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#154006 03/26/2008 01:28 PM
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Jim W Offline OP
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This is my one example by Puma with the Puma marked hanger.

Jim

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complete dagger. This dagger came without leather. You can see where leather was at one time, glued to the original factory paint.

I note that every one of these that comes from a major dealer has fairly new looking leather on it. Speaking with other collectors, I have the understanding the daggers often did not have leather.

What are the thoughts?

Jim

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Jim, that is one beautiful looking Labor Corp dagger that you have!

I agree that examples of these daggers are found with or without a leather covered scabbard. From my observations, the ones produced in Bulgaria (or at least not maker marked) often times are not leather covered and show no traces of ever having been. The "German" produced ones seem to have been leather covered. By the way, Puma is the only firm (outside of Bulgaria) that I have seen as a maker of these daggers. Anyone have an example made by another German firm? Another variation I have seen are examples of those with or without a grooved blade. As I mentioned in another post, many variations in Bulgarian daggers seem to exist.

Jim, interesting to note that my Labor dagger came with cloth hangers and not a chain. I always assumed that a chain hanger was correct for this piece. However, I wonder if a cloth one was used at some point in time or was it an option. Most Labor daggers that I have seen are without a hanger of any sort so I have always wondered why when so many other hangers seem to exist.

I will take some pictures of my Labor Corp and post them later today.

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Hi Jim,
Jim, probably you know that there are 2 models Bulgarian Labor daggers - 1st model was produced in Germany - Puma blade and 2nd model /l?te war/ was produced in Bulgaria with plain blade.
I have one 2nd model and itís scabbard has some oddments from leather,but I donít know if itís original or not.
Just once I sow a dagger with leather on the scabbard.All Labor daggers wich I sow in Bulgaria are painted.I don't know the reason,but I can tell you that the Bulgarian Air forces daggers produced in Solengen with leather on the scabbards, but in practice very soon the daggers lost the leather and than the scabbards have been painted.
Probably with Labor's daggers had the same problem.

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Jim ,
I'm agree with Cary - dagger has cloth hangers.

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Compare together 1st and 2nd model

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The pommels

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Here are a few pics of my Labor dagger. This one has a painted scabbard and is Bulgarian marked on the blade.


Gary

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pic2

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pic 3

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I love these Bulgarian daggers....Only have one so far


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Jim W Offline OP
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Thanks for the discussion guys. I assume both are ok. please keep in mind that the chain on mine is marked Puma and the only place we have ever seen this chain is with the Puma labor leaders dagger.

Go ahead and post the cloth hangers so people can see them.

Jim

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Jim, there's no doubt in my mind that your chain is 100% correct. There's a bigger question in my mind about my cloth hangers. So far, it appears as though some hangers might have been used or acceptable to use, on a variety of Bulgarian daggers. I can't say for sure because it would have been so easy to swap them around and there's not much reference material for any conclusive opinions. However, I have seen what I believed were Police hangers attached to Army, Brannik Leaders and Police daggers and I don't know why. However, I would think that if all Labor daggers came with chains, you would see them more often. After all, the chains would hold up much better than cloth hangers so where did they all go? So many questions and not enough answers.

Regarding my hangers for the Labor dagger, I will try to post pictures of all of my hangers at a later date. Here's why. I do not display any hangers with my daggers so they are stored "off site". I just don't have the space and in my mind, cloth hangers are somewhat fragile so they are packaged in air tight bags. It's similar to the products you see advertised like, space saver bags or the vacuum sealing bags for vegetables. Now quit your laughing as I'm sure you must think that I'm being anal about them. Well you're probably right. However, being they are not on display and might be sold with the daggers at a future date, it seemed wise to protect them as best I could. However, I do have pictures of some my daggers with the hangers attached. As we discuss each model, I will be sure to post pics of them with hangers if available. If we decide to start a thread just on Bulgarian hangers, I will unpack them all and post pics.

