Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nazis And Recycling

I picked up a piece at an auction back in early July, in a box lot.  I did buy the box lot specifically for this particular item, and was excited to get it. Not sure what the box cost me, but it was under $10, possibly as low as $2. Bought a van load of box lots that day, and spent $175 total, and never paid more than $15 for any lot I bought.

Sort of like a mini-version of a storage locker auction, except you can check out the boxes, most of the time.  Like those sorts of auctions, you get a bunch of junk you can't really use, and sometimes there are surprises.

This item was not a surprise, though. I was pretty sure as to what I was bidding on. Considering the piece, and it's value, I was the only one who did. Not that it is worth big money, but I have tagged it at over $100. Darn good markup. Might be even worth more than that to the right guy, but we'll see.

By now you are thinking:

 "What the heck does any of this have to do with Nazis???"

Patience, my little grasshoppers, patience.

The item I bought the box lot for is pictured below:

It is a very good quality knife, dating from the mid to late 1940s. The sheath is a little chintzy in comparison...which should be your first clue something is "off."

I know, it has a symbol that looks like a Fleur-de-lis on it. So how can it be related to the Nazis of WW2?

Yes, at first glance it might be mistaken for a Boy Scout knife..but, the style of the Fleur-de-lis is not like any of the images the Boy Scouts use.

As a matter of fact, the knife is of a style used by one country's youth group.

Nazi Germany's Hitler Youth.

Actually, the grips ARE actual Hitler Youth grips.

The blade I am not so sure is a Hitler Youth blade, but I will get to that in a later blog,

Here is an enamel pin from the Hitler Youth, shown beside the knife's handle.

And, as you can see from the photo below, it conveniently matches the size and shape of the Fleur-de-lis insert! 

As it turns out, the same enameled logo was used for these knives, but with a post-style back, from what I understand.  

AH, now I recognize the look on a few faces in the crowd!!! I've seen it before. Those of you who are a little...well, devious, may be thinking, "AH, I can "create", a sort of real Hitler Youth knife with this little tip."

Forget it. Ethically, IMHO, it is wrong.

But that is neither here nor there for those of you who lean in that direction.  

I can tell you for a fact that as far as time spent compared to resulting increase in perceived value.....well, it WILL be a waste of your time.  The way these are put together, it is not worth the effort, AND odds are, you will not be able to match some key components with period replacement/period-appearing parts any real collector will not give you ANYTHING for it in the end.
SO, you will end up destroying a good piece that has ready market among militaria & knife collectors as the knife exists now, and in truth you will not really increase the value all that much to begin with...IF you know what you are looking at and how to determine what it is worth by its current composition of parts. 


Going to keep you in suspense, and give you some details in a later blog posting!

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