PLEASE VISIT MY NEW WEST COAST TRADING POST STORE! FINE RARE & EARLY c1835 WEAPON PEARL 2 BLADED SHEFFIELD FOLDING LOCKBACK WEAPON. FINE, RARE & EARLY MOTHER OF PEARL. 2 BLADED SHEFFIELD FOLDING LOCK BACK WEAPON. Made for a wealthy Gentleman.
These early folding dirk knives were created to be used only as a weapons. They fall into the early category of edged weapons made for personal self-defense purposes; and thus have the accompanying Mano-a-Mano romance and history associated with this early period of American history. They are the Gentleman's counterpart to the Bowie / dirk knife; but are many times rarer than their fixed blade counterparts. This rare Sheffield early 19th Century Folding lock back Dirk weapon is by the scarce & early quality cutler W.Both blade ricassos are hot stamped "W STENTON", "ELEGANT", "CUTLERY" in 3 lines. Stenton was in business prior to 1837, when his sons joined the firm, when their Maker's mark changed to, W. Retail firm was located at 72 Maiden Lane, New York City, and was an import agency dealing in Sheffield cutlery. This Folding Dirk was made in Sheffield for the burgeoning American Market, and intended for a well-to-do gentleman to use as a self defense primary or back up weapon. During the early 19th century there was little law and order, and it was "every man for himself".
Men were often at risk of being waylaid by thugs, ner' do goods, thieves, robbers, and bandits; and typically carried a cap and ball percussion pistol for self-protection. These early folding dirk knives were made only as a self-defense weapon for personal protection, and were completely hand forged, hand ground and hand fitted, using only the simplest of hand tools. The revolver wasn't invented until 1836 by Samuel Colt.
This Patterson model revolver and was very expensive at the time, and revolvers were not in general use in American until the Colt Baby Dragoon pocket model was introduced in 1848; followed shortly by the popular Model 1849. Gentlemen would typically carry a brace of single shot percussion pistols which were prone to misfiring. Thus, gentlemen would also typically carry a folding knife in their pocket or vest; or sometimes a less expensive fixed blade dirk or Bowie knife as a side arm on their belt as a back up self defense weapon. Almost all cutlery in American at this time was imported from Sheffield, United Kingdom.This Dirk is overall is 8 3/4" long open, with a single edged 4 1/16" long dagger shaped dirk blade with a median ridge ground down the middle of the blade. The blade has been properly sharpened over time, with very light sharpening. When you run you finger over the sharpened edge, there are no nicks to the blade, and the blade retains it's full tip. There is one small spot of light pitting on the back side of the blade near the ricasso, as well as a few age spots and spidering, as to be expected. This is normal for a knife that is 180 years old; and is in lightly used and carried, and remains in excellent condition.
Not all Sheffield Folding Dirks were a lock back design such as this one, which are rarer, more desirable, and were more expensive to manufacture. The lock back feature is designed for safety; to prevent the blade from closing on the fingers while gripping the hilt during a knife fight. Lock back dirks with the 2 piece back springs required special tempering of the shorter back spring & special hand fitting of the delicate locking mechanism. The 2 piece back springs on lock back dirks were only about 2/3 the length of one piece back spring dirks; thus, adding to the weakness of the Main spring.The lower 2/3 of the spring acts as the only spring for the Master blade. The top 1/3 portion of the "back spring" acts as the lever & locking mechanism of the Master blade, and is not tempered to have any spring tension.
The pin going through this top 1/3 of the "back spring" acts as a pivot pin for the top 1/3 of the "back spring" that is really just a locking lever. Thus, even when new, these dirks with "2/3 length" back springs never had any where near the snap compared to the one piece back springs that are much longer, hand tempered differently, and almost always have a strong snap. An 1830's dirk is 10 times rarer than an 1840's or 1850's folding lock back dirk. Most were carried daily and lived a long, hard life and saw a decade or two of daily use before the later 1840's or 1850's lock back dirks were manufactured. Folding Dirks were used as a primary or back up weapon before the more reliable cartridge revolvers became into use in the mid to late 1860's, and were carried after carrying firearms was outlawed, well past the turn of the 20th century.This accounts for most of these old folders have their delicate 2 piece, 2/3 length Master blade springs that are sprung and / or worn out, with no snap at all; resulting in a lazy blade. This dirk locks tightly in the open locked position, with no discernible movement front to back nor side to side. Some Folding lock back dirk weapons saw decades of use, and were carried in the Mexican American War, the Civil War by Military Officers, Sporting Gents, Gamblers and Gentlemen of means. All considering, this Master blade has a decent snap when closing the blade into the hilt; what you would expect to find an an early 1830's 2 piece back spring Folding Lock back Dirk. It is easy to understand that if this knife were dropped even one time, the pearl scales would crack and shatter.