Gary

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Hi Jim,
I havenít hangers for Labor dagger , but I have seen 2-3 daggers with cloth hangers.
They are similar to Army,Police and Gandarmerie hangers The diference is the colour of the cloth .The Labor hangers has brown colour.
Also in mr.Predov book is mention Ė quote ďLabor daggers has hangers made by thick cotton cloth ornate with dark-brown band , without tinsel fibre Ē.
Except of Fire officer dagger all other Bulgarian daggers have cloth hangers.

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Jim W Offline OP
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I think we are all agreeing here.

I don not know when or to who the chained hangers were used, but it is clear to me that there were other hangers. The shear lack of numbers of chain hangers tells me that. This is why I refer to them as ultra rare. If there were more of these indicating universal use, we would not have this discussion. We do not see many of these so I assume the chain hangers only came with the Solingen daggers. So, I do not know if these just came with the dagger and the wearer used a more standard cloth hanger, or if these were presentation daggers warranting the different hanger. In short, I do not know.

But, I do not doubt there are cloth hangers.

I also note several different hangers available for different daggers in Bulgaria. When we are doing the army daggers, we can expand on this.

Gary, I also store my hangers different. Mine is due to space also.

Interesting.

Jim

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Hi guys i purchased this dagger but really Im surprised about thi one. It looks like made of brass but plated nickel or chrome.

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There is no signs of leather under the bands

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crossguard looks properly we can see some rust under the bands

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maker mark looks good

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on the other side sign of king Boris?

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maker mark on the scabbard

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the lost of plating looks originall but this one looks other to compare Yours daggers.I will be happy to hear Yours opinion.Ted

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Hi Zet,

Very interesting Labor dagger that you have in your collection. I have never seen one chrome plated or maker marked on the scabbard. I especially like that little detail. Smile Also, I don't believe that I've seen a blade maker marked on one side and King Boris on the other. It's usually one or the other to the best of my knowledge. In my opinion, the dagger is an original one that as you stated, has been plated for some reason. One thought comes to mind is that it was not uncommon for many "war souvenirs" to be chrome plated. This was very common on German helmets and I have seen it on Japanese blades and many other items. However, the strong possibility exists that it was originally plated for a special reason. I'm also wondering if it could be a very early production due to the maker marked scabbard. In any event, it's a great looking dagger that deserves more research! Thank you for showing it to us.

Gary

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Jim W Offline OP
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Hi Zet.

On the maker mark and Boris on the other side. This is the same as my Puma and I suspect all original Pumas the same as Zets.

I was surprised at the scabbard being maker marked and checked mine and what a nice surprise, mine is maker marked also. So the basic trapings of Zets daggers are true to the other models.

On the plating, I am not so kind as Gary. He is quite correct with the veterans penchant after the war for plating things. Plated pistols were a favorite of US GI's.

However, chrome was a material not used on daggers (with rare exception) and certainly not by the Germans. Add that to the pentchant of some East Europeans to plate everything, leads me to question this plating.

That being said, I would like this one in my collection without hesitation.

Jim

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Hi Zet,
I have never seen a dagger like yours. I have two 1st model Pumaís daggers with maker mark and Boris III on the other side on the blades and marked scabbards also. Iím agree with Gary that your dagger could be a very early production but the pommel looks to me like a second model.
Zet are you sure that plating is nickel or chrome.I just wonder if this could be silver?
Any way this is a great looking dagger. Thank you that you share your collection with us.

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Hi Guys first I want to say thanks for Yours opinion and help.Second it is really pleasure to me to contact with so nice and helpfull persons its a pity only virtually Ive dream about meet You all in real.To Gary and Jim I looked at the dagger many times and after very clear inspection I rather would say that plating looks originall and factory made.As You can see in my previous posts Ive tried to arrange some plating on SA and it is impossible to make plating without cover such small letters in maker mark and crossguard.In my opinion everything should be flooded mean all lost sharp details.But it is only my opinion maybe Gary is right. On the other hand it is possible to remove plating with no problem ,but this is a question is it restoration or damage?Only one thing is suprised for me what material is on the emblem in the crossguard and scabbard?.If it is aluminium in Yours dagger it is impossible to plate it by chrom or nickel.To Pesho I wish to have silver plated dagger unfortunatelly it is chrom or nickel for sure.Please have a look at my next post I will show my next interesting Yugo dagger.All the best for all of You and happy hunting for dagger.It is funny I can tell a short story what happend me lately.I met my ex girlfriend we havent seen 22 years and she asked me whats really turn me on Wink(without subtitle) I said daggers, she was very suprised and we had LOL.. Big Grin

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Jim W Offline OP
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Zet.

