One of the best parts of a deal like this, is when I find what I'm searching for, AND it includes the matching shovel at an amazing price. This was just that kind of deal!
The original leather shovel covers that were used by Finland are hard to come by, especially if you are looking for one that is in very good condition. This cover is an original, Finnish made, and issued cover that dates to the Pre-Winter War era. This would place it in the 1920's to 1930's window.
The shovel is an original Imperial Russian issued shovel that was captured by Finland after the revolution, and then reissued to their troops. The date on this shovel is covered by a thick coat of green paint, but it dates to 1915, give or take a year or two, and no later than 1917.
The shovel is stamped with the crylic letters К Ш indicating that it was made by Karl Spiegel factory in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The factory was shut down in 1917, so the shovel is no newer than that.
You can read about another one of my Karl Spiegel shovels here:
The shovel cover is stamped with the Finnish military acceptance mark of "SA" , and the P stamp indicating it was issued to a pioneer unit. It also has the initials of a previous "owner".
The shovel has the usual hole punched through the blade, that is found on all Finland shovels. The holes were punched at about the time the Winter War started.
Prior to the Winter War, the shovels were issued with a leather carrier. When Finland found themselves at war with Russia, and pressed for equipment, they quit making leather carriers, and started punching the shovel blades, so they could be carried on a belt hook.
The leather carrier that I have dates to this Pre-Winter War era. With that said, it would have been used for the Winter War, the Continuation War, and most likely for quite some time into the Cold War.
The Finish made covers look very similar to the WW1 German surplus covers that were also issued out. The difference being that they are not stamped with a manufacturer, or have a Finnish manufacturer stamp, and use rivets to reinforce the corners and seams.
This is a wonderful example of a Winter War shovel that was issued out with the pre-war carrier.
You can read about a few of my other Finnish reissued Imperial Russian shovels here:
Let's take a closer look at the shovel and leather cover: