A Chinese Nationalist Air Force Officer's Dagger c.1940
A Chinese Nationalist Air Force Officer's Dagger c.1940 - Measuring 375 mm with the scabbard on, this dagger features a 250 mm nickel-plated steel blade, magnetic, with dull edges, remaining bright and crisp, and having a semi-sharp tip. It is maker marked in Chinese characters on the reverse ricasso. The blade exhibits scratches overall, common to extraction and return to the scabbard, along with scattered wear spots in the plating, maintaining a natural shine, the blade rating very fine. Black leather washer at the blade's base has hardened but remains intact. Gilt brass crossguard illustrates a spread-winged eagle "bird of prey" on both sides and sits loose against the adjoining ferrule, the ferrule held in place via two brass screws, one of which has had the top eliminated. Handle is fabricated from age-toned yellowed celluloid, with six rows of wire wrap, exhibiting a crack at the pommel end. Gilt brass moulding of an eagle forms the back spine and pommel of the hilt, the head of the eagle with a red gemstone as its right eye, the left one having been lost to time, the dagger measuring 365 mm in length. Accompanied by its nickel-plated steel scabbard, magnetic, gilt brass fittings form the chape and locket, each held firmly in place by a single brass screw. The chape illustrates feathered wings, while the locket illustrates a Chinese plum flower floral motif. Scabbard measures 261 mm in length, exhibiting extensive plating loss and surface wear on the reverse, exposing the underlying steel base. Near very fine. Footnote: This dress dagger was approved for wear by officers of the Chinese Nationalist Air Force at the time of the Sino-Japanese war of 1937-1945. It is rather crudely made, with a great deal of variation apparent among surviving examples.