This demonstrates the piece has been well cared for overall for going on 2 centuries; and this blade snap is normal due to extreme age and actual use over decades. The smaller 2 1/8 long quill blade with a 1 piece back spring has an excellent snap; and would be used by Gentlemen for opening envelopes, cutting string, or sharpening a Goose quill that was then dipped into an ink well for writing or affixing one's signature to a document. Although metal dip pens came into use in the 1830's, quill knives were still a fashionable accessory, and continued to be used for decades. Only a learned Gentleman who know how to read and write during this period, and would have had to be wealthy to afford a self defense weapon with a quill bladed knife like this one.
The original Master pin is German silver; en suite with the German silver top bolster that is hand line engraved and has a hand filed rope bottom border. The early & very desirable, and top of the line select Mother-of-Pearl scales are in very fine condition. All handle material shrinks over time, including Mother of Pearl. This is especially true of early, pre-1837 knives.Natural aging is what typically causes cracks and chips to the pearl over time; along with the stress of the pins, causing naturally occurring age cracks or chips. Only a Master Cutler had the skill to set the pins in the delicate Mother of Pearl. One wrong hammer strike could crack or shatter the pearl when setting the pins; thus ruining the Pearl cutters work.
This dirk has 7 different German silver pins; the back spring pin, the Master pivot pin and the end pin, and the scale pins. Large oysters were gathered by free divers created before the oceans became polluted.
Besides the allure and luster of Mother of Pearl scales, this is one reason why early, pre-1837 pearl knives are so rare in un-cracked & unbroken condition. The liners are brass, as are typical. These scales are in fine condition, with no cracks or chips; just some naturally occurring layering in the pearl and minuscule nibbles on the edges facing the liners.
Under magnification, I found one small nick to one edge, and an imperceptible spider crack to one edge that can't be seen with the human eye; all normal pocket wear and for a 175 year old object that was typically carried in a pocket, along with coins, a watch, or? These Mother of Pearl scales have iridescence, especially when viewed in direct sunlight. The pearl has not been cleaned or polished, and the pearl had a tendency to dull over time due to the many minuscule scratches in the delicate surface.
This pearl would shine and be more attractive if buffed by a professional; however, it took 180 years to attain this untouched patina, and has never been touched. This style, shape and size of this Dirk is what is typical of 1830's Folding Dirks, and weighs 2.7 ounces; yet is a very deadly self defense weapon. This Early Sheffield Folding Lock back Dirk knife would make a handsome display piece in any knife, dirk, dagger, Folder, Bowie, edged weapon, Mexican American War, Civil War, gambling, Old West, Western Americana or Military Officer's accouterments collection; as well as an excellent Investment. Bill Williamson, the Well Known "Grandfather" of Bowie knife collecting, wrote that 95% of all early Sheffield knives were imported into America. In the United States of the 1830's, 100% of Folding Lock back self defense weapons were imported from Sheffield.
Given this American heritage and legacy, these folding dirks are 50 to 100 times rarer and more desirable than their fixed blade counterparts; but not 50 to 100 times the price. Considering their extreme rarity, an original, pre-1837 lock back dirk self defense weapon is under priced in the Market; if you can fine one for sale. This handsome Mother of Pearl investment piece is a top of the line for the discerning, connoisseur collector.
BANK DRAFTS DRAWN ON A U. BANK CONSIDERED WITH PRIOR APPROVAL.Due to a myriad of International and U. PLEASE VISIT MY NEW WEST COAST TRADING POST STORE. IN THE UPPER RIGHT HAND CORNER OF MY LISTINGS. The item "FINE RARE & EARLY c1835 WEAPON PEARL 2 BLADED SHEFFIELD FOLDING LOCKBACK WEAPON" is in sale since Thursday, June 13, 2019. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Knives, Swords & Blades\Collectible Folding Knives\Vintage Folding Knives\Factory Manufactured". The seller is "1knifeguy1" and is located in Fairfield, California. This item can be shipped to United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Sweden, South Korea, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Norway, Qatar, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Colombia, Panama, Barbados, Egypt, Iceland, Jordan, Cayman islands, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Martinique, Oman, Paraguay, Uruguay.