1st, to correct that both the Germans, and the guy I know down the street can plate nickle over aluminum. There is a process where an intermediary metal is first used. But, just so you know it was done by the Germans prioe to WWII.

I do not know if this plating is original or not. But, let us determine what it really is plated with.

The Polish collectors taught me how to distinquish between chrome and nickle. So, Zet, you should already know this. You take the "finger nail clippers" that we all have. The small one that folds up. These are chrome plated. You only need to hold the fingernail clipper up to the dagger. If the dagger is darker, more silver, it is nickle. If it is the same, it is chrome.

I will bow to your opinion on the originality of this finish Zet, but in the photo of the mouth of the scabbard. They lost plating looks like replate. Historically the scabbard mouth is most protected and the finish there is the last to go, not the first.

But, all that being said, please do not do anything to this dagger. The minute you stip off old finish or put on new, the options on the dagger end. Hayabusa's thought that it might be something special may very well be true. So why risk it.

No, the answer here is simply buy a second one for your collection (always a good excuse) and keep showing this one till the dead heros family solves the mistery.

Just my opinion

Jim

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Interesting discussion.

At first I thought the dagger could be an NCO equivalent rank rather than an officer...along the lines of the Hungarian Dagger system of officer's in "gold" and NCO in silver.

However, the PUMA quality might imply the opposite - a dagger for a senior officer.

I suppose it would take finding regulations for the Bulgarian Labor Service uniform (and someone to read them) to get an idea if there was a gold versus silver
differentiation in accessory or insignia color to base a theory on.

There also seems to be wear inside the ring holders. However, there doesn't seem to be much wear to the rings themselves.

The absence of a washer implies it could have rotted away...perhaps causing a chemical reaction with the scabbard throat plating that resulted its loosening.

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By the way, what's the market on the chained Labor Dagger these days. The only one I can find is on Johnson's site and is $3500. I presume that's somewhat above and beyond.

And while, what's the value on a Bulgarian Army with a vertical leather hanger?

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Jim W Offline OP
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Hi paulj.

I have not seen any of the labor leaders daggers at all change hands, let alone a Puma with the Puma chain. So, I can not give you an answer.

The Bulgarian army with hanger can trade for $1,500 to my belief, but I was recently contacted by a legitimate collector who thought his was worth about $3,000. I think Johnson has quite a few of these at a good price. They are undervalued.

Just my opinion

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Thanks Jim. I have a Bulgarian made chained labor and the army with a leather hanger. I've been contemplating parting with them but just don't see any around in a similar configuration to get a idea of their value.

Johnson has several armies and labor without hangers. The chained ones, however, are "price on request" and those were at $3500 last time I asked.

I agree these are undervalued considering the prices of common Third Reich pieces. But then, it;s a supply and demand factor involved as opposed to rarity.

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Notice the mayor difference between these two daggers.

- difference in grips
- difference in pommel shape
- difference blade shape
- difference on grip ring

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Difference in crossguards number of scabbard rings and scabbard chapes nothing the same is one original and the other a copy?Dont ask me which but so much variance seems strange

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Isnt one on right parts dagger having pommel grip ferrule and blade from a Bulgarian Army dagger with scabbard and crossguard from a Labor dagger with variation scabbard
Just my casual observations

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Hi Tobi,

Iím agree with A J that these daggers are quite different:
The dagger on right is a fake:
- from what I can see from this picture the pommel looks like an original Army
- the grip and ferrule looks like army too ,but Iím sure that are fakes .
- the crossguard is fake too.
- The blade is unknown to me, but obviously isnít Army or Labor.

