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Paul Muller is famous for his ladder pattern, and later, his 4 band turkish damascus.  Dinger is famous for the pattern found on the Tiger and Fredricus Army and Luftwaffe daggers, some of which bear his tang stamp (this is how we attribute the pattern to him).  The reason that I say that damascus is like a fingerprint is because the specific method used by a damascus smith to forge and etch his steel results in a pattern unique to him alone.  Difficult if not impossible to duplicate.  That is why I can conclusively say that the pattern on this piece is without a doubt the work of Paul Dinger.  The exterior of the dagger is suggestive of WKC, especially the sponge-wire wrapping on the orange handle.  Fittings show very little wear, and some age on the scabbard.  However, the best part about this piece is the blade - a stunningly preserved damascus dagger that is a combination of maidenhair in the center, with smaller rosebud "islands" on the edges.  Anyone who has experience with Dinger pieces will recognize this pattern.  Piece is complete with a 23cm portepee.  Please note - the tang is severely ground to accomodate the grip, and the only identifying mark on the tang is found on the upper area, just adjacent to the blade shoulders - it's a small "E" stamped, which I can only assume stands for "Echt" (the german word for Genuine).  I have seen both "E" and "D" stamped in this fashion.  In summary, if you wish to have a real piece of period damascus, attributable to a specific famous smith, but don't want to spend upwards of $20,000, this is a superlative buy.

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Luftwaffe Dagger with Dinger Damascus Blade#2741

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