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Prototype 1 of 1
Pictured in Windrums "Clandestine Edged Weapons"
Marked "X1" and "DMF"
An extremely rare WW2 World War 2 O.S.S. Double Edged Smatchet Prototye Marked X1 in 100% original condition. Measuring 17 inches in length it is a very unique and a rare example of a clandestine knife that never went beyond the prototype phase of development. Also known as the FAIR SWORD. ( Apparently another example marked FAIR SWORD is also in the collection of the noted scholar and author Ronald Flook) This is the actual knife as published in "Military Knives a Reference Book" in the article "The Fair-Sword Fairbairn's Improved Smatchet" by William Windrum. Page 108. Refer also to Dr. John Brunner's "OSS Weapons" and you will note that the original patent drawing dated May 29, 1945 as submitted by W.E. Fairbairn ET AL and reproduced in the book shows this exact pattern of knife. If needed, I will supply the winning bidder copies of:
1) The Military Knives Article on the Fair Sword
2) The 1997 Knife World Article by Ronald Flook " Origins of Double Edged Smachet" which includes the patent drawing, again illustrating this exact pattern of clandestine knife, as submitted by Fairbairn. The article documents that the source of the declassified patent drawings was none other than Col. Rex Applegate himself and goes into considerable detail on the development of this weapon. Seems that being introduced late in the war and the fact that smatchets had already been produced in quantity were factors in the OSS not adopting the FAIR SWORD as a production item for clandestine use. Mr Flook wrote: "By February 1944 a pre-production model was submitted by Fairbairn ...in a memo dated 21 February 1944 he wrote to General Donovan describing the FAIR SWORD.."
As noted this massive weapon is a double edged design with a an interesting bird's head style pommel. The aluminum pommel is fastened with two flush bronze rivets and there is a lanyard hole in the center. This example is in wonderful unissued condition. The blade is full length with no nicks or dings and the point is 100% intact. There is no pitting to the blade. Any discolouration you see is due to a vey old coat of varnish that was applied to the blade only. There is an even patina throughout -any glare is due to camera flash. The example is marked X1 on the pommel, guard and ricasso. The ricasso also bears the marking DMF. The DMF designation is something of a mystery-perhaps a workshop providing services to DOD or the OSS? A very few other examples are known to exist. At least one collector mentioned to me that he had seen a similar example at the Col. Rex Applegate estate auction. The grip is madeof oak and has no cracks or separations etc. All knife components are tight and in good order.
Measurements: overal massive length 17 inches or 432mm. Blade: 10 3/4" or 272mm. Grip just under 6 inches or 151mm. Guard is a solid 1/4" or 7 mm thick and 2 1/2" or 62mm long. This example is housed in a Medical Corps bolo scabbard marked US