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quote:
Hi Tobi,

Iím agree with A J that these daggers are quite different:
The dagger on right is a fake:
- from what I can see from this picture the pommel looks like an original Army
- the grip and ferrule looks like army too ,but Iím sure that are fakes .
- the crossguard is fake too.
- The blade is unknown to me, but obviously isnít Army or Labor.

Hi pesho,
Both Bulgarian daggers are genuine (not fake).
By my opinion these are variations that were in use during the time.
Left dagger is from PUMA factory and right one (by my opinion) are from domestic factory or is it ďofficialĒ made from original parts Ė and so worn.
PS both daggers are more that 20 years in my collection.
Tobi

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Jim W Offline OP
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This is a good discussion.

I can't quite agree with the term fake as being used towards this dagger.

I would like someone to explain to me the difference from the two crossguards other that one being hand enhanced by the Puma firm and the other being slapped together by a local jeweler making some money off assembling parts and offering a low cost alternative to a Solingen dagger.

There is no doubt this a Army Grip, Ferrel, and pommel, but why wouldn't he use the grip produced locally.

Also, these is no real profit in making a parts labor leaders dagger. At least not 20 years ago. And not even 3 years ago.

There were numerous examples for sale on Ebay years ago and the home grown ones had everything from painted wood grips to modified scabbards.

Just my 2 cents and please feal free to disagree.

Jim

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Hi,
Hi,
I am agreeing with Jim discussion and it confirms me my opinion that all daggers was genuine and wore in that time.
PS. Please some other daggers from my collections (purchased more that 20 years ago) and look for the differences in crossguards, pommels, grips and so onÖ

PS. TO MODERATOR Ė IN AIM FOR BETTER PHOTOS AND CLEARER DETAILS - PLEASE ALOVE MORE SIZE THAN 110 KB

Tobi

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Backsides of daggers

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Hi friends,
In the previous post I expressed my opinion regarding this dagger and now Iíll try to explain
As far as I know there are two models of Bulgarian Royal Labor Service daggers only Ė 1st and 2nd model. The main difference between these two daggers is :

1.- The style of the blades 1st model have PUMA marked blade and scabbard, 2nd model plane bladeBy the way t/ similar to daggers Nr 3 with white grip/.
2.-The pommels Ė 2st model have open-work / three pieces/ pommel - similar to pommel of dagger Nr 3 with white grip/ , 2nd model have bronze cast of the same pommel.
3- I have seen two kinds cross guards Ė one cast together with the ferrule and other with separate cross guard and ferrule, the furrule looks like dagger Nr 2. The different is that 1st model have gold gilded cross guard and the Royal emblem is silver, 2nd model bronze cross guard and the Royal emblem made by unknown for me white metal. I never have seen ferrule like Nr 3 and 4.
4.- The symbol of the Labors Army on the scabbard also should be silver for 1st model and silver gilded for 2d model.
5.- From what I sow in the pictures there is big different between lion head , symbol of the Labors Army on the scabbard and Royal emblem on the cross guards. Obviously the dagger on left have more good workmanship of these elements.

Tobbi , you have these daggers in your hands. Do you see any difference.
Can post some close up pictures from the cross guards and symbol of the Labors Army on the scabbard.

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Great info.

My example does not have the leaf decoration on the scabbard bottom piece. I obtained it in 1989 and it had been in a collection for at least a couple of decades before that.

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Jim W Offline OP
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I personally, like Pesho, am a textbook type of guy.

His is an excellent description of what he has identified as two "textbook" types of daggers. That is what I prefer.

But there are too many examples of variations in not only Bulgarian but Yugoslav, Romanian and German that are totally legitimate and totally not "textbook".

In the end, it comes down to price. How much a person is willing to pay. To me the textbook examples are worth more. Others may see different.

Paulj, in my opinion the lack of the leaf decoration is not a detraction. MOre of a variation to justify buying another one.

