M 1927 Cavalry Enlisted or NCO Shashka Sword, early model with "CCCP" decorated pommel, dated 1940; complete "rig" with Soviet era leather tassel and hanger belt.
Early variation with beautifully etched florals, hammer and sickle, and "CCCP" on the pommel - much more ornate than the later, wartime economy versions of this sword having a plain pommel. Wood scabbard wrapped in black leather - as opposed to lacquered fabric like most of the later, Patriotic War era issues - with brass fittings; dark brown hardwood grip. Overall length when in scabbard is 39"; the blade measures 31 ¾ ". The factory sharpened blade shows the early maker mark ZIK, abbreviation for or "Zlatoust Instrument Factory", and the 1940 date on one side of the throat. The other side of the ricasso shows stamped Cyrillic marks "M 15kг" (the latter four characters referring to the quality standard of the steel.) A matching stylized capital letter M also appears on the hilt, underside of the pommel, as well as the locket and chape of the scabbard. Mounted on the scabbard is a Mosin-Nagant bayonet of late model corresponding with the production period of the sword.
The shashka is in very good to excellent condition, absolutely outstanding for a Soviet sword of this early vintage. The factory sharpened blade is superb, very clean and bright, free of any traces of the usual oxidation or pitting, there are just a couple of tiny notches to the cutting edge which are not easy to notice even at close examination. The scabbard leather shows a few small nicks, scuffs and other customary marks that normally result from simply being carried about by a soldier or banging against a metal saddle fitting while riding. There are no areas where the leather is loose and only a couple of small spots where it's rubbed down to the dark wood from regular use.
The brass fittings exhibit attractive, untouched age patina which looks the same on all the brass parts. There are some darker areas, especially on the pommel, but they look organic and do not detract. The pommel also has a few small knocks to the edge that are not too detractive or noticeable; all the brass fittings are overall far better preserved and have much less wear than usual on shashkas of WW2 period. The dark hardwood grip is completely intact, free of cracks, chips or worm damage; it retains most of the original varnish.
The serial-numbered bayonet is in excellent condition, with nearly all of its factory finish intact. The leather tassel and hanger belt are of early post-war vintage; both show Marxist Factory stamps. Both are in superb condition, free of soiling or significant wear; the leather is still soft and pliable.
A great example of one of the world's most iconic edged weapons.
/See Webster and Nelson, Uniforms of the Soviet Union, 1918 - 1945, page 256, top/
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