"Made in Sheffield" 1830-1930, A golden age ?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by wellington, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. ismaris

    ismaris

    256
    Jan 17, 2013
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    My only Sheffield knife. Not sure of manufacturing period, but thought I would post because I treasure it!
     
  2. Campbellclanman

    Campbellclanman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Wow - just another level Charlie.
     
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  3. herder

    herder Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Mike, that is a stunning little knife with all the best features. A swell center balloon whittler pattern with pearl handles and fancy bolsters make it just top notch.

    waynorth, Exceptional Rodgers sportsman's model.

    ismaris, Very nice Wostenholm which looks like a circa WWII model.
     
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  4. Mike Robuck

    Mike Robuck

    Oct 11, 2001
    Thanks herder. The bolsters are pretty cool. Great to see the posts by Charlie and ismaris.
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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  5. Campbellclanman

    Campbellclanman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Mike I had a look through the Auction link you gave us ( thank you for that ), Wow- it had stated - as auctions do - expected prices, I am not too sure if these are reality, I would expect in some cases these knives would fetch that- but that's just another level, an ordinary man could never have a collection full of these!
    Stunning, beautiful examples! as yours is my friend!
     
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  6. Campbellclanman

    Campbellclanman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    That's a nice Jack ismaris! I too would treasure that Knife!
     
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  7. Mike Robuck

    Mike Robuck

    Oct 11, 2001
    Duncan, there's a separate link that has the actual prices that they sold for. It was kind of a bummer to read that some of them have been heavily cleaned or have blemishes due to poor storage. I went for the low-hanging fruit after realizing I wasn't going to get the nicer, bigger ones.
     
  8. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Really glad you've been able to add to this thread and be in touch with Mick, his collection, knowledge and modesty are all admirable. The auction link was a rich seam indeed, spectacular to see Exhibition grade knives together with their presentation cases, themselves lavish items. Lot No.4 must have had a typo, it talks of Copying blade (but it does in the picture look curved, is there such a thing?) Suppose it was meant to be Coping? While we're at it, I'll take lot No.26 please, those Bird's Eye pins could be revived by a custom cutler, a fantastic knife, Spears were all the rage then-1850s according to the notes -quite right too...

    Do you know if the knives reached their prices or even exceeded them? I wonder who buys them, just extremely wealthy collectors (mind you the prices could be said to be a bargain compared to other art-works!) or museums ?

    Many thanks, Will
     
  9. Mike Robuck

    Mike Robuck

    Oct 11, 2001
    Will, they did lower the starting prices on that auction. I don't know by how much or if it was across the board. There were a few items that didn't sell. (Lot 8 being one of them.) I figured if nothing else, there were so many nice knives for sale all at once that a few of them might slip down into what I could afford. I wish I had bid on the stag gunstock (lot 32) and maybe a few others. I didn't want to bid on the ones that had been cleaned or had major issues. There might be another one from the sounds of it!

    It was good re-connecting with Mick and he was most helpful on the knives in the this auction.
     
  10. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Thanks Mike, talking of the Gunstocks there was fantastic striped horn on one of them and other bias cut horn knives of remarkable quality. I got 9 € in the Lottery yesterday, I need a few noughts after that sum to qualify as a bidder...;):D
     
  11. LongBlade

    LongBlade

    284
    May 8, 2015
    Great to see this thread again as it is one of my favorites :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :cool:

    A beautiful gem of a IXL whittler & wonderful score Mike :thumbsup::thumbsup: - those small gems were the knives where cutlers really showed their skills ;) ..

    That is one gorgeous J Rodgers Charlie :thumbsup: :thumbsup:...

    Nice IXL hunter ismaris TU…

    Here’s one I would like to share -

    Charles (Chas) Clements was a high end London knife retailer from approx. 1890 to the 1970s… from my understanding his knives were made in Sheffield and he sold a great variety. Perhaps familiar to many who collect military knives his WWI knuckle knives or trench knives were quite popular and those were made by Ibberson of Sheffield. Clements had multiple locations but the number of sites was dramatically reduced by the 1920s. This particular knife was from the Billiter St shop as noted on the tang stamp of the pen blade was an earlier location that started in 1908 and was no longer listed by WWI – which puts this knife in that time frame. so at the least 100 years old and maybe just abit older.

    While only 2 & ¼” closed and no doubt small, it has 4 blades - a master, pen, scissor and a glove hook - notably strong springs and very lightly used blades - some age spots but still showing some original finish, and even the scissors work like new.

    This small knife in my eyes shows some real cutlery craftsmanship in many different ways. Tortoise shell handles are highlighted by gold foil placed between liners and handle covers (which was done on many high end tortoise handled knives). Also note how thin the tortoise shell covers are in the side view photos which I had read was the sign of skilled hafting. There are 3 back springs all with file work - the 2 outer springs were gold washed which is also seen inside the wells of the knife. The middle spring though polished had file work but no signs of gold wash on the back spring or within the handle wells – nice touch with some style. The 2 inside brass liners were milled as seen on the top down view of blades – the outer liners were not milled. I think the bail may be silver (maybe german silver?) but not sure – certainly has a nice shape to it… No doubt a high end knife and as some suggested to me most likely made for the aristocrats in England at that time.

    Though stamped “Sheffield Make” on back of Master blade (see stamp) the Sheffield maker is unknown, and while this was was stamped “Sheffield Make” I have seen others stamped “Sheffield Made”. Nonetheless it was not unusual for retailers to contract the knives to cutleries which were stamped only by the retailer’s name. One interesting note on the Billiter St tang stamp on pen blade – underneath but hidden by liners are 2 other letters – almost looks like a “ES” – but no matter where the tang of the blade resides it is impossible to see clearly.

