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eMedals-A Model 1935 Air Defence Dagger of the Austrian Bundesstaat

Item: EU11732

A Model 1935 Air Defence Dagger of the Austrian Bundesstaat

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A Model 1935 Air Defence Dagger of the Austrian Bundesstaat

This is a very fine Model 1935 Air Defence Dagger of the Austrian Bundesstaat. The dagger is constructed out of solid nickel and is therefore quite heavy. The pommel is rounded, bearing resemblance to a crown, with a pointed top. Immediately below it is a loop to hold a portepee. The grip is constructed of painted white wood, is bulbous in the center, and tapers at the upper and lower areas. The paint remains perfectly intact on this grip but has some staining due to age. The cross-guard is shaped in a “V” design and features no insignia on the reverse, and a rounded enamel insert on the obverse. The enamel is in the colours of the Austrian Bundes-flag, and features a bow and arrow symbol in the center. Below the left crossguard there is a small button-assembly catch, which also acts to keep the portepee in place. The scabbard is a nickel plated, steel based type, slanting inward throughout its length, into a round ball at the bottom. There are two small eyelets with hanger rings on the scabbard. In the center is a simulated band, which is beaded, having four round objects which run around the surfaces, representing airplane engines. The blade is a high center ridge type, having dual edges. The tip is needle-like, and there is a short ricasso. The blade is un-sharpened with the surface being matte due to patina and age. There is also some corrosion where the ricasso meets the crossguard. The obverse ricasso (beneath the enamel device) is stamped with the Viennese maker mark “Zeitler Wien VIII”. Footnote: The Austrian Bundesstaat was a short lived government established in 1934. It was run by the “Fatherland’s Front”, which advocated independence from Nazi Germany. However, Austria was annexed to Germany in 1938, bringing about the dissolution of the Bundesstaat. The Austrian Air Defence Daggers are very similar to the Austrian Pilot Daggers, with the only difference being on the bow and arrow image on the enamel inset of the crossguard, as opposed to the reversed triangle roundel on the pilot’s dagger. Furthermore, the scabbard of the pilot’s dagger features a propeller design whereas this dagger has it’s own unique design. Production of these daggers was ultimately stopped when Austria became part of the Third Reich as the Austrian Air Force and Air Defence were attached to that of the Luftwaffe.
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