Interesting Pocket Knife

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Celticstoneman

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
293
Reaction score
338
Location
Northern Illinois
I've done quite a bit of research on old pocket/folding knives and when you get into the pre-1840 era the surviving knives with sound documentation become very rare. I've also seen knives actually made around 1920 that from their condition look like they must have been made in the 1700's. SO....don't be disappointed if the knife isn't as old as hoped. See if you can get in touch with someone in Sheffield. There was a woman there, a college professor, that maintained a lot of the old records. All the stamp marks are there, in a vault.
There are collections at Valley Forge, etc. with pruning knives from the 1920's that are claimed to be Revolutionary War era artifacts. People GET MAD when you ask for the documentation verifying the age, in many instances- there isn't any.
The square tang on your knife- generally the better builders used a square tang as it required more skill to get the blade to open and close correctly. It looks like the bolsters are attached to the liners, not integral. Sheet metal for liners were not that common until after ABOUT 1840-1850 when manufacturing could produce affordable sheet metal, before that a lot of knives had integral bolsters/liners.. BUT nothing is etched in stone- I'm speaking in general terms.
You have a rare find, well worth the effort to research.
Red Owl,
Very well put. Thank you.
John
 

44-henry

45 Cal.
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
1,048
Reaction score
85
I've done quite a bit of research on old pocket/folding knives and when you get into the pre-1840 era the surviving knives with sound documentation become very rare. I've also seen knives actually made around 1920 that from their condition look like they must have been made in the 1700's. SO....don't be disappointed if the knife isn't as old as hoped. See if you can get in touch with someone in Sheffield. There was a woman there, a college professor, that maintained a lot of the old records. All the stamp marks are there, in a vault.
There are collections at Valley Forge, etc. with pruning knives from the 1920's that are claimed to be Revolutionary War era artifacts. People GET MAD when you ask for the documentation verifying the age, in many instances- there isn't any.
The square tang on your knife- generally the better builders used a square tang as it required more skill to get the blade to open and close correctly. It looks like the bolsters are attached to the liners, not integral. Sheet metal for liners were not that common until after ABOUT 1840-1850 when manufacturing could produce affordable sheet metal, before that a lot of knives had integral bolsters/liners.. BUT nothing is etched in stone- I'm speaking in general terms.
You have a rare find, well worth the effort to research.
The bolsters are integral with the liner, that much I know. I have had it up on the Bladeforum and All about Pocket Knives forum, seems most place it between 1820-1850. This is based on the integral bolster, early style manufacturers mark, and general styling. The nail knick works against it being a very early knife, but they were common in the date range mentioned above, and not unknown somewhat earlier.
 

Red Owl

40 Cal
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
291
Reaction score
170
Location
Florida
Your very best bet is to try to research guilds in Sheffield- there are 3 museums there (If I remember) They are very nice people. You can email back and forth. Find the stamp mark and you are home free on the date- keep us up to date on your progress, and on the nail nicks. If you look at old knives some nicks are deeper on one side and then another- they were stamped or punched. Now we grind them.
The bolster/liners were fed into a tilt hammer and forged in a drop or two. Blades were made by blade smiths. All the parts went to the cutler who then assembled them. Some times different blade smiths were supplying the cutler and the stamp marks varied a little. It is a pretty interesting subject.
 

Nameless Hunter

45 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
819
Reaction score
1,291
Location
a trebuchet defended holler near Nameless, TN
I believe that when the archeological exploration of the Custer massacre site took place a number of these types of jack knife were found with broken blade tips which occurred when soldiers used them too try to remove spun brass cartridges from the breech of their 45-70 Springfield carbines
Not to change the topic, but to my understanding, the Army was still using copper cartridges at that time, and a "recent" analysis showed fewer stuck cartridges than had been previously thought.
 

Red Owl

40 Cal
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
291
Reaction score
170
Location
Florida
May or may not be important but on the filed lines, are they angled- as if a triangular file was used, or square, as if a hacksaw blade was used?
I still think the best bet is to get that Stamp identified.
 

Celticstoneman

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
293
Reaction score
338
Location
Northern Illinois
May or may not be important but on the filed lines, are they angled- as if a triangular file was used, or square, as if a hacksaw blade was used?
I still think the best bet is to get that Stamp identified.
Red Owl,
I'm just getting real serious on this knife. You asked about the serations on the blade back. Well, they are irregularly spaced and by a saw blade. Someone jokingly said the word was " Greek to him" well it is Greek. In their alphabet it says TRIPOLIS. What ever that means ? I had been laboring for weeks thinking it was unreadable French then remembered what he said and pulled up a dictionary .Who would have thought.
Thanks for your interest, John
 
Top