A rare and beautiful Early NSKK Chained Hühnlein High Leader Dagger by Carl Eickhorn of Solingen. From 1937 these daggers were bestowed by NSKK Corps Leader Adolf Hühnlein. The blade features a fine maiden hair, hand-forged damascus steel. It has a very prominent grain pattern and features a slightly dark finish. The obverse displays a muted gilt, raised out, motto which reads “Alles Für Deutschland” and is flanked by oak leaf and acorn sprigs. To the reverse is the acid etched “Hühnlein” facsimile signature and the gilded, raised out seated squirrel “Carl Eickhorn Solingen” maker mark, its gilding may have been touched up. The blade ridges fit perfectly up against the lower crossguard. The blades tang is stamped “DAMAST” and to the other side it is numbered “127”. The textbook burnished silver honor crossguards elegantly display a hand enhanced oak leaf and acorn motif with a fine even patina throughout. Both crossguards are internally numbered “181”. The grip is a medium contour ridge constructed type fitting the crossguards quite nicely. The grip remains in excellent condition. There is one chip to the top left-hand side and two hairline cracks running vertically through. The SA runes button is beautifully set and has perfect enamel. The grip eagle is a fine silver example, being the “high necked” variety. The scabbard shell is completely straight and is covered with the fine-grained black leather. The leather runs up to but not under the upper and lower fittings. The leather has been treated. All of the fittings are in fine condition with beautiful patina. The lower ball retains a beautiful round shape. These scabbard fittings are retained by early silvered screws. The center scabbard ramp is the one-of-a-kind type only used on NSKK High Leader daggers. This ramp features a design of flared rectangles in the center of both sides. The NSKK chain is the “standard” type (The NSKK High Leader daggers are encountered with two types of chains. One is the “standard” as is the case here, and the other is the silver open cartouche Gahr type). The links of this example are solid nickel and they are unmarked on the back since Honor/High Leader daggers did not fall under the controls of the RZM. The top assembly has three links, two of which depict the NSKK winged bird clutching a swastika, and the center example being a raised-out sun wheel swastika. The lower chain has five links which alternate the eagle and sun wheel swastika, and in the center, is the triangular style rune used exclusively by the NSKK. These chain links have taken on a fine, dull nickel patina exactly matching that of the center ramp. The links are connected with round circular tabs which are perfectly executed. The chain links are attached to a gathering clip. The clip is a standard NSKK style, having the applied shield on the obverse. The shield depicts an acorn placed between two nicely veined oak leaves. An outstanding display of German craftsmanship at its best! For more information see pages 108-109 of T. Johnson's "Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich Volume III".
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