bottom right of the just posted collage.

PS: To the best of my immediate recollection, it was not just a random signature/dedication to a high level TR leader in the book. Generalmajor u. Inspektor des Kraftfahrwesens der Luftwaffe Dransfeld and the NSKK were working together. With the NSKK helping in training personnel for the Luftwaffe. The first signature that was posted? FP

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Agree with you. But to keep matters simple, so we can return to the new information posted, I submit the following, which I am sure we can agree on:

The Huhnlein signature on the back of the damascus blades are all identical to each other with respect to shape. They do not match identically with the "fake" inscription on the back of the plain-bladed fake (as has been alleged), and all observable Huhnlein signatures exhibit variations - printed, etched, cast: whatever the medium.

But again, lets get back to the new documentary evidence, which I will be adding to over the next few days.


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Well, there's one thing for sure - the debate ain't over.

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