To the countless number of skilled craftsmen, artisans and many entrepreneurs of the past and present, that have staked their fortunes and reputations, striving to create better quality knives for just the right task, we thank you. We thank you and honor you with collections and sites such as this to hallmark your creative work and designs.
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR NEW COLLECTORS TO THINK ABOUT
If you don’t want to be disappointed, know what you’re buying and only buy what you can afford. The only way to ensure this, is doing your homework first on the knives you are wanting to collect. I recommend that you talk to other collectors; buy some knife books or magazines on the subject of knife collecting and do some online research. Always shop around and take your time. Bottom line, do your homework first and then make your purchases.
The value of knives will fluctuate like any other product. While some brands are considered a better quality and will hold their value better than others, no one can guarantee that a knife will go up in value over time. This is why it is paramount to buy knives you like and not what you think will make you rich someday.
Just about every knife is made in “limited” runs. Being part of a limited run in most cases is not going to make the knife more valuable. A knife marketed as a “Collector’s Edition” could also be mass produced. In most cases it’s a marketing ploy to increase sales and will most likely not go up in value. A “vintage” or "antique" knife can also be a piece of junk. Buy it because you like it, it’s different or you think it will be a good addition to your collection. If the deal is too good to be true, treat it that way. No one is going to knowingly sell a quality knife for a couple of dollars. Know what you’re purchasing first.
A great place to find older knives is estate sales, but don’t expect a great deal all the time. Many estate sales are run by brokers who oversee the sale for a commission of the sales, so of course they’re trying to get the best price they can. Other places can be garage/yard sales, flea markets or antique malls/stores. I’ve found some great deals in pawn shops and they will deal with you, so long as the shop can make a profit. Remember though, you can’t own every knife you see, so don’t even try, you’ll go broke and regret many of your purchases.
This next statement will make some collectors mad, but just because it says U.S.A. on it doesn’t mean it’s the best quality made or it’s a collector’s knife. Some American companies and individuals can and have made some very poor quality knives. Some of the companies or individuals in other countries produce some of the best knives on the world market. You'll find excellent knives from England, Germany, Japan and yes even from China. As a collector, is your collection strictly “Made in the USA” or does it include knives from around the world and different time periods? Do your homework, be patient, search and above all have some fun.
The articles, stories, and photographs contained herein are provided in one location strictly for the readers information and convenience only. David's Blades assumes no responsible for the accuracy of the content from external sources.
A timeline of major changes.Learn More
A short history of the Kastor brothers.Learn More
Here is a collection of website links covering the history of Buck Knives.Learn More
The Closing of Belknap: A Tragedy of ErrorsLearn More
One of the most infamous knives ever developed.Learn More
Boker Celebrates 140 Years.Learn More
Case chronology from 1881 to 1993Learn More
Here is a collection of website links for the story of CASE knives and to a library of the latest CASE tang stamps and patterns.Learn More
Great website to learn about the history of Robeson CutleryLearn More
Colonial Pocket & Folding Knives – History of the Barlow KnifeLearn More
A short video history of Schrade knives.Learn More
Enjoy a brief history of Simmons Hardware.Learn More
Learn the company's history and it's founder Augustus F. ShapleighLearn More
Read from old memo'sLearn More
Read some very good History about the Walden Knife Co.Learn More
Compiled by Jim Escher From the Archives of The Winchester; Keen Kutter; Diamond Edge Chronicles; The Official Publication of The Hardware Companies Kollectors KlubLearn More
The information below was taken from the February 3, 1941 Holyoke Transcript-TelegramLearn More
The putty knife that wanted to be a real knife.Learn More
Will They Make It Beneficial?Learn More
Enjoy some Ulster pictures and then follow the link to some copies of old Ulster knife catalog pages and prices from 1959 - 1962.Learn More
All About Pocket Knives is a knife related resource center for buying, selling, researching, discussing & showing off all things knives.Learn More
The most comprehensive list of CASE Folding, Hunting/Fixed Blade, CASE XX Select and Miscellaneous Tang Stamps.Learn More
Tang stamps, patterns and much more.Learn More
The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) represents all segments of the knife industry and knife users.Learn More
Knife Informer is committed to providing you with in-depth and unbiased opinions on all things knife related.Learn More
HOW TO CLEAN AND MAINTAIN YOUR DIRTY POCKET KNIFELearn More
How to teach children to use a pocket knife safelyLearn More
Great collection of knife websites for just about reason.Learn More
The Ultimate Guide To American Made Knives By Andrew North Updated on August 17, 2022Learn More
What Condition Is My Folding Knife In
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANTIQUE, VINTAGE, AND COLLECTIBLE
There has been a debate for years on what these terms should represent. They mean different things to people in a wide variety of items that dealers sell, from cars to old six-shooters or fine art to bottle caps. In the strictest sense, the difference between an antique and a vintage item is its age. With Collectibles it’s not the age, but the desire or the demand.
