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     Home > SOVIET MILITARIA > Soviet Swords, Daggers & Bayonets

    Army (Land Forces) officer dress dagger with leather sheath, dated 1957.

    Army (Land Forces) officer dress dagger with leather sheath, dated 1957.

    The throat is maker marked "ZIK" and serial numbered "БО9446". Nice, medium-toned Bakelite grip. Interestingly, the pommel shows an early version of the Soviet state seal with 16 scrolls representing the number of republics in the USSR although that number had changed to 15 in 1955 (this is not very unusual: we have seen a number of other cases when parts with the old-style insignia that were already in the production line were utilized a year or two after the change).

    There is a maker mark "π" lightly stamped on the leather under the top fitting of the scabbard on the side showing the Kremlin tower.

    This piece is among the last Soviet Army daggers with ZIK maker mark produced prior to the 1958 change in regulations. From that point on, daggers such as this one would be worn only for special occasion e.g. military oath ceremony or honor guard duty. Therefore, after 1958 very few Soviet Army or Air Force officers owned a dagger; the production had largely stopped because the existing stock of daggers was sufficient to fill the need (although a tiny supplemental series of Army daggers with "Bulat" mark was produced in the late 80s).

    Note that the dagger has neither the gold finish found on Soviet daggers of earlier vintage, nor the cheaper gold varnish seen on the later ones, especially the Bulat-marked models. By 1956-57, ZIK factory had been falling ever further behind in fulfilling the demand for daggers from the Soviet Armed Forces and had started "cutting corners" to increase the output. Albeit not as spectacular as the daggers from the first half of the 50s, the "no gilt" models are not common and have their own appeal, especially when compared with the varnished, somewhat cheaper-looking "Bulat".

    The dagger is in excellent condition. The brilliant blade shows only tiny amount in-and-out wear, otherwise perfect and spotless. The scabbard leather is supple, free of significant wear. Most of it still has its original healthy sheen except for a somewhat matte surface on side with the Soviet Army star emblem on the fitting (this side would face outside while the dagger was worn and was provably more exposed to elements); the gloss may be easy to restore using leather rejuvenation products on the market, but we feel that this is completely unnecessary and prefer to keep the dagger just the way it is. The brass parts are very well preserved, showing extremely attractive even toning without noticeable scratches, nicks or blemishes.

    Item# 35897


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