Lot 957 View Catalog
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER'S "VENDETTA KNIFE" French "vendetta knife" given to Allied Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II, possibly while he was in North Africa or after he had moved his headquarters to Reims. This nasty weapon measure 21 1/4" long with a 10" blade which is etched in Italian: "Revenge...That my wound is mortal...". The ivory handle is engraved with a floral design and the head of an African wearing a head scarf. The blade is maker marked: "Veritable Bernard 76",', a trade mark of Besset Jarrige & Fils, a cutler based in Thiers in the centre of France and this example is likely from the is from the late 1800s (this company was at its peak in the early years of the 1900s prior to World War I). Directly from the estate of the recipient, Col. Ernest "Tex" Lee, who served throughout the war as Eisenhower's Executive Officer and Aide de Camp. Lee joined Ike in June, 1941 and assisted in the planning of the invasion at Normandy and the ultimate defeat of Germany. He received this knife among many other token presents from Eisenhower, who would remain his lifelong close friend. With letter of provenance.