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Antique Knives and Cutlery - Collectible Knives

October 20th, 2011 Collectibles

Buying an Antique Knife Online

There are many options for buying an antique knife online including purchasing a knife through distributors who maintain e-commerce websites as well as bidding on knives through established online bidding sites. In general, it is considered safe to purchase these knives online but as with any purchase a collector makes, care should be taken to verify the authenticity, condition and appropriate price for any item they intend to buy online.

Purchasing an antique knife online through an established vendor who maintains an e-commerce website in addition to a regular store is generally considered to be the safest option for online purchases. However, even in these cases care should be taken to verify the specific details for each item as well as the return policy before making a purchase. This will help to prevent problems which may arise if the wrong item is purchased.

Online auctions are somewhat riskier, but as long as the buyer does adequate research the potential for problems are minimal. Verifying the reputation of the seller is very important. Most online auction websites allow buyers to provide feedback on sellers and make this information available to all users. Potential buyers can use this information to determine whether or not past buyers have been pleased with the seller. Additionally, buyers should also review all product details and photos carefully before purchasing an antique knife online. The information and photos provided should provide adequate reassurance the item is authentic and in good condition. However, if the information is lacking or the photos are limited the buyer should proceed with caution unless the buyer is willing to provide the missing information.

Factors to Consider Before Offering Antique Knives for Sale

Antique knife collectors may wish to begin offering their antique knives for sale but there are a number of important considerations to make before doing this. Specifically, the collector should carefully consider whether or not selling the knives will turn out to be profitable. In general, the price a collector can ask for a particular knife will depend on the rarity of the item as well as the demand for the item. Additionally, the condition of the item will impact the price a buyer is willing to pay.

Rarity and demand are particularly important because buyers are more likely to be willing to pay a high fee for a desirable antique knife, which is also rare. However, if there is little demand for the knife or the knife is readily available the asking price may not be very high. Before selling an antique knife the collector should evaluate how much he spent to acquire, maintain and store the knife and consider this amount in relation to the amount a potential buyer is willing to pay.

Finally, the condition of antique knives is also very important because prices tend to decline with the condition of the item. Collectors should take care to keep their knives in the best possible condition. This will include proper cleaning, maintenance and storage. Antique knives should be cleaned, oiled and waxed as necessary. Also the blade should be kept sharp. The knives should also be stored in a dust free environment where the knives will not be disturbed regularly.

Join the Collectors Club for Antique Case Knives

Collectors interested in antique case knives might want to consider joining the Case Collectors Club. This club is offered through the W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. and offers three levels of membership including a junior membership, an annual membership and a lifetime membership. Annual members pay a fee each year to maintain their membership and are entitled to receive The Case Collector magazine, the annual case catalogs, get exclusive limited offers, have access to online communities, receive updated lists of authorized dealers, are eligible to purchase the annual club knife and may receive a tour of the Case factory. Annual members pay a one time fee for the same privileges and also have the opportunity to purchase the entire collection of knives offered to club members annually.

Access to online communities is a very useful tool for collectors who are particularly interested in antique case knives. This is because through communication with other collectors, it is possible to learn more about the options available and locate hard to find antique items.

Keeping Knife Collectibles Safe

A knife sheath is an essential piece of equipment for keeping knife collectibles safe when on the trail. Not all knife collectibles are simply display items. Many collectors enjoy using these pieces as functional items and often take the antique or collectible knives on camping, hiking and hunting excursions. During these excursions the use of a knife sheath is imperative because it helps to minimize the risk of losing the blade while in the wilderness. Knife sheaths are available in a variety of different materials including leather and nylon and may have closures such as metal snaps or Velcro. Selecting a sheath should be a based on a combination of both form and function. Ideally, the sheath will be attractive to the collector but also serve the purpose of keeping the knife secure.

Another basic purpose of a knife sheath is to protect the user from personal injury. Accidental cuts may be potentially dangerous. Therefore, it is important for the user to take precautions to ensure accidental contact with the blade is minimized. Keeping the knife sheathed whenever it is not in use will help to prevent serious injuries.

Selecting an Antique Knife Sharpener

There are many knife sharpeners commercially available; however, antique knife collectors may want to research their options carefully before selecting an antique knife sharpener to sharpen the knives in their collection. This is important because antique knives may require specific tools for sharpening. Over time, the materials used to create knives as well as the manufacturing processes have changed and some sharpening tools may be designed for a specific material or process. It is important to know the material of the knives in the collection in order to select sharpening tools appropriately.

