SS Officer Honor Degen - WH105
The last addition to the Walter Harzer collection is the SS honor degen numbered and the personal property of this famous SS General and Knight's Cross winner! As with some of the album photos and insignia which came with this grouping, this sword was exposed to the elements when it was buried for safe keeping in a wood box behind Harzer's home. Being such there is some carbon spotting and oxidation on the blade where moisture from the scabbard runners trapped and attracted moisture. In light of that it is still a very collectible edged weapon because of the significance of who it belonged to. Here is the description.
Walter Harzer first appears in the SS Dienstalterliste in 1937, exactly coinciding with the type of construction you would expect to see with his SS honor sword. The hilt components consisting of the ferrule, D ring hand guard, and pommel all of which are plated steel. The plating of the D guard and upper ferrule has held up very nice with just some moderate aging to the surface. Though nearly black with age and patina and hard to see, the underside of the D guard is marked with the SS culture proof stamp. This is typical of these earlier degens and most often seen. The lower ferrules on these transition period swords are most often observed manufactured in a natural muted steel appearance, as with the one on this hilt. The 13 segment wood grip remains in excellent condition, being void of any chips, splits, cracks or missing wood. As par for these grips, the surface shows some wear to the black enamel paint that these handles were coated with. All 12 of the decorative silver wire strands highlighting the segments are secure to the grip and held in place by the back strap running the length of the reverse side of the handle. Lastly, this grip is fitted with an aluminum Assmann produced SS runic. Though the emblem does show some wear to the metal surface and background paint, nothing has been touched up or altered. In spite of being stored in a container buried in the ground, the hilt and grip assembly to this degen has survived pretty damn good, all things considered.
I'm sure Walter Harzer was a bit dismayed when he was finally able to retrieve is prized SS honor sword as well as the other items that he had safely hidden away, prior to the end of the war. While burying them in a container what he thought may have been safe, proved otherwise because we know that the moisture in the ground did affect some of the items, including his sword. The scabbard to this degen remains nice and straight throughout. It is coated with thick black paint showing heavy brush strokes over areas of oxidation. No doubt this was done by Harzer to prevent any further eroding of it's surface. Both upper and lower fittings are totally black with age and have remained in an untouch state. Usually common for the lower fitting on these SS officer's swords, it is a pressed on component. While at the throat end, the upper is held by 2 dome head screws. The original factory black background paint remains in the diamond shapes of the basket weave pattern on the upper fitting. Finally, you can just barely make out the SS Kulturczichen under the encrusted upper lip of this fitting.
Lastly, the blade. Oh I know, it's spotted and dark due to the moisture that the wooden runners once had trapped but with that aside it does have some redeeming factors. This blade remains full length, void of any sharpening, tipping, cutting edged chips, or polishing. It still has the original matte factory surface finish and fortunately no attempt has been made to try to foolishly improve the imperfections which were caused by the improper storage. That is part of this swords history and the result when Harzer wanted to hide one of his most prized possessions. This 33" unmarked blade perfectly matches the length of the scabbard and is exactly what you want to see with any sword. The off white leather original blade washer is in place and butts up against the D guard. It is now all dark with age where it has laid against the upper scabbard fitting for all of these years. Finally, General Harzer's SS number is engraved on the obverse of the blade riccasso; 23101. How cool having that bit of information, tying this actual sword to such a famous SS General and Knight's Cross winner!
Without a doubt, the most important SS edged weapon we have ever had the privilege of offering to the collecting community. Presenting the SS Honor Sword of Standartenfuhrer Walter Harzer. $19,995.00
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