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1908 1st Issue - Joachim von Ribbentrop Luger
 

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Joachim von Ribbentrop, the son of a German Army officer, was born in Wesel on the Rhine, Germany, on 30th April, 1893. Educated at a boarding school at Switzerland he also spent time in France and England as a child.

 In 1910 he traveled to New York and Boston working at several posts before returning to Deutschland in 1914 at the outbreak of WWI.

 At the outbreak of the First World War Ribbentrop  joined the German Army. While serving with the 125th Hussar Regiment he won the Iron Cross. After being seriously wounded in 1917 Ribbentrop joined the War Ministry and was a member of the German delegation that attended the Paris Peace Conference.

  In May 1932 Ribbentrop joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). He quickly moved up the hierarchy and in 1933 became Hitler's foreign affairs adviser. The following year he established the Ribbentrop Bureau an organization that eventually had a staff of 300 people.

  Adolf Hitler appointed Ribbentrop as the ambassador to London in August, 1936. His main objective was to persuade the British government not to get involved in Germany territorial disputes and to work together against the communist government in the Soviet Union. When Ribbentrop presented his credentials to George VI on 5th February, 1937, the British were outraged when he gave the Hitler salute.

  He also upset the British government by posting Schutzstaffel (SS) guards outside the German Embassy and by flying swastika flags on official cars. Von Ribbentrop was made an honorary SS General by Himler upon orders from Adolf Hitler.  (1030)

 

NOTE: Photographs taken today with the high mega-pixel camera show more than we sometimes can see with the human eye. Magnified close-ups show us tool marks and natural surface conditions that one normally doesn't see in the ordinary handling of the weapon.  Photographs are copyrighted, all rights reserved, any extraction, reproduction or display of gun pictures without the express consent of the Phoenix Investment Arms is strictly prohibited. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

This Luger is know as the 1st Issue Parabellum and was manufactured by DWM, (Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabriken) for the German Imperial Military beginning in 1908 and initially made without a "hold open" (a spring devise mortised into the frame to hold the receiver back after the last round was fired) to save money. This weapon is chambered for 9mm and has a standard 4" (100 mm) barrel with fixed sights and walnut grips. This model has the thumb-down safety, a long sear and no stock lug.   A very unique specimen in good condition with a lot of history in own right for a 100 year old gun without the fact it belonged to a high member of Nazi hierarchy and Foreign Minister of the Third Reich. (1030)

Serial numbers on the 1st issue are unusual that although numbered in the military sequence they were applied as in the civilian (commercial models) "hidden" at the bottom of the side plate, bottom of the locking lever the bottom of the stop lug.

There are two magazines that were found with the Parabellum in the trunk with von Ribbentrop personal belongings. In the gun was an Erfurt magazine from the First World War and the other magazine in the holster is a very clean Mauser magazine with the Eagle 154 proof giving it a "G" Date (1935) origin.

The inside of the grip has had the unit markings ground off.  As a member of the 12th Hussar Regiment Ribbentrop served as an officer was wounded and won the Iron Cross for Bravery. On January 28, 1909 Berlin issued orders regarding marking weapons. This requirement was rescinded in 1916 when it became apparent that captured weapons revealed unit locations. Units responded to this by in some cases stamping over the unit markings or grinding them off. 

 

The Hussars with whom von Ribbentrop fought  in WWI were a light cavalry that were used to influence the battle at strategic times. Employed as reserves, as the spearhead or to deny the enemy the momentum in retreat these highly skilled horsemen were to forbearers of the shock armor later employed by the concepts of the Panzers as developed by Major General Heinz Guderian.

 

In 1910 the proofs began to appear on the right side of the receiver and the serial number was stamped on the left side of the receiver in front of the side plate.  The above configuration testifies to the gun's early production.  Below of the two von Ribbentrop's magazines, one Erfurt proofed and the other Mauser proofed.

ABOVE: The early 1st Issue Parabellums did not have the "hold open" milled into the frame for the spring device that kept the slide back out of battery after the last round was fired.  This was supposed to be a money saving improvement but was soon rejected by the military and nearly all the 1st Issue Military Lugers were returned for modification.  The von Ribbentrop gun gives us a great example of the original configuration of these models.

Joachim von Ribbentrop met Hitler in the fall of 1929. He was well connected with the finance sectors of the German economy.  In 1933 he brought about the meeting between Hitler and Von Papen whereby the pledge of financial help to Hitler assured Von Papen the authority of diplomatic policy.  In 1935 von Ribbentrop negotiated the Anglo-German naval treaty.  Shortly thereafter Belgium declared their neutrality. In 1936 Hitler appointed von Ribbentrop as German Ambassador to Great Britain.

 
Above Left: The cdg code has been attributed to Auwaerter & Bubeck, KG at Koffer & Lederwarenfarbrik with the "4" indicating 1944.  This may attribute to the fact that holster is in such excellent condition with firm white stitching and the leather still very viable after all these years.  Above Right:  Inside the flap of the holster is the printed name of Captain Goldsmith who was the one who liberated von Ribbentrop's personal belongings from the Hotel Krone, Umhauser Austria on May 5th, 1945.  This begins the chain of custody for this pistole.

[Hyperlinks to downloadable receipts & documents; use your browser to return.] Captain Goldsmith sold the gun to Ben Curtis; Ben Curtis sold the gun to Harry Akers, Robert Pope bought the gun from Harry Akers in 1986.  Pope borrowed money from Akers and when his fortune shifted committed suicide in 1987 whereby the gun passed back to Akers who then sold it to Bill Allman in 1989 who in turn sold it to Bobby Simpson (Simpson Ltd, Galesburg IL) where it was acquired by Tom Armstrong (Alexandria VA) in December 1999.

 

On 4th February, 1938, Ribbentrop replaced Constantin von Neurath as Germany's foreign minister. He worked closely with Adolf Hitler in his negotiations with the British and French governments and in August 1939 arranged the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact.

Joachim von Ribbentrop is acknowledged with being instrumental in the negotiations with Stalin in 1939 that forestalled the initiation of a two front war for the Wehrmacht when the agreement was signed with Russian to divide Poland. (Displayed Newsweek magazine in its entirety included with offering)

Von Ribbentrop was dismissed by Admiral Karl Doenitz after Hitler's death and was subsequently taken prisoner by the Allies.

Eagle 655 Proof, Mauser circa early 1939 on the loading tool.

The Luger is just a primo example of the 1908 issue and serial numbers and proofs reflect the known characteristics of the model.  Note how the numbers are displayed in the commercial manner not showing on the side or top of the toggle.

Convicted of war crimes, on October 16th, 1946 the Allies hung the 53 year old von Ribbentrop for his role as an ally of Adolf Hitler and former Nazi.

 

When asked whether he had any final message he said, 'God protect Germany,' in German, and then added, 'May I say something else?' The interpreter nodded and the former Reich's Foreign Minister spoke his last words in loud, firm tones: "My last wish is that Germany realize its unity and that an understanding be reached between the East and the West. I wish peace to the world."

 

This Parabellum is offered with provenance to include copies of bills of sale, notarized statements of owners, historical documents including pictures and actual signature of  Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop, along with his personal side arm represented by this magnificent 1908 1st Issue Military DWM Luger in 9mm with an all matching gun, two magazines (described above) a loading tool and holster.  Truly an outstanding Parabellum and a historically significant Luger for the advanced collector. hoenix Investment Arms. 

 

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