LUFTGRAV #35935A Luftwaffe Gravity Knife – SMF
This Luftwaffe Gravity Knife shows overall period use, but all of its components are in good condition and the springs still work very well. The parts are all of nickel construction. The activator lever on this knife is marked with the numbers, “1” and “543”. The marlinspike is in good condition, and is marked with a waffenamt, the early stickbird type with a number “5” in his belly.
The grip plates are of walnut, having a few “tap-taps” on the lower obverse facing, but they are not too bad. The reverse remains in near perfect condition, however.
The blade is still bright, although there has been some sharpening along the edge. There are some very faint traces of the original grain, but most of it has gone to time. The reverse ricasso is etched with the seated king trademark of the SMF firm, positioned above the firm’s initials, as well as the production city of “Solingen” and the stainless steel qualifier, “Rostfrei”. The “r” is missing from this word due to the sharpening of the blade.
A good example here that shows period wear while still working well.
LUFTGRAV #35971 Luftwaffe Gravity Knife – Paul Weyersberg
This Luftwaffe Gravity Knife shows usage throughout the grip plates, having some hits noticeable on both sides. It also appears to have some scratching on the reverse plated, which was most likely the original owners name, but it is tough to read now; it could read "Hivner", but is very faint and even under magnification quite difficult to make out. Unfortunately this gravity knife had an old repair to the blade springs, which consisted of a rivet that was keeping the upper portion of the spring in place. This rivet appears to have given way, and there is no longer any tension on the blade. The blade, however, is still capable of moving in and out of the handle. The activator lever is stamped with the number, “63”.
This is all kind of a shame, because the blade of this example is in pristine, Mint condition; there is no evidence of sharpening and all of the original grain is intact. It is amazing to see a Luft Gravity blade in this kind of shape! The reverse ricasso is marked with the double oval logo of the Weyersberg firm, with the firm's name and location of “Solingen” inside. Below the trademark is the German term for stainless steel, “Rostfrei”.
This gravity knife, because of the condition of the blade, would be a prime candidate for restoration. The person that we used to use to do Luft Gravity restoration, Tony Bauer, has retired, so I am not sure where you can get it repaired. I know there is a website on gravity knives, and I'm sure they will be able to put you into contact with someone who can repair this spring. This piece is priced accordingly, and if the next owner should have it restored there will still be plenty of money left to enjoy a nice example at a reasonable price.
Excellent Minus. $195.00
LUFTGRAV #35952 Luftwaffe Gravity Knife – Malsch & Ambronn, Steinbeck
If you are a gravity knife fanatic you will instantly realize that the name Malsch & Ambronn is not one that you have seen as a gravity knife producer. This is the first example that I have had the pleasure to handle. Malsch & Ambronn must have made a small amount of these and, except for this one, they have all disappeared. Normally the gravity knife makers will be Weyersberg, SMF and on a rare occasion you will see an example by Helbig. This is an opportunity for a gravity knife collector to acquire an almost unknown producer’s product.
This gravity knife at first glance looks normal. However if you look closely you’ll notice that the activator lever is of a slightly different shape than the norm. The real difference though in this piece is the fact that the spring on the right side of the knife is not the normal two-piece construction with rivets. Actually this example has one solid spring that runs the full length of the right handle. It is very strange looking but actually works great and was probably more reliable than the rivet retained springs. This spring really works great and it also extends all the way down the full length of the handle and then curves slightly around the end area. There is a small notch on the left end of the spring which I have never seen on other examples.
Somehow, the marlin spike is also tied into this great spring. The marlin spike on this example is waffenamt just like the norm. The waffenamt is the stickbird with number “5” in its belly. I notice also that the rivets which hold the activator lever are dome head which is not the case on normal activators where the rivets are ground flat. It is also interesting that none of the parts on this example have any numbers.
Unfortunately someone has ground this blade somewhat, and then it has been cleaned up over the years. It is kind of a shame but the grinding or polishing (or whatever was done) took out most of the logo of this firm. The Malsch & Ambronn logo consists of a man working a water pump. The good part is though that the right bottom portion of the pump as well as the body of the working man is still all there. It is certainly enough to tell without a doubt that this example was produced by Malsch & Ambronn. Below the remains of the logo is the commonly seen word for stainless steel, “Rostfrei”.
A great opportunity here to acquire an ultra rare maker for a gravity knife; it could be the only one out there!
This Luftwaffe Gravity Knife is the type with fine nickel finish throughout. The activator lever is stamped "435&". The marlin spike is in good condition, having fine, original point. Stamped into the bottom area where the marlin spike is hinged is a stick bird waffenamp. The waffenampt appears to have the number 5" in his belly. The spring mechanisms for both the spike and the blade all are in good working order. The grip plates are a fine darker brown oak wood. They show a little bit of mild usage, but overall are in good condition.
The blade is a very fine example, still being factory bright and having nearly all of the cross graining still intact across its surfaces. Only the very edge of the blade has been sharpened, and this was not done with any scarring on the edges. This blade easily rates in near full mint condition. The reverse ricasso is etched with the double ovals. These ovals contain the firm's name and location "Paul Weyersberg& Company Solingen". Beneath is the German word for stainless steel "Rostfrei". A nice example here, that will go well with your Luftwaffe collection.
Excellent Plus, Plus. $995.00
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 the nickeled type and all nickel fittings are in excellent condition throughout. The activator lever is stamped "154". The springs are good in both the marlin spike and the blade. The marlin spike is deeply stamped with a stick eagle bird having the number 5 in his stomach. The grip plates are a lighter color oak wood tan. They show only modest usage and are in perfect condition.
The blade is still bright throughout and does have most of its original cross graining in the finish. The original owner has sharpened the blade and some of the sharpening effort has gone into the blade surfaces. Overall, though, it is not bad and this blade still easily grades at Excellent Plus. The reverse ricasso pictures the seated king with a sword pointing upward. The king is resting on the firm's initials "SMF". Below is an arch-shaped location town "Solingen". Below this is the German word for stainless steel Rostfrei. A good, sound example here.
This fine example has all nickel fittings and shows only mild usage. The springs are still good throughout. The activator lever is stamped "22". The same stamping appears on the spring mechanism attached to the lever. The marlin spike is in good condition and is waffenamt with an early style stick bird with a "5" in his belly. The grip plates of this example are an attractive, nicely graining oak. They are in choice condition, showing only minimal usage.
The blade is still nice and bright, having most of the original cross graining. There is just the slightest sharpening evident on the edge, but this is to be expected, as most gravity knives were sharpened by the owner. It was tastefully done however, and this blade still grades in near mint condition. The reverse ricasso is etched with the double oval trademark which traps the firm's name and location "Paul Weyersberg & Company Solingen". Inside is a downward pointing sword placed between two wheat shafts. Below this is the German word for stainless steel, "Rostfrei". A fine example here which will fit very well in any Luftwaffe collection.
Excellent Plus, Plus. $895.00
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.