LUFTGRAV #37507 Luftwaffe Gravity Knife – SMF
The activator lever and accompanying parts are stamped “819” which is matching throughout this piece.
The grip plates are of a fine walnut and are in brand-new condition with outstanding vertical grains. The marlin spike has the original tip and has a waffenamt in the corner. The stickbird has a number “5” in his belly.
The blade is in factory new condition, never having been sharpened and easily retaining 100% of the original grain. There is one tiny touch to the edge just upward from the trademark, but it is nothing. The reverse ricasso is etched with the familiar seated king trademark of the SMF firm, as well as the German word for stainless steel, “Rostfrei”.
If you are looking for a perfect Gravity Knife in unused condition with outstanding strong springs, this example is for you; it's a real beauty!
LUFTGRAV #37315 Luftwaffe Take-down Gravity Knife, RB Nr. 0/0561/0020
The Gravity Knife is the style with all blued parts, with the exception of the springs, which are in nickel finish. The removable throat device has perfect blue finish and is complete with the arrow pointing downward; this arrow indicates the direction to remove the throat for cleaning purposes, once the release button is pushed. After removing the throat, the steel area beneath is also arrow-marked. In addition, this lower surface is stamped, "810", which matches the number stamped on the bottom butt plate of the throat. The knife then spreads apart revealing the blade nicely tucked in the sliding crevice area. The blued activator is numbered, "25". It is not unusual for these numbers not to match.
The marlin spike retains its original factory point, and is a waffenamt in the corner with a stick bird eagle with the number "5" in his belly. The walnut grip plates are a lustrous wood, having prominent grain and being in choice mint condition.
The blade falls out perfectly when the activator switch is pushed. It is a real beauty, being mirror bright and still retaining all of the original grain; a real pleasure to gaze upon. There is a sharp edge on the blade, but it appears to be factory done. There are a couple of extremely minor age signs on the badge surface, but they are minor and this blade still grades at virtually mint. The reverse ricasso is etched, "RB Nr. 0/0561/0020".
This great take-down piece has mint blued finish, mint grip plates and mint blade. Don't know what more a body could want! Fabulous example.
LUFTGRAV #36402 Luftwaffe Takedown Gravity Knife – Paul Weyersburg
The mounts throughout this knife have a blued finish. The bluing is still just about all there, thinning on the edges throat area. The activator lever is marked “92”, with the numbers on the throat piece at the bottom of the butt plates are “98”. It is not unusual to see mismatched numbers on gravity knives.
The grip plates are very attractive, being the walnut type. They have very fine grain, which seem to run at a 45 degree angle on the obverse, with the densely grained reverse plate has them running north to south. A really good look!
The throat is marked with a arrow on the obverse, indicating that the throat will come off; a corresponding arrow below points upward, further indicating that this is a takedown knife. On these mounts I noticed the number “965” is stamped. The disassembly push button works well.
The marlinspike is in good condition, and appears to have the original tip. It is marked with a stickbird waffenamt with a “5” in his belly.
The blade comes out of the knife perfectly, but sticks in place when the lever is pushed for the retrieval; if it is is given a little nudge it retracts fine. Perhaps this could be adjusted with a little oil in the right place. The blade itself is in good condition, still being bright and having lots of surface grain. It rates in Near Mint condition, with some signs of usage but with no visible sharpening. The reverse ricasso is etched with double ovals containing the firm's name and location “Paul Weyersburg & Co./ Solingen”.
A nice gravity here, showing some period use but remaining in collectible condition.
Excellent Plus. $1,095.00
This Luftwaffe Gravity Knife is apparently ONE OF THE later versons producedas it has a combination of blued and nickel plated parts. The throat assemblage is in a blue finish as is the spring for the blade. The activator lever appears to be nickel, as does the marlin spike. The activator lever is marked with a number "1", as well as the number "85". The blue surfaces of the throat area contrast with the lighter tones of the four rivets which hold the part together.
The marlin spike is still in good condition, appearing to have the original point ,and it is waffenamt in the corner, with the stickbird with a "5" in his belly. The springs of both parts are nice and tight on this gravity knife. The blade is still mostly bright, and still retains almost all of its original grain. It has been sharpened along the edges though, but it is not too bad. This blade grades at excellent to excellent plus. The reverse of the blade is etched with the seated king trademark. The king holds an upward pointing sword, and is seated on the firm's initials, "SMF/SOLINGEN". Beneath is the German word for stainless steel, "ROSTFREI". A good gravity knife here, that works well and will continue to fuction well for a long time.
This Luftwaffe Gravity Knife is in good overall condition, having nickel fittings throughout. The nickel is in good shape, the throat fitting having the original owner’s initial “A” scratched into both sides of it. The blade release activator is numbered “2”, as well as “655”. The marlin spike is in good shape and is waffenamt with the stick bird having a “5” in his belly. The grip plates of this example are a good dark walnut and they have a pleasing grain, showing some minor usage signs.