This is all just my conjecture guys so your opinion is as good as mine.

Jim

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Jim W Offline OP
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As regards the photos. That is set by the administrator.

You can send the photos to me and i will resize them and post them.

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Hi friend,
Ok, now, with my poor English Iíll try to tell you my opinion regarding ďmany examples of variations in Bulgarian daggersĒ.
Iím agree that there are many of variations , but I think that these variations were made late-during the communistís time.
As you discussed already, during this time was risky to have goods with Royal symbol and I think that daggers survived from confiscation have been hided or modify Ė Royal symbol were deleted or replaced . During the years I have seen incredible combinations : Army daggers with plain unknown for me blade or with fantasy or unknown crossguard or with German Army pommel , some combination between Army and Labor daggers even Labor dagger with German KM grip and engraved blade. By the way both blade are identical and I think that for a 1st model Labor dagger was used same KM blade but plain one. /I noticed that Tobiís dagger Nr 3 have similar to German KM grip/.
Due to the fact that from 1945 until 1980 in Bulgaria there wasnít any examination of Royal daggers and practically was not a real market for Royal daggers , all these combination and variations were accepted like originals.

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Sorry for the bad photos, something wrong with my camera. Later on Iíll try to post it again.
It was evidences of my words :Labor dagger with shorten blade , cross guars and scabbard, the monogram of king Boris III and and the Royal symbol on the cross guard deleted .
Two Army blades Ė the monogram of king Boris III and inscription God with us deleted.

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Specially the blade of 1st model Labor daggers with engraved monogram of king Boris III was replaced by the blade of communist dagger Ė similar to blades Nr 2 and Nr 4.

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Though a little late, I'll join the hangers discussion. As a side note, I have a Puma made dagger, with Puma marked chain hanger.

My main point is, to show a few period photos. Searched through my photos and found these. All photos are from the same lot and on all the officer wears cloth dagger hangers, as far as I can see. The photos are TINY, fortunately the scanner managed to magnify some details!

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Even better visible, cloth hangers

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Her the dagger is not well seen, but has a good company - a Navy dagger Smile

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Interesting discussion Guys.

Let me get back to the dagger types for a moment. Here is what I have in my collection:



The pommel is really nicely done but in contrast to showed previously it has empty spaces in the crown - you can actually see through it.

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Also - there is a nice King Boris emblem on the other side of the crossguard ...something that did not pop up on any of yours.

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And a close-up to the lion head.




I will be very much supprized if this one is a fake as holding it and seeing the detail of manufacture is astonishing.

What do you think?

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Jim W Offline OP
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Your additons are welcome, thank you

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Hi,
Some better photos from the crossguard and scabbard can help.
Usually scabbard band has two screws holds only Ė on the bottom and on the back side of the scabbard.I donít want to disappoint you but the last summer in souvenirís shops I saw many of these daggers with monogram of King Boris III on the back side of the crossguards .At the earliest opportunity Iíll take some pictures from these shops.

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Sad sadFrown


How much do they go for as souvenirs than?

Another anecdotical rip off I was probably subject of. Paid good big $$$ for it.

Really nicely done if repro than... congrats to the local manufacturers.

Mike

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And what do you say about this piece. A decent german productin?

1.jpg (68.39 KB, 109 downloads)
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MW Offline
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This has been a wonderful experience ..

I have greatly enjoyed this thread ..

Thanks to all for sharing ..

All the best ..

Mike W.

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OK, not too many replies so far. Will share with you the complete set of my latest purchase than.

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here goes..

2.jpg (38.75 KB, 54 downloads)
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pretty nice hangers

3.jpg (33.84 KB, 53 downloads)
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belt

9b.jpg (93.85 KB, 78 downloads)
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and hangers closeup

9.jpg (98.59 KB, 76 downloads)
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K boris emblem

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obviously a puma example

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and scapbard side

9a.jpg (28.84 KB, 71 downloads)
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very nice set, hangers is in the top condition.Congratulation.Ted

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