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#362434 07/02/2024 08:31 AM
Joined: Jun 2023
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Joined: Jun 2023
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Joined: Jun 2023
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It should always be noted that period etched fire bayonets are exceedingly rare with the vast majority of those seen being either period blades rehilted with a fire bayonet hilt or outright postwar creations. Rehilted examples will usually show evidence of bakelite and rivet buggering and or use of non-period rivets.

That said, there are several areas to highlight on this example. First, the scabbard dedication plate. I believe it is impossible to determine when this item was attached to the scabbard and even if it is original to this scabbard or another item like a fire axe. I will say that in researching etched fire bayonets and axes for about 25 years, nearly all of them are devoid of swaztikas. My guess is fire personnel, unlike Polizei personnel, were apolitical in general. Many etched fire bayonets that sport swazs on the blades and even pommels are postwar done to enhance desirability for an otherwise bland item. Tough to tell if this is period done.

The knot is quite interesting. The strap is plain leather, usually seen on lower rank knots. The typical fire knot is silver bullion and carmine with three rows of aluminum thread running in the strap. Lower rank knots usually have a metallic piece covering the stem which this knot doesn't have. I own 2 Customs lower rank knots and they also have the metallic cover so ultimately I'm not sure what to make of the knot but it is interesting to me.

Lastly the etch which is where the money is on an etched fire bayonet. The bookends are the type seen on Anton Wingen marked examples, identiied by Wayne Techet as having been produced by Klaas for resale to Wingen. The fact this blade is unmarked is concerning but also of concern is the font of the lettering which IMO doesn't resemble either that seen on Wingen or Klaas examples, as well as the overall greyish appearance of the etched portion which seems to be like that of modern blades coming from the Czech Republic and Poland. The etch itself is somewhat crude as well.

Although the bakelite doesn't appear buggered, the rivets don't look period to me. That along with the blade itself would lead me to say this example is a postwar concoction. I would suggest returning it to the seller, if that is possible.


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Of interest is the scabbard plaque. I have a piece that commemorates the Hannover city hall in 1913. On the etch I would defer to Wayne any day. But as it's named to the city Hannover that's what caught my eye. The new "city hall" was dedicated in Hannover in 1913 and a large portion of the building destroyed in 1943 by allied bombers. I'm sure you can get an exact number of people killed in the bombings but it's something like 1200. Just interesting to me the dates on the scabbard plaque line up with the newly dedicated city hall to the date it was almost destroyed.


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