Cattaraugus Knife EBONY King of the Woods 12829 -12839?
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Cattaraugus Knife EBONY King of the Woods 12829 -12839? Picture and Description:
ellisrichman Store For your consideration and collecting pleasure, this auction presents an authentic and quite hard-to-find Cattaraugus “KING OF THE WOODS” knife with original factory EBONY scales (handles). First, a little history on the evolution of the company that made the King of the Woods ABOUT the CATTARAUGUS CUTLERY CO. ...from AllAboutPocketKnives.com the BEST source for all pocket knife information The Cattaraugus Company was started by John Champlin and his son Tint in 1882. It was first incorporated under the name J.B.F. Champlin and Son as a wholesale distribution company based in Little Valley, New York. This history of J.B.F. Champlin (the founder) as a businessman is very interesting. Some view him as “the patriarch” of a whole line of American cutlery firms, including Case Bros, Kinfolks, Little Valley Knife Association, Crandall, W R Case, and many others that had their roots in some association with Mr. Champlin’s vision. The business proved to be a successful endeavor, and it soon branched into a knife production company named Cattaraugus Cutlery Company of Little Valley NY. In 1890, Mr. Champlin purchased cutlery manufacturing equipment from a failed business called the Beaver Falls Cutlery factory. Because Champlin started in the knife business as a wholesaler for a company who imported German and English knives he had great knowledge about the cutlery business. As a wholesaler, he knew the market well, and he knew the shortcomings of the U.S. knife manufacturers. His plan was simple. He believed that the business would thrive if he could provide the highest quality cutlery available. In order to achieve this goal, he hired the best cutlers and provided them with the highest quality materials. This combination proved to be successful. Champlin brought in cutlers from Germany, England, and other U.S. manufacturers. The knives that were created in these early years designed in over 100 patterns set the quality standard by which all other U.S. manufacturers were measured. HISTORY OF THE “KING OF THE WOODS” FOLDING HUNTING KNIFE The “KING OF THE WOODS” hunting knife was introduced with as pattern number 12819, which contained no blade-locking device. The scales were made of jigged bone, thus the “9” at the end of the pattern number which designates Cattaraugus jigged bone scales. All of the “KING OF THE WOODS” knives were etched on the blade, but very few remain with the original delicate “KING OF THE WOODS” etching intact. At some point, Cattaraugus installed a brass blade-locking device in the liner, and reissued the knife as the 12829. This transition may have initiated in the early 1930’s when Tint Champlin of Cattaraugus Cutlery filed a patent for a lock-back device on March 3, 1931, described as a “blade locking device” with drawings and description of the liner-lock that we see on the 12829 pattern. The patent and drawings were approved on April 5, 1932 (patent #1,852,400 - Here is a link to that patent: Link to patent for Cattaraugus Liner Lock-Back knife For some reason, the 12829’s are marked Patented July 2, 1906 on the liner release, yet I’m unable to find a patent or patent filing for this date. The redesign feature added a little more heft to the knife, and it was reported that far less hunters were losing fingers with the new lock-back feature ) The last of the “KING OF THE WOODS” knives was the 12839 pattern, where the manufacturer created a swing-guard attached to the blade by a pin passing through a hole in the tang, and they also moved the blade lock from the liner to the back of the knife. Interestingly, this exact design of a blade locking device on a pocket knife was patented by John Case in 1906 (here is a link to that patent: Link to King of the Woods patent I'll include copies I have of some of these patents with drawings for the winning bidder enclosed with the knife and the engraved custom wooden box I had made to protect and showcase it. WHY THIS KNIFE IS STUNNING and HARD-TO-FIND This is quite likely a one-of-a-kind EBONY “KING OF THE WOODS”. Like the 12829, there is no swing guard, and it does not have a pin-hole where the swing-guard of the 12839 does. Yet it DOES have the style of the blade lock on the back of the knife just like the 12839 pattern. It also was fitted by Cattaraugus craftsman with solid EBONY scales. All the patterns for the King of the Woods that I've seen have jigged bone scales...execpt this one and one other I saw a picture