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Military Clasp Knives

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Jack Black, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    A pleasure my friend, they're a nice pattern. I do see a disproportionate number with broken back-springs though, not sure why exactly (though it's easy to speculate), but if you come across any more, make sure you give them a good once over :thumbsup:
     
    I'mSoSharp and Blake the Blade like this.
  2. I'mSoSharp

    I'mSoSharp Basic Member Basic Member

    529
    Mar 8, 2011
    Like this sad one I picked up at the weekend, a 1944 Richards identical to the one you pictured in post #288, except it has a broken blade back spring.............

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    Fodderwing and afishhunter like this.
  3. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    That's a shame, but nonetheless interesting. I had a '44 Richards, on which the back spring broke sometime after I had bought it. It hadn't been used, and there was nothing dramatic about the failure :( It was, otherwise, quite a nice knife :thumbsup:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. I'mSoSharp

    I'mSoSharp Basic Member Basic Member

    529
    Mar 8, 2011
    Looks like the can opener spring on the one you had @Jack Black?

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  5. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Yes, I think so, I might still have it. I was going to gift the knife to Charlie @waynorth, who was born in '44. Got the knife out, opened it up to check I had the right one, and 'ping!' :eek: :(
     
    waynorth and I'mSoSharp like this.
  6. M.E.E.

    M.E.E.

    15
    Mar 7, 2019
    I would like to say hello and thanks for this great post, some very nice knives I wish I had in my collection. I am mostly a World War Two military collector and have been collecting commonwealth blades for a few years now and thought I would show one off and then bug all of you for your knowledge with another.
    The first one for show and tell is my 1945 Burma infantry clasp. I love the looks of these and are a great piece to show the transition between the standard '38-40 Canoe and the 50's pattern.

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  7. M.E.E.

    M.E.E.

    15
    Mar 7, 2019
    And now for the one I am not 100% on, I know it is classified as Military Pattern Locking Blade (sorry to add it to a clasp post but wasn't sure where else to), and were issued to commandos (including LRDG), SOE and air dropped to dissidents in Europe as part of SOE operations. This is the first model which is considered a utility knife with the second version having a tire slasher on the back end (still on the look for one of those). These are fairly hard to find, not a huge amount made, they were never broad arrow marked and they continued to be made postwar in one form or another. So the question is, post war or war period? I have found post wars with full plastic sides but these didn't have the lanyard and a different blade, but almost all post wars I have found have the partial plastic grips and no lanyards. Anyways hope someone can confirm it as good. I have posted this one on multiple sites without much help as of yet. I am looking forward to adding a bunch more WW1 to WW2 commonwealths that I own here for everyone to look at.
    Thanks again.
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  8. R.c.s

    R.c.s

    Dec 23, 2013
    Hi M.E.E I personally haven't see one like that before . What is the makers mark as I can't quite make it out in the photo ? I'm sure are resident Sheffield guru Jack Black will have answer for you :)
     
    M.E.E. likes this.
  9. M.E.E.

    M.E.E.

    15
    Mar 7, 2019
    It is one of those blades that are really hard to find and even harder to buy. There was far more made post war than during the war from my understanding. This style is still being made with some not having the lock and being aged and sold as war period and others being brand new.

    I am sorry I do not know why I didn't include the manufactures mark. Ernest-allen cutlery co, another reason I am leaning towards period, smaller maker not much activity after the war that I can find (I could be wrong).
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    Jack Black likes this.
  10. Fodderwing

    Fodderwing Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2017
    Rest assured you will be provided with an authoritative answer but our dear Jack Black is fast asleep at the moment. He resides in the U.K.
     
    Jack Black, Prester John and M.E.E. like this.
  11. waynorth

    waynorth Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 19, 2005
    It's the thought that counts, Jack!! Thanks!!:)
    Nice to see this thread back up & at 'em!!
    Nice examples, M.E.E.:thumbsup:
    I await Jack's comments!!:rolleyes:
     
    Jack Black likes this.
  12. M.E.E.

    M.E.E.

    15
    Mar 7, 2019
    I figure I would show one more since I showed an army I couldn't leave the navy out. Canadian marked I-XL (Wostenholm) manufactured blade, with a mirror finish. I can take more or better pictures if required.
    Thanks for looking.
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  13. John A. Larsen

    John A. Larsen

    Jan 15, 2001
    I have a relatively current version of the knife M.E.E. posted above but no makers name, just in a circle "Made in Sheffield ENG" in quite small letters. John
     
    M.E.E. and Fodderwing like this.
  14. Fodderwing

    Fodderwing Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2017
    @Jack Black - An incredible thread Jack. Just finished it and now there is one more new world opened up. Thank you my friend for all you contribute.
     
