This is a beautiful WWI era German custom engraved DWM 1st issue altered Model 1906 Navy Luger. Original authentic WWI/WWII German memorability is extremely difficult to find and/or obtain. With authentic German Navy items being extremely scarce with "authentic, documented" German U-Boat Commander items just impossible to find anywhere as most of it went to the deep-six during the war. The only thing that saved this particular Luger is that the U-Boat Commander, Capt. Hans Reith, took command of U-190 on 22 Feb 1945 and was ordered by Admiral Doenitz, just three months later, on May 8th, 1945, to surrender his boat, as the war had ended. He surrendered to the Canadian Navy in the Bay of Bulls, Newfoundland, on May 14, 1945, thereby preserving this beautiful historic Luger. Hans Reith joined the German Navy in 1939 and went directly to the U-Boat service where he stayed until the end of the war. He started his Navy career on U-105 from early/mid 1942 until the early part of 1943 (later transferring to U-190 as U-105 was sunk in June 1943). Reith took command of U-105 in June 1944. Since this is a WWI era navy Luger it is assumed that this may have been presented to Hans Reith by a relative or close family member after he took command of U-105. The Luger is profusely engraved over 98% of the metal surfaces with a typical Germanic "Oak Leaf and Acorn" engraved pattern with a punch-dot background mixed with geometric borders. This wonderful Luger has three gold inlays: 1) chamber area has a small circular inlay engraved into a submarine, 2) top of the toggle has a small circular gold inlay with the initials "HER" for Hans E. Reith and 3) rear of the frame has a small circular gold inlay engraved "U-190". During the engraving the Luger was fitted with a set of new walnut grips that have been checkered with a deluxe heavy/coarse type of checkering that has a unique elongated checkered pattern (obviously intended to provide a better grip). The Luger is an original pre-WWI Model 1906 DWM first Issue/altered Imperial German Navy Luger. These were the regulation pre-WWI Imperial German Navy issue Luger as used through the Weimar era and even into WWII. The model is an early version that has the altered/second pattern with the upper safety area marked "GESICHERT", "GELADEN" marked extractor. The left side of the barrel extension has the double Crown over "M" proofmarks with the smaller Imperial "Crown" firing proof, repeated again on the left side of the barrel. The frame and underside of the barrel are correctly numbered with the full serial number. The last two digits of the serial number (77) are correctly stamped on the various small parts. The back of the grips are restamped (77) with the right side also stamped "11911". The Luger retains its original issue matching Navy magazine that has the nickel plated body with the wooden base with the concentric circles on the ends. It is correctly stamped length wise on the wooden base with the serial number (277). This exquisite Navy Luger is complete with one spare unnumbered/unmarked Navy magazine, two boxes (32 rds total) of original WWII (1944 dated) German 9mm Luger ammunition in original cardboard boxes. The labels are correctly marked "Pistolenpatronon/9mm/1944" with manufacture information. Also included is an original German Navy wood handled brass cleaning rod, pin punch and German Navy id-tag marked "Kriegsmarine/19478/45K". The Luger and accessories are all housed in a French fitted walnut display case. The inside of the lid is adorned with five different German medals: 1) larger submariner badge; 2) small brass submariner badge; 3) 1933 Adolf Hitler Party rally badge; 4) Silver Iron Cross service badge marked on the back "fur treue dienfte"; 5) small unidentified silver badge with a Latin saying on the face. Four books are also in the lot: 1) an original 1940 edition of "U-Boot Fahrer Von Heute" (U-Boot Men of Today) by Joachim Schepke, who was the seventh recipient of the Knights Cross with Oakleaves; 2) original 1934 dated German U-Boot book entitled "U-38, Wikingerrfahrten eines deutschen U-Boots" (U-38/Viking Cruises One German U-Boot) by Max Balentiner with a handwritten note inside the cover, in which this book was given to Erhard on his 12th birthday from his grandparents January 1935; 3) a very interesting 1940 ship identification book of all the World's Navies entitled "WEYERS TASCHENBUCH DER KRIEGS FLOTTEN 1940." (This book is quite interesting in that it goes country by country, listing the various classes of ships in each countries inventories to include tonnage, armament and in many cases actual pictures of each ship.) Also included is an untitled pre-WWII photo album that shows numerous photos of German Naval officers aboard various ships.
Very fine as professionally embellished and engraved, with 99% of the rust type blued finish overall. The engraving is excellent and the various proof marks and markings are also all in exceptional condition. The Luger as noted has all matching numbers to include the one magazine and the renumbered grips. The case, various medals and books are all in very good to excellent condition. This is an excellent grouping of original WWII era unique items complete with a superb and one of a kind engraved German naval Luger.
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