Eaton & Cringleford

Rare German wartime dagger and sword unearthed in Eaton

Just Regional
Feb 5, 2014 3 mins read

As the nation prepares to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War, a rare World War Two German officer’s sword and dagger have turned up at a charity valuation day in Eaton, Norwich.

The vicious-looking dagger and the dress sword were brought back from the desert by Eighth Army soldier Captain John Valentine Story – whose daughter, Norwich woman Jackie Story, brought them to a Keys Fine Art Auctioneers valuation day held at Arnolds Keys estate agency in Eaton.

The German wartime memorabilia were among a steady stream of items brought in by local people to be assessed for free by experts, with donations invited for Keys’ and Arnolds Keys’ 2014 charity, Cancer Research UK.

The Reich Labour Corps hewer dagger has a stag horn handle and an engraved metal scabbard, whilst the ceremonial sword has an ornate lion’s head handle.  The weapons have been displayed in the Story family home since the War – but Ms Story has no idea how her father came by them.

“My father was a Desert Rat in the Eighth Army, but after the war he never talked about his experiences,” she said.  “The sword and dagger were on the wall of the family home for as long as I can remember, but I have no idea where they came from originally.”

Capt Story died ten years ago, so Ms Story decided to bring the weapons in for assessment on behalf of her mother, who is still alive.

“There is a huge demand for wartime militaria,” said Keys valuer Paul Goodley.  “For some reason German items are particularly sought after, especially where there is as good a provenance as there is in this case.  A first-hand family story like this brings the items to life.”

Mr Goodley valued the dagger at around £500 and the sword at around £200.

Other interesting items brought in for valuation at the charity day included a five-stone diamond ring (valued at £800-£1000); a pair of Clarice Cliff candlesticks (£80-£100); a Regency inlaid tea caddy (£150-£200); and a Norfolk published print commemorating the Battle of the Nile (£50-£70).

The valuation day was one of a number being held by Keys at Arnolds Keys estate agencies around the county during 2014 to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  The next valuation day takes place in Cromer on Thursday 13th February.

Paul Goodley of Keys and owner Jackie Story with the German sword and dagger at the Eaton valuation day

Paul Goodley of Keys and owner Jackie Story with the German sword and dagger at the Eaton valuation day

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