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WW I US Mark One M1918 Trench Knife AU LION Fighting Dagger Dirk

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This Relic of WW I Has Been Sold. Thank you!
 
BRONZE MODEL 1918 MK I US TRENCH KNIFE ~ Au Lion
FIGHTING DIRK DAGGER

 


Presented is a very rare, brass hilt authentic WW I MK I Trench Knife. It was made by the French firm, Au Lion, under contact to the U.S. government and was the only knife of this type to see service during World War One. The design  also was put to good use in WW II and up to Vietnam until supplies were depleted. The handle is made of heavy solid brass with large elliptical gross guard, a knuckle guard and includes the distinctive "skull crusher" pommel nut on the butt end of the hilt. The original US design of this nut is eight sided, but the French version uses a four sided nut and a six inch double side blade vs. 6 3/4". This example has a sharp fighting edge and modified crossguard with the obverse side trimmed off in the field. A contemporary metal scabbard is  included.
 
The original manufacturers were Au Lion in France and Landers, Frary and Clark (L,C&F) in America. It was also manufactured by US firms Henry Diston & Sons, and a VERY few by Onida Community, Ltd.
 
When WW II started, the Mark One was the only combat knife available, and it was issued to early paratroopers and Rangers. It was a common practice in WW II to modify the Mark One by cutting one or both sides of the elliptical guard back so the knife would lie flat against the side. Individuals also would cut the knuckles off, leaving finger grooves. Since the scabbards tended to break the prongs, many Mark One knives were fitted with replacement scabbards.
 


       Front and back of knuckle guard. Note the trimmed edge
 
 
Major Eugene McNary of the American Expeditionary Force designed and patented a knife named the US Mark One. Many people call this knife the "1918", since that date is cast into the handle, along with the makers initials, but is not accurate. His knife had a 6 3/4" double cutting edged blade, and a handle made of cast brass with knuckle guards. The butt of the handle had a conical nut that held the blade in the handle, and acted as a "skull crusher". The knuckles were formed into individual finger guards, which were intended to prevent the user from dropping the knife in combat. The knuckles had small spikes on each bow, both to do damage done to an opponent, and to prevent the opponent from grabbing the knife hand.
 
THE AU LION MARK I TRENCH KNIFE: Major McNary contracted with the French company of Au Lion to make a version of the Mark One in France since the U.S. companies needed time to tool up for production. This Au Lion version has a handle made of bronze, not the brass used on the American version. The knuckles have a more rounded shape with spikes. The French version  is slightly smaller using a six inch blade from a French issue trench knife, and is marked with a reclining lion, and the name Au Lion on the ricasso.
 
The predecessor to this knife was the US Model 1917 “Knuckle Duster” Trench Knife. It really wasn't a knife because the blade was a 9 3/4" triangular "spike". The handle was wood, and the guard was made of steel turned down on the edges to form a series of spikes in the knuckle bow. The US Model 1917 “Knuckle Duster” Trench Knife was not popular with the troops because it didn't have a cutting edge and couldn't open rations, slice rope, or cut wood etc. It was large and bulky and did not feel comfortable and solid in a soldier’s hand. It simply was not versatile enough to be an effective combat knife.
Trench knives are either purpose-made weapons, or are made from cut-down (shortened) bayonets or swords. They are intended for close-quarter fighting with the original designs originating in the trench warfare of the First World War, and maybe earlier.
DIMENSIONS:
 
LOA    10 3/4"                   Hilt       4 3/4" L x 2 3/4" W x 3/4" T  
Blade  6" L x 1" W x 3/16" T        Weight  14 oz
 
                   Knuckle guard hilt
   Obverse side of blade. Maker's mark
               Major McNary's patent application drawing
FOR SALE IN THE UNITED STATES ONLY. THIS KNIFE IS SOLD AS A COLLECTIBLE FOR DISPLAY ONLY AND THE OFFER IS VOID IN STATES PROHIBITED BY LAW. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BUYER TO KNOW THE LAWS OF THEIR STATE. A person purchasing an edged weapon warrants that are an adult and are under no legal restrictions which would prohibit their ordering, owning, possessing, or transferring those items under applicable federal, state or local law. NO SHIPPING TO CA, MA, NY, DE

OUR UNCONDITIONAL NO NONSENSE GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within five days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. A prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Unfortunately, shipping charges are not included in this offer and are non-refundable unless due to our error.

International buyers welcome, but must inquire first.  You are responsible for knowing the laws covering the import of edged weapons into their countries. We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Estonia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Nova Scotia, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.

Copyright 2009 by Land And Sea Collection™, All Rights Reserved 

 This is an exceptional fighting knife. Consequently it should appeal to the most sophisticated collector who desires the most unusual and best.