Mystery knives

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by not2sharp, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. scdub

    scdub Basic Member Basic Member

    337
    May 29, 2004
    Wow - that’s a beauty!

    Also - wow - you have a lot of sweet knives...
     
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  2. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Geez - this one has the same blade shape as the one I posted :rolleyes: It's a beauty. Maybe I should reconsider mine ;)
     
  3. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Collins Cruver machete.jpg

    Honorable mention:

    Meet one of the most mysterious knives ever to serve in the US Arsenal. This is a Collins & Co. model 1253 machete, issued during the post war years as part of a bailout kit on strategic bombers. The knife's odd design and the complete and total lack of markings, has misled collectors for 70 years. M H Cole famously misidentified this in his otherwise excellent book on US Military Knives, Bayonets & Machetes as an "OSS Machete"; as did Frederick Stephens in Fighting Knives - an Illustrated Guide to Fighting Knives and Military Survival Weapons of the World (item 585). You will still occasionally find them under that name, although they are uncommon. It is no longer a mystery due to the excellent work done by D E Henry (see Collins Machete and Bowies 1845-1965) and others. But, there is still some confusion on this one out there, so it is useful to share it here.

    n2s
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  4. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    That blade style looks to be very reminiscent of fixed blades made in Finland back around the 50's and 60's.
     
  5. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    The rotten leather sheath said Made in Finland. That's all I know. The stacked leather handle was rotten as well. I removed the pommel and redid the handle with some whitetail antler and micarta along with a couple leather spacers. I removed all the rust and got the blade back to a usable state. I made a new leather sheath for it and now carry this one around a bit in the woods enjoying it's new life.
     

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  6. scdub

    scdub Basic Member Basic Member

    337
    May 29, 2004
    Interesting. It’s definitely pre-70’s based on when my Dad gave it to me. I’m curious what the grey metal on the handle is.
    Aluminum? Pewter??
     
  7. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
    scdub likes this.
  8. JustaNick

    JustaNick

    102
    Feb 3, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  9. scdub

    scdub Basic Member Basic Member

    337
    May 29, 2004
    That’s a Japanese Nata.

    They take the place of a small hatchet.

    Silky makes a few full-tang versions in single (chisel) grind like yours and double (standard) bevels.

    Should be great at pruning tasks but be careful with batoning or heavy chopping on dry hardwoods...
     
    JustaNick likes this.
  10. JustaNick

    JustaNick

    102
    Feb 3, 2019
    ‘Japanese Senkichi Nata’ found it on Amazon. Mystery solved. Thank you.
     
    scdub likes this.
  11. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Here is a classic that you will not find on Amazon.

    It is a home made version of the Iron Mistress knife seen in the Alan Ladd film.

    Home made Iron Mistress.jpg

    n2s
     
    scdub likes this.
  12. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Survival Kit Knife united prototype.jpg

    Today's mystery knife is a WWII period survival folder. These things were made by several manufacturers and used in survival kits on life rafts and aircraft during the war. The one pictured above is special in that the secondary blade has been replaced by a shroud line cutter. Usually, the blade is a nice saw and I have never found a refence to this modification.

    n2s
     
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  13. coinbuysell

    coinbuysell Gold Member Gold Member

    977
    Mar 29, 2014
    Here are a couple that I ran across at a flea market. Small one is a VERY thin knife made from a saw blade and the other is either 1084 or 1095, they both sharpened up nicely and hold an edge pretty well. Not as weird as some but the makers are a mystery and they seem to be as high quality as can be expected from a back yard smith. I use them quite a bit :thumbsup:

    20200917_230149.jpg
     
    jfk1110 likes this.
  14. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Theater knife WWII made from sawblade.jpg

    Another knife made from a sawblade

    n2s
     
    jfk1110 likes this.
  15. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Back to the topic of this thread.

    There is much more to knife collecting than buying the latest version of a sprint run model which you already have a dozen copies of. I enjoy doing that as well, but there is a rich and intricate history to knives which can best be appreciated by keeping your eyes open during your knife pursuits. Most knives in the wild do not come neatly boxed with a label, manufacturers catalog and YouTube videos; a great many of those are largely unknown.

    We even know very little about many massively successful brands. For example the Fabrica National de Toledo was a Spanish government entity manufacturing a wide range of military swords and knives for hundreds of years. They also made a number of presentation pieces which can only be described as high art. Yet, when the factory closed during the 1970s, their production records were destroyed and most of their history was lost for ever. This is an all too common occurrence.

    Knives have been with us from the very beginning and the only way that we have to embrace the rich texture of the subject is by embracing not only what we know, but also a lot of the unknowns. There are all sorts of beautiful knives out there so be on the lookout for them.

    n2s
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
    jfk1110 likes this.
  16. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    Wow! That’s pretty cool. I’ve never seen it either.

    It could be a modified knife, but it looks so undisturbed so original. Maybe a prototype? I’d love to know the story on that one.

    How deep have you dug for info on it?
     
  17. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Theater knife WWII made from ME109.jpg

    Here is another classic WWII theater knife. This theme comes up often. The fun thing about these knives is that seem to be entirely made from salvaged aircraft parts. The sheath is recovered seat material stitched in electrical wire, the handle is lexan from the aircraft canopy, and the blade is a repurposed internal wing strut. Definitely a fine work of trench art.

    n2s
     
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  18. jceckrosh

    jceckrosh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 2, 2016
    This thread is awesome!

    A lot of these seem like early work (assuming they continued) or hobbyist type stuff. I always think, "Just because you can make a knife, doesn't mean you should." I have considered building a blacksmith set up since we have the space, but I always imagine throwing away all my early failures, or burying them. Like Dr. Frankenstein or something.
     
  19. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    True, but there are also outstanding knives that fall into this category. Just because the guy was capable of building the best mousetrap, doesn't mean that he was able to market himself, or even cared to.

    Here is one that we will never know anything about; but the workmanship is on par with just about anything made by our best knife makers. It had to be, it is a real Mitmore, a magical knife said to convey special abilities to the bearer.

    mit mor knife sm.png

    n2s
     
    scdub likes this.
  20. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Piha Kaetta 11 inch.jpg

    This Piha Kaeta from Ceylon (the Emerald Isle - now Siri Lanka) dates from the 18th century, and shows an amazing level of metal work. These were exclusively made by the Royal shop at Kandy and usually produced by the king for his couriers as a badge of rank.

    We will never know who the craftman was but his skill was remarkable.

    n2s
     

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