I’ve spent a number of hours reading and researching this subject, and it’s clear to see that not everyone is going to agree on how these terms should be defined. I’ve taken from what seems to be the majority opinion and what makes good sense to me and written the following terms and descriptions. I’ll call them the:
Roberts Guidelines and Definitions for Antiques, Vintage, & Collectables
First lets look at the definition of an Antique? This would be an object of considerable age that is valued for its artistic or historical implications. To most antique dealers, the term “antique” is applied to items that are more than 100 years old from todays date.
As defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
1: a relic or object of ancient times
2 a: a work of art, piece of furniture, or decorative object made at an earlier period
and according to various customs laws at least 100 years ago
b: a manufactured product (such as an automobile) from an earlier period
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s publication on Works of Art, Collector’s Pieces, Antiques, and Other Cultural Property: “In order to qualify as an antique for CBP purposes, the article must be over 100 years of age at the time of importation.”
Therefore it is a commonly accepted standard that an object must be OVER 100 years old in order to be classified as an antique. Condition of an object has nothing to do with classifying an object as an antique. However condition and the rarity of an item will greatly play a part in determining the items value.
Now lets look at a badly misused term, “Vintage.” The word literally means "of age" and was originally applied in the early 15th century to the age of a bottle of wine. It was adapted from the Old French “vendage” (wine harvest) derived from the Latin “vindemia” (grape-gathering). Today it has been so freely misused throughout the antique and collectables market that it is now considered a part of the accepted vernacular. Most reputable dealers believe that it should only apply to items more than 40 years of age, but less than 100.
Now we come to the term “Collectible.” The term is used loosely to describe an object that is less than 100 years old, is in high demand, and therefore of value, sometimes more than the item’s original retail cost. Some buyers incorrectly use the term collectible for an antique or vintage item. You can have an antique item that is 110 years old, but if there is no market demand for it, it’s simply an antique.
On the other side of that coin you can have an item that is any age and it is a valuable “collectible” because there is a high demand for it and collectors are willing to pay prices over the normal value. In fact you could have a “collectible” item before it even hits the marketplace i.e. “Bennie Babies” or “Cabbage Patch Dolls.”
Other Terms To Know
You will also hear of several other specific terms such as “retro” that is shortened from the words “retrograde” or “retroactive” which the original meaning references the past. Most dealers typically apply the term retro to items that are at least 20 years old, but not yet 40. People, like the “baby boom” generation believe this refers to the time period between 1950 to 1959 and items from that period.
Retro items are not from the past, instead they are objects that imitate the styles of the recent past. We’re not referring to copies or fakes being sold as real items from that time period, but items which are representations to the past. That Philco radio that looks like it came from the 1950’s, but was made in 2010. New jackets that look like a high school letterman’s jacket, but you just bought it at J.C. Penney.
You may also hear terms like “Repurposed.” An object that is being used or combined with another object for a new purpose. Also you will hear “Repro” or “Repops” which refers to “Reproductions.” They are copies of older items, not "fakes," because they are being sold as copies of much older things such as doorknobs, Coke products or cast iron toys.
Have you ever heard someone say something like “Antique dinosaur bone” or “Antique sword from ancient Rome?” Well, they meet the over 100 years old rule, but that’s not correct, even antiques have an age limit. Any item over 300 years old and is the remains or impressions of formerly living things are called fossils. If the items were manmade, they are called antiquities or artifacts.