In many cases, the tools readily available will suffice. However, it is worthwhile to verify the safety of the tools used before attempting to sharpen an antique knife to avoid irreversible damage which may occur if the sharpening tools are not safe for use on the antique knives. It is also important to remember not all knives in the collection may require a specific antique knife sharpener. Additionally, the collector should be prepared to purchase as many sharpening kits as necessary depending on the complexity of the collection.v

Selecting Antique Hunting Knives

The purpose of the knife purchase is one of the most important considerations when selecting antique hunting knives. This is because the way in which the knife will be used can have a tremendous impact on the type of knife the collector selects. In general, antique hunting knives are purchased either for display purposes or for functional purposes. This means the collector intends to either keep the knife on display or use it for its intended purpose of hunting.

This may impact selection because collectors seeking display items are most likely to seek out items that round out their collection and will look attractive on display. Conversely, collectors who intend to use their knives for a functional purpose may prefer to seek out knives which are appropriate for the type of hunting they do and are less inclined to be influenced by the aesthetics of the knife.

Regardless of the way in which an antique knife will be used, the collector should always take care to ensure he properly researches and verifies the authenticity of any item purchased. This is important because antique knives can be expensive and depending on the condition and rarity of the item, the price can be quite high. However, most collectors will agree this price is only worthwhile if the item is authentic and in good condition. Therefore, buyers should take time to educate themselves to avoid paying too much for an item which is not authentic.

Starting a Collection of Antique Knives

Collecting antique knives is a hobby which may quickly transform from a casual hobby to a serious passion or even a profitable business. In the beginning, collectors may choose knives based on personal preference but over time the collection may evolve into a highly specialized collection as the collector becomes more knowledgeable about the industry. However, when first starting a collection many novice collectors select knives based on aesthetic reasons. This gives them the opportunity to develop a personal style and start to notice which category of knives they prefer.

Whether a knife collector plans to grow his collection into a business or even an expansive collection or has no intentions of collecting for any reason other than personal enjoyment it is still important to properly care for the knives in the collection. This is important because the knives can become damaged if not cared for properly. Once damage occurs the pieces will not be as valuable or as attractive. Proper care involves wiping down the blades regularly and applying quality oil as well as lightly waxing the knives as needed.

Storing Collectible Knives and Swords

Whether collectible knives and swords are meant to be display pieces or functional items, care should be taken to store these items carefully. This is important because knives and swords can cause serious injury or even death if not used appropriately and carefully. Regardless of whether the knives and swords are meant to be display items or functional pieces, they should be kept where they are inaccessible to children or others who are not aware of knife safety practices.

Collectible knives and swords that are meant to be display items can be kept in glass cases where they can be prominently displayed. These cases may be dust proof to prevent damage to the knives but should also have a locking device to prevent others from accessing the display case easily. The key for the display case should be kept in a secure location away from the display.

Collectible knives or swords that are intended to be used as functional pieces may be kept in locking display cases if the owner also wishes to keep these items on display. However, if displaying the items is not important to the collector, another location such as a safe or other secure location is considered ideal for storing functional knives and swords. Again, the key for these cases should be kept in a secure location.

The Increasing Popularity of Case Collectible Knives

The Case Collectors Club was established in 1981 with only 426 members in the first year of the club. However, over time this organization has become increasingly popular and now boosts nearly 18,000 members. This number is sufficient to make the Case Collectors Club the largest knife collecting association in the world demonstrating the popularity of collecting this specific brand of knife. Through the years the club has maintained its focus on serving the enthusiastic knife collectors and has provided a wealth of information to the community. Club members have access to information about the company and its history and knives as well as general information on the hobby of collecting knives. More information on joining this club can be found through the W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. website.

Types of Antique Cutlery Available

Knife collectors who are interested in antique cutlery may be surprised to find the types of collectibles available can usually be narrowed down to four general categories. These categories include Bowie knives, tactical knives, swords and pocket knives. Within these four main categories there are also many sub categories which may further define the collection.

Collectors may choose to collect knives from all of these categories as well as from the sub-categories, which may exist within each category. However, most collectors who have a specific interest prefer to focus their collection on only one or two of the main categories and may further limit the collection in terms of the sub categories they include in their collection.


Understanding Antique Bowie Knives

According to the original definition, antique Bowie knives referred to a series of knives designed by Colonel James Bowie. A Bowie knife was not simply one design of a knife but rather a term used to refer to a number of design variations designed by James Bowie. However, today the term refers to any large sheath knife. These knives are typically designed to function as camping and hunting tools as well as weapons.

The main features of a Bowie knife are a large blade of at least six inches. The blade is typically one and a half inches to two inches wide and is typically constructed of steel. A strip of a softer metal such as brass or copper may be inlaid in the back as a method of catching an opponent’s blade. Another feature devised to assist in catching an opponent’s blade is an upper guard which is bent forward at an angle.