Rare “Honorary Award” Presentation Hitler Youth Knife by W.K.C. dated to 1936
Here on offer is one of the rarest Hitler Youth Knives you will ever come across.
This early example has been professionally engraved on the flat section of the pommel with:
15. 11. 36.
This literally translates from German to “Honorary Award”.
It is clearly dated to the award date being 15/11/1936 and could have possible been linked to the owner being presented with a Golden Hitler Youth Badge.
The Golden Hitler Youth Badge (German: Das Goldene Hitler-Jugend-Abzeichen) was established as an honour award by the National Youth Leader (Reichsjugendführer) Baldur von Schirach in recognition of leadership, long service or other special achievements in the Hitler Youth.
Recipients included those who joined before 2 October 1932 and who completed five-years unbroken service. It could also be awarded for merit, irrespective of length of service.
There is also the possibility it could be linked to the Golden Hitler Youth Badge with Oakleaves (German: Das Goldenes Hitler-Jugend Ehrenzeichen mit Eichenlaub) which was instituted in 1935 to recognise exceptional services to the Hitler Youth. Only about 250 were awarded.
This knife clearly relates to a serious award being presented to its owner, who sadly we don’t know the name of.
I am sure he would have also needed special permission to get the engraving applied to his knife by the military governing bodies.
The early nickel-silver hilt fittings are in excellent condition. What is interesting is it looks like the area of the engraving on the back of the pommel has been used as a hammer during its life, which is not uncommon for these utilitarian knives.
The Bakelite grip plates are in perfect condition and are still held in place by two-nickel rivets. As with all HJ knives it wasn’t uncommon for the grips to be replaced a number of times during their lives as they where prown to cracking and breaking, especially if used as throwing knives!
The HJ diamond emblem is perfect and retains its enamel finish. It “wobbles” in the grip recess as genuine examples are supposed to do!
The blade is the type without the motto and retains its original shape and cutting edge. It looks like someone has run a fine file along the flat sides of the blade on both sides for some unknown reason? Maybe to remove rust?
The blade itself is in good condition with no rust, just these weird rubbing marks?
It is the thinner blade version without a stepped ricasso.
On the reverse of the blade is the stamped Knight Head logo for the maker, W.K.C. of Solingen.
It is also stamped with the German Copyright mark GES. GESCHUTZT.
The leather buffer pad is still in place.
The excellent original steel scabbard has been repainted at some point in its life, as many were. It has lost about 40% of that black paint but has no dents or splits.
The original leather belt loop hanger and fastening strap and stud are still in place and are in excellent condition. Interestingly the owner has had the fastening strap relocated to a lower point on the long strap so it would not obscure the Award engraving on the pommel.
On the reverse of the back strap you can just make out the stamped maker’s mark, being LFS set across an oak leaf.
It appears it is rare to find a strap with a maker’s mark, but I can’t find any reference so the makers name?
The blade measures 5.4” (13.6cm) long and the knife is 9.5” (24.2cm) in total length.
It weighs 295g.
I have never seen an Award HJ Knife before in all my collecting years and know it is one of the rarest you will ever see.
Please see my pictures for the details of the condition, which complement this description.
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