Scagel stamp question

DLH

Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
4
Help!

When looking at Scagel's kriss stamp on a blade from the handle to the tip, the tip of the kriss almost always curves to the left. There is one picture of a camp knife in Dr. Lucie's book with the tip of the kriss curving to the right. What I do not know is if the picture was reversed.

My question is, does the tip of the kriss in Scagel's stamp always point to the left? If a kriss stamp points to the right is it automatically suspect as a fake? Or is it possible that Scagel accidentally used a kriss stamp he reserved for non-cutlery items?

Thanks
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
1,704
See p. 192 to differentiate Scagel’s knives from Dr. Lucie’s.
I did most of the photography for Dr. Lucie’s book and can attest that no images were reversed, nor are there any fakes in the book.
There have been fakes on the market over the years and one in particular featured a backward kris. A photo of that fake has appeared widely on the web. I haven’t personally seen other fakes with that same mistake.
If the above info doesn’t resolve your concern, feel free to post the page number showing the camp knife in question and I’ll try to respond. Or PM me directly if you prefer.
The Scagel story is fascinating on many levels. His history, the way he lived and conducted his business, the influences and thinking behind his design elements, his non-conformist nature... will forever intrigue custom knife makers and enthusiasts - or anyone who has contemplated “going it alone against the world.”
 

DLH

Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
4
Hi Mr. Thomason,

I was hoping you might chime in. On page 138 there is a stag camp knife with sheath from the collection of Ann Ormiston. Based on the picture it sure looks like the kriss stamp that was used (to the right) is the opposite of what is usually seen (to the left).

This is the only evidence of a right-pointing stamp I can find.

Have any thoughts on the issue?

Also love your work in the Lucie book. Great photos.

Thanks,

David
 

DLH

Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
4
Hi Dr. Thomason,

I was looking at the picture you referenced on page 192 of the Scagel book. The tip of Dr. Lucie's stamp points to the right. But if you look at page 213 Dr. Lucie's stamp appears to point to the left like a traditional Scagel stamp. For example take a look at the Scagel stamp on page 94 and the Lucie stamp on page 213. They look awfully similar

I am thoroughly confused at this point and would love any insight.

Thanks,

DLH
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
1,704
Sorry for the delay in my response to your questions. I hope the following info and conjectures will be useful though I have to say up front that I don't have a definitive answer.

First, here is one image of the only fake Scagel I've seen or know about. I have heard there have been a few over the years.
scagel fake 8 copy.jpg

Now, here is an email I received from Dr. Lucie and my response. We were both physicians and he was quizzing me like a medical student would experience from the senior physician while 'on rounds' in the hospital after no sleep for 36 hours. It was a form of public humiliation and trial by fire that was common in our training. So... basically it was an 'inside joke.' He graciously admitted that I seemed to have been paying attention. (The eBay listing is no longer available so seller's lame comments defending this fake specimen's authenticity are lost.)
-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Lucie
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 5:37 PM
To: Hubert H. [Buddy] Thomason, Jr.,MD
Subject: re- fake
Dear Buddy:
There is a fake Scagel on E-Bay.
There are 6 [ or more ] things wrong with it. Bring it up and study it and see if I have taught you enough that you can discern what they are. E-Bay # 2273186805
Jim

My reply:
*my observations below were based on 9 views of the fake included in the eBay listing by the seller, of which the above is one.
Hello Jim,
.... I would not want to disappoint you by having been a poor student - especially when I have had the best teacher. (You, sir!) So, here goes.......
1) Kris is backwards (unless the maker 'borrowed' your Kris and used it on this blade!)
2) Construction of Kris is wrong: articulated double guard and bulbous pommel
3) Absence of 'notch' in front of guard (on a hunter style)
4) straight flat line of spine and edge between guard and start of top grind and recurve
5) Scagel's guard/blade solder joints may not have always been totally clean - but this one is way out of the norm!
6) 'W.SCAGEL HANDMADE' stamp is wrong
a. looks to possibly be 'cold stamped' with slight 'berm' around each letter - at any rate Scagel stamped then ground and this one seems to have been 99% ground then stamped
b. there is a space between the period after W and the S (crooks are idiots and beginners are naive - see #1 above)
c. hard to tell but the 'font' appears wrong (modern)
7) Radius from handle down into the guard is wrong as is overall shape of the finger portion of the guard below (given Scagel's consistency in this area I'm guessing he used a very specific file to shape this area of the handle/guard junction)
8) Handle appears to have been artificially aged - something Scagel was not known to do
Other observations:
Sheath is irrelevant in this instance
The seller "doth protest too much" concerning issues of authenticity
The handle pin seems a bit large and is --- copper?
Best wishes,
Buddy.

DLH, you correctly identified two blades in the book with what appear to be an incorrect (reversed) kris.
#1 On p. 138 - Stag Camp Knife With Sheath - Collection of Ann Ormiston
Here is another image I made of this knife with more visual information:
Small Camp Knife 1 net.jpg
My notes from shooting this knife indicate that it is a 'small' camp knife. I didn't measure it but recall it as maybe 2/3rds to 3/4ths the length of Scagel's large camp knives (see p. 132 and 133 for examples) and approximately 1/2 the weight/bulk. The handle swell is significantly reduced and the blade is thinner at the spine. I would say it is to a large Scagel camp knife what a bird 'n trout is to a hunter - notably smaller and more delicate - and thus different in that way.
Is this knife possibly different in other ways? I cannot say but must admit that my eyes are drawn to the choil and guard as areas of interest.
I don't know the history of this knife other than it was inherited (or maybe co-owned) by the widow of a man who had amassed a small collection of Scagel knives. I don't mean to diminish her role. It's possible they worked together on acquiring the collection. Regardless I was not able to speak with her directly concerning provenance.
As I recall, Dr. Lucie did not (in conversation with me) question the knife's authenticity nor did he comment on the kris. And apparently I didn't notice the orientation while photographing it or later when I did the image editing for publication.
I have not had contact with Dr. Lucie since he sold his collection (his shop, his home etc.) and relocated to be in the care of a daughter. I don't know what he would say about this discrepancy.

#2 On p. 213 Skinner by Lucie - Collection of Barbara Zeak
Here is another image of this beautiful little gift knife:
Barbara's Knife 6 net.jpg

I agree: the kris is reversed. That is to say the kris appears to be in the actual Scagel orientation - not Lucie's. Hmmm...... I can only guess but here's what I know: Dr. Lucie owned one or more of Scagel's original kris stamps (see p. 139). This little knife (maybe 5 in. OAL) was a very special gift for a very special person in Dr. Lucie's later life. There is another Lucie knife from the same collection on the facing page (p. 212) that I did not photograph and know nothing about which features the correct Lucie kris. However, the little skinner came to me for photography just before the book was to be printed. Dr. Lucie made clear to me that it was to be a very special gift knife and asked if I could get it shot and edited in time for inclusion in the book. Was it so special that he chose to embed something of great value in it? I do not know but the romantic part of me would like to believe it's true. Regardless of what the truth might be as regards this knife, it has no relation to the the topic of fake Scagel knives.
 

DLH

Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
4
Dr. Thomason,

Great response and well worth the wait. Sounded more like you were completing a medical chart than answering a question about a custom knife. Even before your response I did not feel comfortable about the knives and I was able to return them for no loss. Better safe than sorry.


Thanks again. I really appreciate your response and in depth knowledge.

David
 
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