John Salley old dagger question

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Neil007, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. Neil007

    Neil007 Basic Member Basic Member

    8
    Dec 16, 2019
    I have a beautiful John Salley dagger which I purchased from him almost 40 years ago. It is a short sword with a scrimshawed handle in a wooden sheath. It was pictured in BLADE magazine and the editor of the time put me in touch with John.

    I am getting on in years now. I wanted to place this as I did spend about $800 on it back then. But eBay canceled my ad when I mentioned it was an ivory handle. I have a very dim memory of a John using the word fossil but I have zero paperwork on this.

    Does anyone have any knowledge as to what materials John used to use? Does anyone know any place that for a fee could determine what kind of ivory this actually might be?

    My goal is not to make money although I bet this is worth a couple thousand by now. Oh, the scrimshaw of a goblin in armor was done by Bob Engnath. The sword is signed by both in the metal and scrimshaw.

    I might consider placing this with a museum if that was the best way to ensure it survives!

    Any advice?
     
  2. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    964
    Dec 9, 2010
    What state are you in ? Thats important . I will leave the rest to people more smarter than me :)
     
  3. Neil007

    Neil007 Basic Member Basic Member

    8
    Dec 16, 2019
    I am in New York although I think the ivory prohibition is national and close to worldwide. Mammoth ivory though is ok. But from my Googling it looks as though you have to cross section the ivory to see very small angled marks. Which of course cannot be done on a finished and mounted hilt.
     
  4. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    964
    Dec 9, 2010
    I dont think thats accurate

    The way I understand it thats not right either ( at least in NY )

    More knowledgeable people will be here soon
     
  5. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    964
    Dec 9, 2010
    Also when you are googling stuff check when it was written , the laws have changed alot in the last couple years
     
  6. jake pogg

    jake pogg Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 20, 2015
    Ivory is not that difficult to tell apart,even without an end-rain view.
    Often,a decent resolution photo is plenty;fossilized ivory,with very few exceptions,is especially identifiable at a glance.
    However,for an expert opinion,as well as most current legal data i'd look up a member of this forum Mark Knapp,https://www.bladeforums.com/members/mark-knapp.260911/
    Not sure where exactly on the site you'd ask him that,but must be some place,and there aren't many people in the entire country as informed as Mark on the subject of ivory.
     
  7. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    964
    Dec 9, 2010
    Here is a thread by Mark
    https://www.bladeforums.com/threads...knives-or-buy-sell-knives-with-ivory.1259017/

    This is what he said in post #3 of that thread -
    "Right now, you can make knives with any legal, pre-act elephant ivory and sell them accept in New york and New Jersey, this will change if the new federal ban on trade is enforced as written.

    You can not sell a knife with elephant ivory or mammoth ivory on it in the states of New York and New Jersey"

    And this is from the last page of that thread -

    Trade in knives with Elephant ivory is illegal in NY, NJ, CA, OR, WA and HI.

    Trade in raw Elephant ivory is illegal in NY, NJ, CA, OR, WA, HI and NV (effective January 1, 2018).

    Trade in knives with Walrus ivory or fossil Walrus ivory is illegal in CA and HI.

    Trade in raw Walrus ivory or fossil Walrus ivory is illegal in CA, HI and NV (effective January 1, 2018).

    Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory is illegal in NY, NJ, CA and HI. Note that both “tooth and tusk” are covered.

    Trade in or raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory is illegal in NY, NJ, CA, HI and NV (effective January 1, 2018).

    Trade in knives with Elephant, Walrus or Mammoth ivory is restricted in NV (January 1, 2018)

    Trade across state lines in knives with Elephant ivory is illegal unless it meets the criteria outlined at: https://kniferights.org/legislative-update/federal-ivory-ban-rule-goes-into-effect-july-6-2016/

    Trade across state lines in raw Elephant ivory is illegal.

    International trade in Elephant ivory is illegal. International trade of mammoth ivory is legal, BUT, federal officials are aggressively enforcing ivory rules and will demand clear documentation that the ivory is mammoth ivory, especially if it is interior white fossil ivory.
     
    jake pogg likes this.
  8. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    I met and learned some about knife Grinding from Bob Engnath in 1996.. I vaguely remember meeting John Sally at one of our S cal knifemakers meetings. There is a wide variety of materials he could of used for that handle? It’s really a pain to sell items with Ivory these days no matter when you bought it. Brit refereed you to i was thinking of in Alaska. Get in touch with Mark Knapp. The other issue is that some of the State & Fed enforcement may have no idea of how to distinguish fossilized Mastodon from Plastic etc. so proceed with caution after you’ve contacted Mark Knapp.
     
    Ken H> and jake pogg like this.
  9. Jesse Latham

    Jesse Latham

    672
    Jul 4, 2010
    Find a copy of the magazine. It will list the material and provide provenance.
     
    ten-six and Rhinoknives1 like this.
  10. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    Jesse brought a great point that may help you sell this Dagger for more$$$ as well as show the materials ..Contact Blade magazine directly , Most mags keep back issues and will sell them..
     
  11. DevinT

    DevinT KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 29, 2010
    40 years ago it was more common to use elephant ivory on knives than mammoth. It was legal to use, buy and sell back then.

    Hoss
     
    AVigil, Rhinoknives1 and Ken H> like this.
  12. timos-

    timos- KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 22, 2012
    I almost feel like i remember seeing a picture of this dagger in an issue of knives, the yearly one. Id love to see a pic of this!
     
  13. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
  14. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    964
    Dec 9, 2010
    But Stacy wouldnt that kinda be illegal seeing how he is in NY ??
     
  15. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    If we can see a few good pictures of this we can probably identify the handle materials.

    n2s
     
  16. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    One good thing about this handle is you can prove that it was pre-ban. Getting a copy of the magazine and any datable photos would be wise.
     
  17. Neil007

    Neil007 Basic Member Basic Member

    8
    Dec 16, 2019
    I want to thank all of you for your help here. I am beginning to think that because I live in New York it may have to go on the donation to a museum route.

    I will upload and post some pix late this weekend. It is just absolutely beautiful.
     
    Rhinoknives1 and Thom Moss like this.
  18. Neil007

    Neil007 Basic Member Basic Member

    8
    Dec 16, 2019
    Tried to post images with no luck at all. They are stored on rapidgator as images but will not appear here. No idea. Sorry.
     
  19. Neil007

    Neil007 Basic Member Basic Member

    8
    Dec 16, 2019
    This is best I can do. If I use the link icon it puts in the following links. If clicked on you can download the pictures. But if I use the image icon and try to put in the same url links what happens is only three empty image boxes with a question mark in each one. Anyway this shows the knife and sheath together; the engraved Salley signature in the botton design of the hilt; the lovely scrimshaw of a goblin dressed in full armor with Bob Engnath's signature in the scrimshaw. The hilt is of course shown pretty well in all three pix.

    https://rapidgator.net/file/30beda60ccd74962dc91fbd3701e6f74/KnifeSheathCase.jpg.html

    https://rapidgator.net/file/52b05829a406ec1e857bc2850c45daee/Salley.jpg.html

    https://rapidgator.net/file/b048f195ad1a91453ae9e6e768b9443e/hiltsignature.jpg.html


    Oooops, I just tried to download and the first worked but then said I had to wait an hour to download the second. Wow, I should haver realized a feee service was likely not to work well. Can anyone tell me where I could upload these so that they would either simply show up in a message here or be easy to download? Sorry again!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
  20. SS369

    SS369

    124
    Nov 29, 2015

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