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Help Needed with WW1 Trench Knife. Original or Repro?


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I need some guidance for a trench knife that I'm planning on selling. I had it listed on here: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/157519-fs-ww1-us-m1918-trench-knife-au-lion-marked/ . Due to the lack of replies and contradictory opinions that I have received, I figured that it would be worthwhile posting it for discussion. I'm not really a knife guy, so please excuse my ignorance on the subject matter. This knife was bought along with a WW1 painted helmet and gas mask bag (all from the same lady). I've seen two different sized engravings on the handles for the Au Lion knives. Any help is appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance,

Dave

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That's a interesting one, at first look and with the supplied photos ,IMO & I am not that good at au lion types but it looks good . Now if it was a lf& c I can tell the good from bad in a second.

The lion stamp has me a bit concerned , handle looks good . If its a reproduction it's a good one & will need one of the true experts here to decide if its legit .

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Forum Member #1691 since September 2007

Served in the US Army from 1960-80

First Sergeant (Retired)

Vietnam 1967 with 7-15th FA ~ [8"/175mm Gun] First Field Forces

Vietnam 1968 with 1-30th FA ~ [155mm] 1st Cavalry Division [AIRMOBILE]

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Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 30th Field Artillery Regiment in 2018

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Thanks for the links, Danny. They are interesting but neither one are my knife. My knife doesn't have the grooves on the back.

I agree with you Cromwell, the experts' opinions are needed. I think that it's good, but there are those who don't. I don't want to sell this to someone as a good original knife, only to have it turn out to be a good repro. Thanks for the input.

 

Dave

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I'd recommend you check out this page on Frank Trzaska's website. http://www.usmilitaryknives.com/m1918mk1.htm I'm no expert, but there is a knife on that page which looks quite similar to the handle of your knife. Look through the webpage, and you may get a better idea.

 

-John

"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." - Gen. George S. Patton

"The fact that battle is a horrifying spectacle must make us take war more seriously, but not provide an excuse for gradually blunting our swords in the name of humanity. Sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms." - Carl von Clausewitz

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I'd recommend you check out this page on Frank Trzaska's website. http://www.usmilitar...om/m1918mk1.htm I'm no expert, but there is a knife on that page which looks quite similar to the handle of your knife. Look through the webpage, and you may get a better idea.

 

-John

 

John,

I've looked over that page quite a bit. I agree that there is a similar example, but not close enough for me to make a definitive decision.

 

Thanks,

Dave

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I have owned at least 10 or 12 of the Aulion Trench knives and find that there are at least two types of the hilt. one is plain slightly rounded and the other has two flutes on the top. I have also found at least two different size markings on the hilts. Not sure if each size marks went with a particular hilt. I will try to pull out what I have now and see.

I do believe the knife is 100 % original.

 

Ron Norman

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I have owned at least 10 or 12 of the Aulion Trench knives and find that there are at least two types of the hilt. one is plain slightly rounded and the other has two flutes on the top. I have also found at least two different size markings on the hilts. Not sure if each size marks went with a particular hilt. I will try to pull out what I have now and see.

I do believe the knife is 100 % original.

 

Ron Norman

 

Ron,

That would be great if you don't mind looking through your collection. I really appreciate your willingness to help. Thanks.

 

Dave

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Greetings, while I’m definitely not an expert, I do own several variants of these knives. Attached is a picture your knife compared to the Repro referred to on Mr. Trzaska's website. While it’s true the pictures are taken from slightly different angles, I don’t believe you need to be an expert to see they are the exact same fonts/lettering.

 

Yes, there are smaller font-ed versions of the original Au Lions Knuckle’s Lettering out there, but even those do not have the L. F. & C. styled pointed ends on their knuckles as yours and the repro pictured do.

 

I do hope this gets to the point of the originality of the knife in question (At least the knuckled end). This is an expensive hobby and always a case of “buyer beware” with these knives.

 

Yes, of course I’d welcome other’s opinions, I’d only request they kindly share comparative pictures too…..as I’m always ready to learn something new.

 

Regards,

 

Lance

“With a gentleman I am always a gentleman and a half, and with a fraud I try to be a fraud and a half.”

Otto von Bismarck.

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Interesting ! A friend that collects au lions looked over pics and also stated it was a repro or piece knife of some type . The lettering was a issue with him also . WoW these au lions are really deep to study . Mk1 1918 lf&c are easy but not these 1918 mk1 versions

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Dave, I finally had a chance to get out my 1918s (M1) trench knives and I found that I do not currently have the model with the smaller markings, However when I had mine out to compare the hilts I would have to come to the same conclusion that a frend of mine who would have the knowledge, took a look at the pictures you posted and he stated the following :

Blade and nut appear to be real. Hard to tell if the blade may have been reground without comparing it or at least a measurement. The handle is not good. It is from the Japanese made fake that was sold by one of the major knife companies in the 70s. At best the blade is good.

Ron Norman

 

 

 

The points on the knucks are all wrong for an Au Lion.

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A further note: If you will examine a Mark 1 (1918) LF&C you will find the exact lettering as yours with the LF&C Removed. Note on the LF&C the style and size of the " S ". I am told that the copy of the AULION made in the 70s used a mold of the LF&C hilt for the markings with the LF&C blocked out and the knuckles somewhat reshaped.

 

By careful comparison I think this proves the point that the one you have is a hilt from the 1970s repro.

 

 

Ron Norman

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A militaria forum which sells these things has a knife with the same writing as the 'repro' shown above and they are asking $575 for it. I guess one really does have to be pretty sharp about this stuff (no pun intended) before making a purchase. . .

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