Simply labeling something as an “antique,” “vintage,” or “collectible,” doesn’t set a price range for the value of an item. As in almost everything we buy, the value is determined more by whether there is a market or buyers demand for it. When it comes to purchasing items on the antique or collectible market, the buyer should do a lot of research on the items they are planning to collect before handing over a bundle of money and suffering a lot of disappointing purchases.
So, when you compare antiques to vintage or collectibles remember, antiques stand the test of time. Their value is more likely to remain stable. So called vintage or collectibles, however are priced more on the current demand of the market and their long term value is highly speculative. Be sure to exercise much more caution when investing in a vintage or collectible items as opposed to antiques.
"If you're new to knife collecting this is the book to start with. Written with the new collector in mind, this book will provide you with some basic knife information, history of the folding knife and things to consider as you start your collection. As you read it enjoy some pictures from my own collection."At Amazon.com
Enjoy beautiful pictures of hundreds of fixed and folding blade knives. A great addition to any book or knife collection or as a center piece for your coffee table or office desk.
"Long regarded as the bible for knife collectors, this new, expanded edition provides everything one needs to know to successfully collect knives. Knife collecting is a rapidly growing international activity where "finds" are still plentiful. The author is regarded by many as the leading full-time writer on knives and cutlery. He has refined and corrected information, as appropriate, on brands, models and overall cutlery history, while providing fully updated prices."At Amazon.com
"Still handcrafted in Bradford, Case knives are the most collected knives in the world. W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company contains photographs of Russ Case and his family, the factory, special knives, Case collector events, and even the Case car. Rare finds from the Case archives, employees, and family members help chronicle the company's incredible history."At Arcadia Publishing
"A 92 page Paperback. Contains black and white photos and illustrations. This book is written as a guide to the repair and restoration of knives. The knowledge contained in this book comes from several years of hard work, trial and error. With a little practice and patience one can become very proficient in cutlery work. Although problems will be encountered in the repair of a knife, this book is designed to help answer many of the questions that may arise."At Knife Magazine
A look at the knives produced in New York’s Hudson River Valley from approximately 1840 to 2015. By the co-founder of the the Wawarsing Historical and Knife Museum, and author of The Collector’s Guide To Switchblade Knives. 46 full color pages.At Knife Magazine
"The Official Price Guide to Collector Knives is designed for all collectors, from novice to expert, and presents information about the hobby, its history, and value identifications. The 15th edition includes fully-updated prices, 50 pages of new listings, 100 new black-and-white photographs, and for the first time, an eight-page full-color insert."At Amazon.com
This book is the result of over 30 years of work by John and Charlotte Goin. This "Encyclopedia" is the compilation of all previous books and extensive research to produce one of the best collections of knife companies and markings you will find. This is a reference book that every serious collector must have in their library.At Amazon.com
"Author Tom McCandless, a longtime knife collector, explores the history of Case knives from their beginning to 1920 in Old Knives, XX, and More. He also chronicles his own experiences as a collector in building knowledge, networking with dealers and vendors, and finding answers to questions of value and authentication. If you want to know more about collecting knives-including pattern numbers, handle materials, grading conditions, and pricing-this book is an essential resource."At Amazon.com
"This book lists literally hundreds of manufacturers of cutlery from all over the world. The easy-to-use format allows the collector to become an expert in evaluating or appraising knives by using the RBR evaluation scales. There are overviews describing the histories of major knife companies, a section on commemoratives and limited editions, clubs and organizations, numbering systems, and a section on identifying knife patterns. This book is a must for the experienced as well as the new knife collector."At Knife Magazine
Ken Warner and J. Bruce Voyles between them have edited or written over 50 books on knives and guns, edited over 400 issues of magazines, and have also claimed the highest awards within the cutlery industry. Both are Cutlery Hall of Fame members, both have received the Don Hastings Award from the American Bladesmith's Society and the Nate Posner Award from the Knifemakers Guild. These two awards are the highest awards given by those two leading organizations.At Knife Magazine
ALL ABOUT POCKET KNIVES
CASE COLLECTORS CLUB
AMERICAN KNIFE & TOOL INSTITUTE
NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION
TEXAS HANDGUN ASSOCIATION
WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT
UNITED SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
Texas Law Shield