Finding an Original Trench Knife

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My buddy found this over the weekend. $100, is this original? And where can I find an original for myself? Wasn't sure where else to post this.

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Looks a little bit too nice to be over 100 years old. I would have thought the casting around the finger would be worn smooth over the years. The leather also looks a bit new. Even if it snot original, it looks good. The one below was selling for $995

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Where can I find these for sale? I'm willing to pay a very good price for one. Is it worth getting an original or is a replica just as good?
 

JohnVee

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Mine aren't Au Lion, but I can definitively say that that sheath is not original to it. Stamped M6, that would have gone to an M3 trench knife that started production in 1943, so the blade itself would have fit without problem due to the comparable blade dimensions. All of the 1918 knives would have originally had a metal scabbard with hooks to fit the belt of the period. Note that I'm not commenting on whether the scabbard is actual WW2 production (but I'd wager it isn't).

For the knife, I'd bet that it's a repro. I've never seen one with a ricasso (the unsharpened waist between the guard and the sharpened portion) that is similar. The Au Lion knives are the most commonly seen counterfeits that I'm aware of.

I don't claim to be an expert by any stretch, so don't think I'm trying to preach absolutes here. I sure hope it proves to be an original for you!

Mine:
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JohnVee

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Where can I find these for sale? I'm willing to pay a very good price for one. Is it worth getting an original or is a replica just as good?
You can try the usual military auction sites; I don't have any places that I know of specifically for blades but they're out there, too. Originals are always desirable but out of the range of most people, especially considering that they're considered illegal in many places, either by being double edged or brass knuckles depending on your local laws.
 
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You can try the usual military auction sites; I don't have any places that I know of specifically for blades but they're out there, too. Originals are always desirable but out of the range of most people, especially considering that they're considered illegal in many places, either by being double edged or brass knuckles depending on your local laws.
I appreciate the knowledge and answers! I can always count on Mud to know a lot about a ton of different things.
 

e9999

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This is one of those things where I bet there are 10 fakes around for one original, unfortunately...

Disclaimer: I know nothing about these knives. But one thing that caught my eye is the "AULION" stamp. I don't know how the original stamp looked like, but I will say that that stamp looks suspicious in that in French it should be 2 words not one. Like "AU LION" not "AULION" to make sense in the language. Of course, it's possible that some hapless US procurement guy in 1918 mandated the latter stamp notwithstanding, but that seems farfetched. The brass also looks too good, with no patina.

Having said that, for $100 that seems like a good deal even for a copy if it's reasonable enough quality to look OK on a display . But if I were to display it, I'd put some fake patina on the brass to match the (probably fake) blade patina.
 
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Yeah I don't think an original knife would make its way into a relics stand, but I love the look of the replica version my buddy found, id love to find an original.
 
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This may help:
https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/196382-m1918-mk-i-trench-knife-comparing-originals-to-your-“suspect”-knife-thread/

https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/197617-l-f-c-m1918-mk-i-typesvariants-as-seen-in-h-m-cole’s-book-iv-well…-except-for-one/
 

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