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I guess it's kind of metal porn? When something strange comes into a local shop.

WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited March 18, 2022 7:11AM in Precious Metals

Older couple selling their late father's "trophy" coins he brought back from WWII.
They were just wrapping up business and had a small box they were tucking under their arm.
Those who see my posts know I dabble in lots of stuff. So the dealer says "Even though I wasn't interested, here's a guy who may be." And asked the couple to show me what they had.
They carefully opened the box and handed the item to me.

This is one of those areas that I'm vaguely aware of, know there can be value, but also know it can be a little tricky to resell. And there is a significant moral decision you have to make: Is it something I feel comfortable buying?

Brought out my loop, gave it a thorough once-over. Noted condition and wear all looked reasonable and authentic. Noted that weight and balance--the general feel--seemed correct. I was reasonably sure it was real. But had only the most vague idea of value.

So I thought for a second and made an offer. Their mouths hit the floor (Note to self: Lowball your first offer, you can always go up but you can't come down!). They cheerfully accepted and took my cash.

Would you or would you not?

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Again, I had a vague idea of what it was. But now I know for certain that it is:

Early 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger by Ernst Pack & Sohne Waffenfabrik of Solingen

We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
--Severian the Lame

Comments

  • taxmadtaxmad Posts: 960 ✭✭✭✭

    I bought some of those bills at a local b&m for my son to use in a school presentation. No problem buying them for historical (not ideological) purposes...

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @taxmad said:
    I bought some of those bills at a local b&m for my son to use in a school presentation.

    Yeah, I've got a few of those bills, too ;)

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • MeltdownMeltdown Posts: 8,616 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very cool. Is the chain & clasp sterling? What is stamped on it?

  • rte592rte592 Posts: 1,387 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I noticed you DIDN'T figure in resale logistical issues...reading between the lines thats a keeper.
    Bet your wallet chewed you out a bit when you got home.

  • DrBusterDrBuster Posts: 5,300 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting buy for war history, despite the association.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is a great historical item. The significance does not bother me... History is real, it happened, we should learn from it and avoid repeating the bad things. Items such as this serve as reminders. Cheers, RickO

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Meltdown said:
    Very cool. Is the chain & clasp sterling? What is stamped on it?

    The clasp and hanging chain are actually made from a new miracle metal of the early 20th century: Aluminum.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • KliaoKliao Posts: 5,426 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Neat item. Any ideas on value on and item like that?

    Young Numismatist/collector
    73 Positive BST transactions buying and selling with 44 members and counting!
    instagram.com/klnumismatics

  • blitzdudeblitzdude Posts: 5,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Beyond sickening, send it to the smelter. Double sad that you had in mind to "lowball" the seller on top (assuming you were interested for your twisted resell profit}

    The whole worlds off its rocker, buy Gold™.

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's an interesting position and one I genuinely appreciate.

    I was talking with a friend about the dagger this afternoon and he, a non-numismatist, asked me, who he knows to be a coin collector, if people collect confederate money.

    I told him that confederate currency is quite popular. And that the few confederate coins that exist are considered some of the most treasured coins there are. One could argue that is apples to oranges. But one could argue it's apples to apples, too.

    Only four confederate half dollars are known to exist. This specimen sold in 2015 for $881,250.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • streeterstreeter Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I haven't kept up on those daggers price wise but they are one of the most coveted mass production German items from WW2.
    And one of the most reproduced.

    Have a nice day
  • TPGSTPGS Posts: 207 ✭✭✭
    edited March 18, 2022 6:53PM

    OY VEY ! :/

  • streeterstreeter Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @blitzdude said:
    Beyond sickening, send it to the smelter. Double sad that you had in mind to "lowball" the seller on top (assuming you were interested for your twisted resell profit}

    Nice attitude🙄

    Have a nice day
  • Jinx86Jinx86 Posts: 3,666 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great piece. I've never really collected the dress daggers, just field equipment pieces. They add to displays really well without the large symbols that seem to offend people.

    Do you think Germans collect US Army items? I've been there twice over my years in the service and the topic never came up.

  • streeterstreeter Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The spoils always go to the winners.

    Have a nice day
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @streeter.... That is very true. And when you are a just winner, it is not called plundering. ;) Cheers, RickO

  • SkyManSkyMan Posts: 9,493 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I do not collect Nazi memorabilia, although I have collected a train token used at Peenemunde, the site where the V-2 rocket was created. As you might imagine, there was also a slave labor camp associated with Peenemunde.

