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Knife history
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NWTF Longhunter
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Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 73
Location: Michigan
Real Name: Ron W LaClair

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:03 pm    Post subject: Knife history Reply with quote

Anyone have any input on the time period, history and origin of this french style ball grip knife? This particular one has an 8" blade with a 4.5" handle of bone.



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LRB
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 260

Real Name: WICK ELLERBE

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw the pics on another forum. For HC, the rivet pins are totally wrong, and the notch work in the choil/heel should not be there. Otherwise, it is a beautiful piece, and would have fit in nicely into 18th c., depending on what level of HC you demand. The ball grip was popular in the 18th c. with the English as well as the French. The use of antler is questioned by the historical, or maybe hysterical elite types, but there are a couple of pretty well documented relics with such for grips. You have a very nice looking knife. It appears to be well executed, just go with it and enjoy using it. If one goes too far into what is, or is not, totally, provable HC, it becomes more an obsession than an enjoyable past time, and the fun of it all can slip away.
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NWTF Longhunter
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Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 73
Location: Michigan
Real Name: Ron W LaClair

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Wick. I knew that the notch and the pins were weren't correct for the knife but was curious as to who might have carried such a knife, when and where.

Again, thank you for your answer.

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LRB
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Joined: 15 May 2007
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Real Name: WICK ELLERBE

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron, I just saw the replies you got on THAT other board. What they are saying has some truth, but, it validates what I was trying to say. That board is only interested in HC tangibles. If there is not a tangible example, or contemporary written description, it not accepted by most over there. Take note that they were eager to shoot you down in flames, but offered no suggestions of what was not correct, or any to improve a future selection. There is nothing really wrong with their position on HC, but unfortunately, there are many there who have no manners what so ever, and some even take pleasure in the belittlement of folks such as you, who do not meet their standards. Unfortunately, they exist as a necessary evil to promote the expansion of historical knowledge until some change in mannerisms takes place. Also note, there is a reason that many of them do not post on this board, and much of it involves a lack of common manners that makes them unwelcome here. This board was once, THAT board, in many ways, but it was and is, much tighter controlled. THAT board was a much better board when the previous owner ran it. Take care Ron, and enjoy your knife.
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Don Abbott
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Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 116
Location: East Tennessee
Real Name: Don Abbott

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, you be the Ron LaClair of the Traditional Archery Shoppe?

I was following your interviews and articles and such back in the early 90's. I used to be into the stick bows in a big way, but the anvil and the hammer has kinda won me over for the time being. I've not quit the bows... just trying to get caught up and find time to fit it all in.

You can bank on Mr. LRB's advice. There's nit-pickers, and then there's practical. Wick, in my opinion, strikes a great balance between historical accuracy and practical application. Plus, he makes a mighty fine knife. I'm stealing advice and inspiration from him every chance I get.

Good day to you all.

Don... fool for the ball-grip knife
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NWTF Longhunter
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Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 73
Location: Michigan
Real Name: Ron W LaClair

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Don, Yep, that's me. My interest has been in both traditional archery and traditional muzzleloading for many many years. I think the two have much in common....good forged knives and hawks being just one of them.

Fifty years ago if a person had an interest in archery, muzzleloading, or blacksmithing there were few sources of good information available. Trial and error was a common method of learning. Now with books, videos and the internet a person can shave off years in the learning process. Fortunately there are many seasoned experts in their field that are willing to share their knowledge with newcomers. People like Wick, yourself and others who realize that a word of encouragement goes a lot further than criticism. Criticism its self is not a bad thing but given in a mean spirited manner it can be discouraging and may drive away potential newcomers.

Some on that OTHER board should realize that haughty is naughty and polite a delight...8>)

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Woodsman1752
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Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 19
Location: U P
Real Name: Louis Calabrese

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I completely agree with Wick on your knife and about the other board, I also want to say that I have also enjoyed your articles about traditional bow hunting, I have always thought of you as a doer and a fine example of a woodsman.

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red squirrel
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Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 80
Location: Illinois
Real Name: Simeon England

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup. Im not sure what it is, if its a testosterone contest or what. But folks can get snippy aweful fast.

Not sure whatever happened to helping folks with whatever level they were at, sharing some PC info with them, and saying good day?

The board misses Michael Archer, who IMHO was the best at giving historical info in a polite and thorough way.

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NWTF Longhunter
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Joined: 29 Jun 2008
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Location: Michigan
Real Name: Ron W LaClair

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Louis

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Oldknfmakr
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Joined: 19 Jan 2011
Posts: 3
Location: Grover,NC
Real Name: Michael Broach

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron, I didn't comment on your knife on the other board cause I am already in enough trouble there. I checked a couple of knife forums and one very similar was attributed to the American south west, early 19th century. They called the notch a "Spanish notch". That notch also is seen on some gaucho knives in Argentina.

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Michael Archer
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 290
Location: West of Fort Pitt
Real Name: Curt Schmidt

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How d'ye!

Once more into the Fray.

Once Upon a Time, when I was studying to be an archeologist.. the professor handed us a penny and said we were to be space aliens having found it in an excavation an dinver what we may from the artifact witohut knowing what it was.
When that project was over, it was a can of Right Guard deodorant.

I have seen much modern commentary on "Spanish notches" and what they might be or do... but no Primary or Secondary source documention.

The earliest similar feature I have ever seen was on an excavated European dagger from the late 14th century.

They are more common singly and in pairs on mid 17th century Spanish "main gauche" daggers used in the high fashion Spanish fencing schools with rapier and dagger gauche two bladed fighting systems or styles.
However, NUG, the "hole" is large enough to admit the width of a rapier so that the blade could conceivably be snapped (short enough to the hilt to create a reach disadvantage).
Obviously a very tiny hole would not do too much.

The small "Spanish notch" design seems to stay with the Spanish at times, but reappears on some CW era commercial 'bowie" knives. And then died out when the anti-anarchist movement and paranoia legislation of the 1890's put a damper on large fighting knives.



IMHO still, they saw a rebirth first with two very famous knife makers in the 1990's. And that spawned a fashion fad craze where knife-makers were and still are often adding them as "art" or decoration to knives from any ethnicity, region, or era to make them look nice.

Ah, a penny or can of deodorant. :) :)

Others' mileage will vary...

Michael Archer

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Don Abbott
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Joined: 17 May 2007
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Location: East Tennessee
Real Name: Don Abbott

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure you can find some semblance of the "Spanish notch" on some of Samuel Bell's knives.

From what I understand, Bell made knives in Knoxville, TN around 1840-50 the moved to Texas.

Mark Zalesky of Knife World magazine has done a lot of research on Bell's dirks & bowies.
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NWTF Longhunter
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Joined: 29 Jun 2008
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Location: Michigan
Real Name: Ron W LaClair

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple more pictures





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GreyWolf
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 88
Location: Southern Rockies
Real Name: Chuck Burrows

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Ron - I recognize that sheath!
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Jacques
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Joined: 06 Jul 2008
Posts: 78
Location: Illinois
Real Name: David MacDonald

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: Fish net notch? Reply with quote

I have no documentation at all about the "Spanish notch," but I know it is useful in pulling knots very tight for a fishing net. I was told--though I have no documentation--that the notch was present on the knives of fishermen, both Spanish and French, on the Bay of Biscay.

Jacques
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