MINT PEARL SALESMAN'S CALIFORNIA WHITTLER ~ WALDEN KNIFE CO KNIFE 1874 - 1923 For Sale
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MINT PEARL SALESMAN'S CALIFORNIA WHITTLER ~ WALDEN KNIFE CO KNIFE 1874 - 1923:
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MINT PEARL SALESMAN'S CALIFORNIA WHITTLER ~ WALDEN KNIFE CO KNIFE 1874 - 1923
ANTIQUE MINT UNSHARPENED MOTHER OF PEARL FACTORY SAMPLE
WHITTLER PATTERN POCKET KNIFE MARKED "CALIFORNIA 3263"
by WALDEN KNIFE CO., NEW YORK, CIRCA 1874 - 1923
ASK A MODERN KNIFE MAKER IF HE COULD HAND FORGE, HAND GRIND, HAND TEMPER, HAND FIT, HAND POLISH A 3 BLADED POCKET KNIFE LIKE THIS USING ONLY SIMPLE HAND TOOLS, SUCH AS HAMMERS, FILES, GRINDSTONES AND DRILLS; AND WHAT HE WOULD CHARGE.
The Walden Knife Company, circa 1870-1923, was located in Walden, Orange County, New York. This company made excellent quality knives during their time in business. In 1870 the company was called "Walden Co-operative Knife Co.". Knives marked with this stamp were made for about four years. They were reorganized in 1874, and the company was renamed The Walden Knife Co.. Walden Knife Co. has a rich history and some big names in the cutlery industry associated with them; and produced knives on contract for other companies such as Keen Kutter and Schrade. In 1893 George Schrade was looking for a place to manufacture his patented Press Button switchblades. These knives were made in the Walden Knife Co. factory until about 1902, when George Schrade sold his patent and interest to Walden Knife Co., who continued to manufacture about 10,000 dozen Press Button switch blades a year. In 1902 the E.C. Simmons Hardware Co. took over management of the company and ran it successfully for the next nineteen years; until Winchester bought them out. They continued to make knives at the Walden plant for another year until Winchester decided to sell the property to Schrade Cutlery. Co., and move all the knife making equipment to their own New Haven, Conn. manufacturing facility. Winchester used this equipment to make knives until the early 1940`s, when they too, stopped making pocket knives.
This is a Mint condition, unsharpened, uncarried Antique 3 blade American made pocket knife in a Whittler pattern with double ended bolsters by the well known early American Cutlery firm of Walden Knife Co.. This Rare Factory Sample Mother of Pearl Whittler pattern pocket knife is one of a kind.
The select grade Mother of Pearl scales are mint, and chosen for their iridescent colors and patterns; and both scales are slightly domed. All natural material shrinks over time; even pearl. This is perfectly normal on an Antique knife, but these scales have no chips or cracks. Almost all pocket knives show wear to the delicate scales and usually have a dull appearance to the surface when a knife is carried and rubbed inside a pocket over time. These scales have a clear, iridescence of pearl before the oceans became polluted, with expected light surface handling marks.
Overall, 3 7/16" long closed x 3/8" thick, and weighs 1.5 ounces or 42 grams, with large domed German silver double ended bolsters with brass liners. Note the back springs have the early style center liner tapering from thin at the Master Blade end that combines the tension of both back springs, to thick at the opposite end that separates the back springs; i.e., one for each of the 2 other blades. Also note there are no liners dividing the blades. The entire knife is held together with 3 German silver pins; 2 blade pivot pins and 1 to secure the back spring / liners / scales. There are 2 small German silver pins to secure the Mother of Pearl scales at each end.
All the blades stay open tightly with no wiggle, full tips, no nicks or sharpening to the blade edges, with the original mirror final polish. The 2 1/16" x 3/8" Master spear point blade is hot stamped "WALDEN" KNIFE CO." N.Y." in 3 lines on the ricasso; made from heavy 1/8" stock, with a ground swedge on both sides from the tip about halfway towards the ricasso. This blade also has the early long pull feature instead of a nail nick. The obverse of the Master blade is hand inscribed in red ink script lettering, "3263" and "CALIFORNIA". This knife was part of a Walden Knife Co Salesman's sample knife roll; carried by their salesman in his California territory. There is wear to the Cali letters of the name. Both smaller blades are stamped "WALDEN", "KNIFE CO." and "N.Y." on the ricassos. The file blade is 1 1/2" long, has a 1/2 stop, and a swedge grind along the top edge left side. The tip is sharpened. The pen blade is 1 9/16" with a 1/2 stop. Age marks are naturally occurring, and spidering takes a century to create. Both are desirous, as it shows genuine aging. The Master blade has some age spots on the inside ricasso flat, only visible when the blade is open, and minuscule spidering on the obverse ricasso with naturally occurring rub marks. Unlike modern machine made knives that appear perfect, antique knives have tell tale signs of being hand made; and age, hand forging / grinding / finishing of the blades have to be taken into consideration in any Antique handmade knife. The pen blade has a small patch of unground forging on the bottom left edge of the ricasso and 2 minuscule imperfections in the blade near the tip that are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye, but can be seen with a 10x loupe. All the blades have a VERY strong spring. You do not want to snap the blades shut on an Antique knife, as it is possible the blade could bottom out and chip or bend the knife edge or tip on the inside of the back spring or liner. Note: it is extremely difficult to photograph shiny surfaces and small items; and I took dozens of images to try to capture the lighting and knife details. Also note the images are many times larger than actual size, and exaggerate the details.
Overall, this is a Connoisseur quality, rare Antique 3 bladed Gentleman's desirable Whittler pattern unique Salesman's sample Mother of Pearl pocket knife in mint, unsharpened condition by the early American Cutler, Walden of New York. This would be an excellent investment, and perfect for any Walden Knife Co. collector, Antique pocket knife, American pocket knife collection.
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