    Personally I think the morality of collecting items is based on one's own personal morality, e.g. are you collecting Nazi items because you believe in some variant of the Nazi ideology, or are you collecting a historical relic that highlights a piece of history. Let's not forget Marxist-Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist communist items either, those ideologies were totalitarian killers too. Also, in the US we have our own sad history with genocide with the Native Americans, and slavery with blacks. I would say if you get MULTIPLE items associated with bad regimes/actors you might want to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror.

    One thing that I have heard tell with regards to Nazi era collectibles is that they are so popular that there is a serious amount of counterfeit production.

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,209 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SkyMan said:
    I do not collect Nazi memorabilia, although I have collected a train token used at Peenemunde, the site where the V-2 rocket was created. As you might imagine, there was also a slave labor camp associated with Peenemunde.

    Personally I think the morality of collecting items is based on one's own personal morality, e.g. are you collecting Nazi items because you believe in some variant of the Nazi ideology, or are you collecting a historical relic that highlights a piece of history. Let's not forget Marxist-Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist communist items either, those ideologies were totalitarian killers too. Also, in the US we have our own sad history with genocide with the Native Americans, and slavery with blacks. I would say if you get MULTIPLE items associated with bad regimes/actors you might want to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror.

    One thing that I have heard tell with regards to Nazi era collectibles is that they are so popular that there is a serious amount of counterfeit production.

    This dagger is not so much considered by most collectors to be "Nazi memorabilia" as it's considered to be a "war trophy" which was captured by an American soldier serving in Europe during WWII. My father brought back a Japanese sword from his service in WWII. You are quite correct that these daggers are heavily counterfeited.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 22, 2022 5:03PM

    Good points, all.
    I've been in contact with three of the top WWII militaria dealers in the country and two of them have made pretty substantial offers on the dagger.

    @SkyMan 's point about intent carries a lot of weight. I still haven't decided if I'm going to keep it.

    Interestingly, the couple I bought it from insisted that "dad took this off the body of a dead officer". A point they made sure of telling me twice in the 10 minute transaction. As with precious metals, when something doesn't ring true, I tend to question it.

    What was a dead luftwaffe (air force) officer doing in a combat situation? Why was an officer in a combat situation wearing his dress uniform complete with this ceremonial dagger?

    I relayed the story to one of the dealers I spoke with, because it was part of the story of the piece but also because the couple from whom I purchased the knife seemed to be of the correct age (late 60s?) and the other pieces they were selling were completely typical types of francs, marks, and minors that every GI serving in the European theater seemed to bring home. And all of that seemed to indicate the piece had been in their family since the war and was therefore new to the market--something that appeals to some buyers of coins. I also offered that this kind of story must be common, and asked their opinion.

    Their response was interesting:

    Yes, I hear that phrase that "it came off a dead soldier" a million times. I guess vets like the sound of that or something. These daggers were not worn during the war, and most came from German houses searched at war's end for weapons, but be that as it may. At least the dagger made it back to America.

    So they are implying that this type of story is a rationalization for what was essentially looting by our guys as the war drew to a close. No judgement. But I could see how the "dead officer" story would smooth over questions and give a reason why uncle Mike had a nazi dress dagger when he worked in Supply Corps.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Stories often accompany old family possessions.... Some may be true, some maybe not.... No way to be sure. I do agree that the 'dead officer' story... in full regalia, at a battle scene, is highly unlikely. Cheers, RickO

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,572 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a friend who’s grandfather was an SS officer. He still has the dagger that belonged to his grandfather. One day he brought it by the shop to show me and allowed me to take these pictures.

    Very interesting piece of WWII history and I can only assume that it’s pretty valuable.





  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    From my googling, it's a type 1Chained SS Dagger. Value? $8k or more. :o

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @asheland... That is a beauty... I have only seen one other like that, years ago at a gun show in Arizona. And it was not in as good a condition as that is. Cheers, RickO

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,572 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Weiss said:
    From my googling, it's a type 1Chained SS Dagger. Value? $8k or more. :o

    Damn! 😦
    I’ll definitely mention this to my friend. I assume he still has it. I took the pictures about 4 years ago.

  • streeterstreeter Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Weiss
    Whatever you do, don't post your buy/sell. BlitzGutter will be like an old wife and drag it up forever and call you unmentionable names.

    Have a nice day
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