The blade is as good as you will ever see. This mint condition example has full original graining and precise shape. A beautiful example here! The reverse ricasso is darkly etched with the seated king trademark. The king holds an upward pointed sword, while sitting on the firm’s initials, “S.M.F.”. Beneath this in an arch shape is the town, “Solingen”, and beneath this the German word for stainless steel, “Rostfrei”.
A very nice gravity knife here, with good working springs.
This Luftwaffe Gravity Knife is made of all polished nickel parts and it is the non-takedown type. All of the nickel parts are in good condition throughout. The springs are nice and tight on both the marlin spike and blade. The activator is stamped with a number one and also, “54” underneath this number. The marlin spike has the usual stick bird waffen amt in the lower corner and the bird has a, “5” in his belly. The grip plates are a good oak solid wood and the reverse plate is in good condition throughout. The obverse plate has a gauge cut across the letter portion of the wood as well as a matching type cut across the upper area of the same grip. I do not know why this was done but a lot of things can happen during wartime and perhaps boredom.
The blade of this example works well and it is still bright. It also has quite a bit of crossgraining in the finish. Unfortunately, someone has done a sharpening job and the sharpening was not done too well as some of it has scored the blade itself. It is not bad though and this blade still rates at excellent to excellent plus. In fact, some of this could be taken out if somebody wanted to work with it. All in all though, a good original gravity knife.
Excellent Plus, Plus. $750.00
This Luftwaffe Gravity Knife appears to have been a nickel-plated version, but possibly, it was produced later in the war as the mounts are a steel base. The mounts are all in good condition, however, there is a light coating of rust that is noticeable on the throat area as well as on the back strap and some area around the marlinspike. It gives the gravity knife an unusual look, as the flush mount four rivets on each side of the throat area stand out against the dark background created by the toned metal base. The springs on both the activator lever and the marlinspike are strong and work nicely. The activator lever is marked “318”. The marlinspike appears to have the original tip and it is waffenamt in the corner.
The grip plates of this example are a fine toned oak and they are in perfect condition, showing very little wear. The blade of this example, on the obverse, is bright and in mint condition with full grain. The reverse of the blade also is still quite nice, although there are some sharpening scars that show about ¾ of the way down. Other than these scars, the reverse blade is still in fine condition also. This blade is etched with the SMF logo that features the seated king holding an upward pointing sword. Below the king are the firm’s initials, “SMF”, and the location town of “Solingen”. Below this is the German word for stainless steel, “Rostfrei”. A nice gravity knife here that with a little effort could have the finish brought up, but actually I kind of like it the way it is. The choice would be up to the next purchaser, as I’m quite sure this finish would clean up.
The nickel parts throughout this SMF Gravity Knife are in outstanding condition. It is interesting to note that the activator lever is not plated but is in a blued steel form. This activator lever is stamped, “01” on the outside portion of it and on the inner portion it appears to be stamped, “590”. The grip plates are real beauties being a very fine oak wood having a nice grain in the surfaces. These grip plates virtually show no wear at all. The marlin spike still has its original tip and it is waffen amt in the corner with a stickbird having a number “5” in his belly. The throat of this example still has good smooth surfaces which is a sure sign of little usage.
The blade activator works well and this beautiful blade still has 100% of its original crossgraining. It has never been sharpened and remains in a mint state. The blade reverse is etched with the seated king trademark. The king positions his posterior over the firm’s initials, “SMF” and carries an upward pointed sword. Below the image is the town, “Solingen” and beneath this the German word for stainless steel, “Rostfrei”. A very fine gravity knife here. I suspect the blued version activator lever was probably using up of parts inventory.
Mint Minus. $1,095.00
This maker mark for a Gravity Knife is extremely difficult to find. I have sold a lot of gravity knives over the years, and I have only had one F. & A. Helbig example in the past. If there is someone out there that is specializing in gravity knife types, this example should be of prime interest.
Holding the knife next to the Weyersberg and SMF entries, it is interesting to note that the mounts are of a slightly different shape. The throat is different, as is the activator lever and also the grip plates are of a flatter nature than the other types. These aspects all make for a unique item here. The mounts are all nickel plated type, and they are in good shape throughout. There are no number stampings anywhere on this gravity knife. The activator lever spring works well, as does the marlinspike spring. I note also that the marlinspike appears thicker than the types used by the other makers. This marlinspike is stamped on the corner with a waffenamt. The waffenamt is the standard stick bird with a "5" in his belly. The grip plates appear to be walnut, but as stated above, they are flatter in nature than the more curved types used by other producers. These grip plates are in excellent condition throughout, having no flaws or problems.
The blade of this piece unfortunately has some fairly good edge sharpening. The sharpening does go up slightly also into the blade surfaces. In the areas not scarred by the sharpening though, the blade is still factory bright and has all of its crossgraining. The maker mark is very lightly etched on the reverse ricasso, being a double oval. The ovals contain the firm's name "F & A Helbig" and their location below. About half of the maker mark has been worn off by the sharpening. Below the maker mark is the word for stainless steel "ROSTRFEI". An interesting example here, in good working order, and a very rarely seen maker.