An Italian MVSN "Blackshirts" Model 1925 Dress Dagger
An Italian MVSN "Blackshirts" Model 1925 Dress Dagger - The dagger measures 345 mm in length with the scabbard on, the magnetic blade exhibiting beautiful crossgraining, with the usual in and out runner marks, semi-sharp edges and a dull tip, with scattered light contact and surface wear in the plating. The blade measures 202 mm in length and rating better than very fine. The crossguard has ball finials on either end, stamped in its centre "A 36" on the obverse and "MVSN" on the reverse, the handle is wood and painted black, with bronze embedded fasces on both sides, the fasces exhibiting nice detail and light contact. The handle spine and pommel are magnetic and plated, exhibiting contact marks and surface wear from active use, the dagger measuring 323 mm in length. The black painted steel body of the scabbard is magnetic, featuring a ball finial, along with two sets of inset bands supporting the integral belt loop, with scattered bubbling in the paint and surface wear, the scabbard measuring 219 mm in length. Very fine. Footnote: The Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale (MVSN = Voluntary Militia for National Security), commonly called the Blackshirts was originally the paramilitary wing of the National Fascist Party and, after 1923, an all-volunteer militia of the Kingdom of Italy. Its members were distinguished by their black uniforms (modelled on those of the Arditi, Italy's elite troops of the First World War) and their loyalty to Benito Mussolini, the Duce (leader) of Fascism, to whom they swore an oath. The founders of the paramilitary groups were nationalist intellectuals, former army officers and young landowners opposing peasants' and country labourers' unions. Their methods became harsher as Mussolini's power grew, and they used violence and intimidation against Mussolini's opponents. In 1943, the MVSN was integrated into the Italian armed forces.