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    Thanks for looking and again glad to see this thread back up top :cool: :thumbsup: ..
     
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  12. Campbellclanman

    Campbellclanman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    What a beautiful wee specimen that is! What talent to make such a fine tuned small knife like that!
     
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  13. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Beautiful knife, the worked back-springs reminded me of this one, a Lady's wedding present I believe, bearing the name of retailer in Kingston-Upon-Hull. Sorry about the poor pics, they were taken some years ago (I really need to sort out my old knives).

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  14. LongBlade

    LongBlade

    284
    May 8, 2015
    Thanks Duncan and Jack :thumbsup: :thumbsup: ...

    That is a beauty Jack - and indeed very similar :thumbsup: :thumbsup: ....
     
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  15. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Thanks Lee, that's very kind, I should probably dig it out and do a better job :thumbsup:
     
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  16. Campbellclanman

    Campbellclanman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I was going to guess that Joseph Rodgers had their hand in the making- but that's just plain foolish, as there were SO SO many who made such amazing multi-bladed Knives such as both Lee's and Jacks lovely examples!
     
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  17. Mike Robuck

    Mike Robuck

    Oct 11, 2001
    Great additions to the thread Jack and Lee!
     
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  18. LongBlade

    LongBlade

    284
    May 8, 2015
    Thanks very much Mike :thumbsup: :thumbsup: ...
     
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  19. LongBlade

    LongBlade

    284
    May 8, 2015
    Before this thread moves farther back in the queue :) - Here’s one I picked up at the NCCA show in Marlborough back in September but would like to share in this thread...

    Jenner & Knewstub (1856-1889) / London– Sportsman’s Knife

    Jenner and Knewstub was established in 1856 by Frederick Jenner and Fabian James Knewstub. The address was initially located at 33 St James Street and in 1862 was extended to 66 Jermyn Street. Both locations were in the St James, SW section of London which was an area frequented by the aristocracy for shopping. In fact Jenner & Knewstub held royal warrants with both the royal families of both Britain and Russia. They were not only listed as cutlers but in addition jewelers, watchmakers, and skilled craftsmen of dressing cases, jewelry boxes etc.. Jenner & Knewstub exhibited at the 1862 Exposition in London and the 1878 Exposition in Paris. Interestingly a partner of Jenner and Knewstub, Charles Louis Faber, died in 1886 but not much is known about when he joined the company nor his role. It is interesting that the company was liquidated and absorbed only 3 years later by A Webster & Co in 1890 which was located at 60 Piccadily, London. Supposedly the Jenner & Knewstub name continued for a time period under Webster as a limited company. (Summarized from The London Knife Book by Ron Flook and http://www.antiquebox.org/jenner-and-knewstub/ - in fact if you have The London Knife Book check Jenner & Knewstub for a photo of a closely related sportsman’s knife with just a few minor differences)...

    This Sportsman’s knife with ivory handles is 5 1/8” closed – a solid and very heavy knife with a few different blades, implements and interesting features. Despite the few small chips of ivory missing at the knife end, the blades are very full and all snap hard. I attached a photo below of the master blade closed in the handle and the tip couldn’t possibly be much longer – in fact the end of the spring which was used to create the catch bit had some special file work to allow the master blade to fit. Another photo shows the inner handle well where the pen blade was located – interestingly a spring was created that suspended off the master blade spring so that the pen blade would open and close perfectly. I can see that the end of the pen blade spring is suspended above of the master blade spring and seems to dovetail or be an extension of the runup from the main spring. This spring was the only way a pen blade of this size could be included on the knife in the same handle well - I have never seen a spring of this type within the handle of any other knife. Are others familiar with this design when 2 blades of significant size difference are located in the same handle?

    The knife has 7 blades and implements including a master blade, pen blade, large glove hook (maybe gut hook) with a nail nick, corkscrew with some filework (photo attached), hoof pick and both the original pick and tweezers are still intact in the handle of the knife (given the exact fit). Given the chips of ivory were located on that end it is amazing the handle damage avoided those areas where the pick and tweezers are located – the chips were on both sides of the tab for the pick but notably the pick is secure…. The hoof pick is very tight on this knife and I have a feeling the ivory chips were perhaps a result of some aggressive attempts at opening .. though again I believe this knife was not used much based on overall blades etc . Nonetheless for me the handle chips don’t take away from this knife at all (imo) – this knife really tripped my trigger for many reasons ;-))…

    Of interest is also the scrimshaw work with the monogram of the original owner which is abit of a mystery. It looks like the last name started with “K” and one other initial is “p” but can’t quite make out the first letter – maybe “g” or “q”?? I am assuming these letters were in “olde” English so I may not recognize the first letter.. Some believe the first letter was an “a”… Not that I will ever be able to identify the owner based on initials…

    Sorry for the long post but wanted to include some background and an array of photos with some of the notable features of the knife for a closer view. Thanks for looking!! Cheers - Lee

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    The ruler gives some reference to the size:

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    Here's a view of where the master blade ends when closed which shows the full length of this blade (the tip is right at the end suggesting little to no sharpening) - note a filed out area in run-up of spring to allow the full blade to close - also a cut out in handle for the pen blade is shown - one can see a nail nick on the button hook or glove hook:

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    Note the spring inside the well to accommodate the smaller size of the pen blade which is open to the right in this photo:

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    Anybody ever see anything like this?

    Filework on corkscrew:

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    Scrimshaw monogram on the handle:

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    Tang Stamps:

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  20. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Excellent post Lee, what a beauty :) :thumbsup:
     
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