    Jack Black likes this.
  15. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Morning folks, my apologies for my absence from this thread, and my current relative lack of activity on the forum, I'm just very busy at the moment (and the Lambsfoot is dominating my life!). I have a pile of old clasp knives which need cleaning :oops: Thank you for the kind words :thumbsup:

    Lovely examples of those patterns @M.E.E. Thank you for your interest in this thread, and my apologies for my laxness in terms of maintaining it, it's an old thread, and I haven't taken a great deal of interest in clasp knives over the past few years. Good luck in finding a tire slasher :) The locking pattern is still made in Sheffield, both with and without bail (these are contemporary photos, but it would break the forum rules to provide links). They've been on sale since I was a boy, but it's not a pattern I've taken an interest in.

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  16. M.E.E.

    M.E.E.

    15
    Mar 7, 2019
    No worries @Jack Black I was one to dig up the older thread so I wasn't expecting people to rush to it. Well now I have to wonder if my mine is period or not, they do not have the England mark required for export but that could just mean the company didn't have intentions of selling outside of the UK. This one was found at a flea market in NA along with other miscellaneous military items, but as always with military, buy the item not the story. I hope you don't mind I will throw a few more of my clasps on here since it is a great thread. Another question, where should I toss a folding machete? it is WW2 also, but would there be a better location or would it be ok to add it to this one, it is lock back version.
    Thank you for your time and knowledge.
     
    R.c.s likes this.
  17. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Your knife may very well be period, but in general, dating a Sheffield knife even to within a couple of decades can be very difficult, to say the least. That is because of the way that knives have always been made in Sheffield, with a great use of self-employed outworkers and subcontracting to smaller firms. So, in this case, we have a WW2 pattern knife, which is still in current production, bearing the tang-stamp of an extremely obscure Sheffield firm. The stamp was probably used on other patterns, and the stamp probably dates from WW2, but after WW2, there would have been no requirement to change the stamp, and stamped blades may have not been made up for some years afterwards. While your knife may have been produced during WW2, it would take a good deal of time-consuming research to investigate further, and you may never get a conclusive answer. Of course, I'm sure you already appreciate this, but what I'm saying is that there's a limit to the amount of research I can do myself. No promises, but if I remember, I will ask about the pattern at A.Wright & Son, the next time I'm at the factory. However, the firm has changed hands several times, so they may know very little about it.

    Thank you for your kind words on the thread, and further photos of your clasp knives would be very welcome. I would personally be very interested to see your folding machete, but that takes this thread even further off topic, and I think you may find a more appropriate thread in which to show it (if nothing else, I think there is a thread on Theatre Knives), either here, or perhaps in the Bernard Levine forum, where you may also get good information.

    Thank you again for your excellent contributions :thumbsup:

    Jack
     
    R.c.s and Prester John like this.
  18. M.E.E.

    M.E.E.

    15
    Mar 7, 2019
    Thanks @Jack Black, I will post the machete in Bernard Levine forum, I know all about it and it is a great blade but it is a blade that most collectors don't get to see and I will @ you when I put it up today or tomorrow (I have to see if my older pictures are still up to the quality I like to take pictures in). I might bug you again here in the future if you don't mind, I will be posting a single blade, marlin spiked clasp I have in the mail, I haven't seen the likes of it so I am thinking it might be a post war civilian. I will add more of my clasps over time also.

    As for this knife I am happy to have it my collection, as I said once before it is a super easy knife to buy but a hard knife to get right. I have read someplace that around 10,000 were made during the war,even if it is just post war I am still happy with it. It is a nice knife in hand and as you said obscure maker on a odd blade, that was never marked for military use, it is as good as it gets without having it handed to me from a vet.
    Thank you for your time and knowledge.
    Mark
     
    R.c.s and Prester John like this.
  19. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    You're certainly not bugging me Mark :) I'll help if I can :thumbsup:

    The scale of Sheffield production was massive during WW2, with every company entirely on 'War Work', so bearing in mind the sheer numbers produced, there is probably more chance that your knife was produced during WW2 than since. Of course, "If wishes were horses..." ;) With the end of WW2, the cutlers were all tooled-up to produce the patterns they had produced during the war, and also, there must have been a huge quantity of stock (parts, materials, and completed knives), which is one of the reason the Sheffield cutlers still produce a number of WW2 patterns, and related ones. Even today, WW2 clasp knives are still a common sight on market stalls and at junk sales, and when I was a kid, every boy had at least one, and they were commonly found in tool-boxes and garden sheds.

    The knife below is a knife which was produced in Sheffield after WW2, primarily to sell to conscripted soldiers ('National Service' went on until the early 1960's) in Army canteens (or NAAFIs - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy,_Army_and_Air_Force_Institutes).

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  20. M.E.E.

    M.E.E.

    15
    Mar 7, 2019
    I currently reside in a Canadian Naval city, I can't go to a pawn shop or flea market without finding a 1950's stainless steel sided naval knife. I even got lucky a year ago and found a WW2 British broad arrowed clasp that was still in its Army and Navy department store box, that looked like it was just made. I have gotten to the point I am now trying to find, one offs or harder to find ones like a Sheffield 38-40 Canoe knife, a DOM marked WW2 Canadian army, a SOE tire slasher utilities or a Signalman's knife. Don't get me wrong I will take a good infantry/navy if I find it, or a cool maker mark I can't say no to.
     
    R.c.s and Jack Black like this.

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