of that has the swing-guard. There is NOT a pattern number anywhere on this knife. So how did this unique knife possibly come to exist? Cattaraugus experts and collectors that I have consulted with concur that this is an authentic Cattaraugus “KING OF THE WOODS” in EBONY. The most likely speculation is that of the many skilled knife-makers (known as cutlers) employed at the Cattaraugus factory, some occasionally chose to customize personal knives for themselves or their friends using parts from the manufacturing supplies. If there were a pattern designation for this Ebony scale knife, it likely would have been "12826" or an early (possibly a prototype) "12836" Note: Here’s how the Cattaraugus pattern numbering system works --- the “1” designates one blade, the “2” designates two bolsters, the two-digit model number would be “82” or “83” and the scales designated as “6” to indicate scales made of EBONY --- whereas the number “9” designates jigged bone scales. Below is a link to information and pictures of the code numbers and the types of handle materials that Cattaraugus Cutlery manufactured their knives with: https://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/cattaraugus/cattaraugus_handle_material.php DETAILS OF THIS VERY SPECIAL FOLDING HUNTER'S POCKET KNIFE This collector’s knife is about 9.3 inches long fully open, indicating that a professional polishing that a previous owner completed took the blade-length down a fraction of an inch. It absolutely gleams from shiny tip to tip, and the almost perfect EBONY scales have no cracks or hairlines. The shield emblem is superb. Snap is excellent. It has an almost imperceptible wobble that’s just about not worth mentioning. There are some tiny scratches and minimal light pitting on the blade, with some deeper scratches on the stamped tang of the blade than elsewhere…the tang was likely left less polished to preserve the Cattaraugus stamp, which is nicely legible except that a few letters that are worn off. Brass liner, clean as a whistle, with nickel silver bolsters. Hole was factory-drilled in the base of the blade for a ring or thong. When closed, the blade sits a little toward the left side of the center of the liner…and it opens and closes very nicely. The liner is really clean, no rust anywhere on the knife that I can see. The blade locks in tight as a drum. An expert pointed out that the “kick” on the tang appears ground a tiny bit to enable the blade to seat more properly in the case. I’m including an engraved custom wood knife display case that I designed specifically for this knife to protect and show off this collector’s dream; the outside of the box is engraved: King of the Woods Cattaraugus Cutlery Co. Little Valley, N.Y. (see pictures for more details of this custom display case) Would you like to own a one-of-a-kind “KING OF THE WOODS”? Several Cattaraugus collectors expressed to me how much they would like to own this knife, so I decided to auction it to make it fair to all the interested parties. Don’t miss out, and feel like “Oh I would have won it if I’d just bid a little more.” You’ll be thrilled and excited that if you place the winning bid…this knife is a quintessential showpiece for any Cattaraugus or folding hunting knife collection, especially if you collect the “KING OF THE WOODS” variations. Your friends mouths will drop open (and drool a little) when they see this. When I first showed it to my wife, she said, "Wow, it's heavy!" Shipping will be USPS Priority Mail, very carefully packaged, with signed receipt. No returns…and I’m certain you’ll be happy. I will ship within 3 business days of receipt of your payment. International shipping ONLY if you contact me first about shipping rates. otherwise no international shipping. Note: Because there appears to be no documentation in any knife collecting book about this unique pattern of knife, I am relying heavily on the speculation and conjecture of Cattaraugus knife experts that have graciously shared their opinions with me; I am a novice collector/researcher and probably know much less about knives than you do. In other words, please ask any questions you like before bidding, and I’ll do my best, but I’m not an authority on Cattaraugus. The consensus is that this knife is beautiful, and “the Real McCoy.” Please look at the pictures carefully and ask questions prior to bidding, NO returns. All information is believed to be reliable, but is not warranted by the seller as condition is a matter of opinion, and I'm happy to offer my opinion, but as I stated I'm not a cutlery expert...but I appreciate a beautiful and rare knife like this when I see one.