2004 white bone SC509 with Bill Feeney scrimshaw

Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
337
Many moons ago I added a white bone with black liners SC509 Little Finger to my collection.

These were meant to be a 100th Anniversary knife with a blade etch and shield but very few (maybe a half-dozen) were ever fully completed.
https://collectors-of-schrades-r.us/anniv/pages/100th-SC509-1.htm

When Schrade went under a small number of finished knives without the etch or shield escaped into the wild.

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These knives look great and after seeing some staining on another example I think they are 1095 as well making them extra functional. From the get-go I was thinking it would be a great scrimshaw canvas or cherished user. I went with scrimshaw and earlier this year I put plans into motion.

I decided to seek out Bill Feeney who did the scrimshaw on the two Schrade-I*XL "Heralds of the Seas" sets and the "Orgill Brothers" commemorative back in the 1980s. Much to my delight I discovered he is still doing his thing and I was able to send him my knife.

"Cutty Sark" is a old-school tea-clipper and was basically the fastest ship of it's time around 1870-1877. It is a Brittish treasure and is kept in museum condition to this day. The name is cheeky and basically means "short underwear" for women. It is taken from a Robert Burns poem.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutty_Sark
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Burns

A long-time Master of Cutty Sark when it was sailing was Captain George Moodie. He is my great-great-great-grand-uncle on my Mom's side. She was very proud of this and purchased an exact two-foot wooden model of Cutty Sark. She taught us about its history as soon as we could talk.

One of her happiest moments was visiting Cutty Sark where she was able to sign the official guest-book. The visitor who had signed the book just above her was none other than Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. As a ardent "Royal Watcher" having this random connection immortalized in the book put her in pretty fine company and most excellent spirits. Every Christmas we had to gather as a family to listen in complete silence to Queen Elizabeth's address.

I decided this family connection to traditional nautical scrimshaw subject matter was also appropriate to the sailing history of Massachusetts where Bill Feeney is based. My Mom passed in 2011 and this knife will always make me think of her. She would have loved the sentiment.

I got busy on my computer finding source materials and used them to create a photo-shop mock-up. I sent the knife and my design to Bill and he worked his magic. The knife is on its way back to me now and the pics look great. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I hope you enjoy this journey as well.

mock-up:
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finished knife:
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Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
337
Thanks guys! I find a Little Finger fits my hand well and can serve as a very luxurious steak-knife at the table when its finished doing other camping tasks. I bring a NAHC "Hunting Heritage Caper" sambar SFO when camping and thick steak parts before it like The Red Sea did for Moses.

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The promise of an even sharper edge on the 1095 blade of the bone knife made me wonder if I should begin using it but the stag one saved it from that fate. The stag ones aren't available every day but are easily aquired if you have patience. I think there were lots of them made. I don't see the bone ones as often so I decided I would try and keep it as pristine as possible. I'm glad I did as things turned out.

I will scan the knife and add the detailed pics when I get it.
 

Sharp & Fiery

Leatherworks, Kydex/Holstex/Boltaron, Mods -Canada
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The scrimshaw work is beautiful. The story is even better. I went to the British maritime museum when I was a kid, back in the 80s. The Cutty Sark wasn't open for viewing as it was basically falling apart. Last November, I was able to take my wife and daughter to London and among many other sites, we made a day trip to the maritime museum in Greenwich. This time, the Cutty Sark was open and it was truly the highlight of the day. They did a wonderful job of the restoration and telling the amazing story of that ship. You've got a cool piece of history in your family and now in your hands. Congrats!
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
337
The scrimshaw work is beautiful. The story is even better. I went to the British maritime museum when I was a kid, back in the 80s. The Cutty Sark wasn't open for viewing as it was basically falling apart. Last November, I was able to take my wife and daughter to London and among many other sites, we made a day trip to the maritime museum in Greenwich. This time, the Cutty Sark was open and it was truly the highlight of the day. They did a wonderful job of the restoration and telling the amazing story of that ship. You've got a cool piece of history in your family and now in your hands. Congrats!

Thanks for sharing your cool trip to the museum in Greenwich. They don't build anything like they used to.

The knife arrived home today. Art looked so great I had to give the knife a spa treatment to match. I masked the handles and gave the blade and bolsters a better mirror-polish. I didn't touch the handle rivets because of their proximity to the artwork. The knife is now gleaming goodness.

Although I'm in my 50s, this was my first experience having a knife customized to order. Bill Feeney is a total pro. He makes the experience easy to navigate and I am completely happy with the results.

His attention to the smallest details hit the home-run. That is a tiny Cutty Sark as in the photo I provided. The subtle rigging and prow details stand out. All those tiny flags! The scrim of Capt Moodie is fantastic as well with its subtle use of cross-hatching. The whale is toothy. These easily overlooked details are ultra-small. To me, Bill's masterful skill and style combined with the font and subject-matter to create a knife that well suits the era of Cutty Sark's construction and tea seasons and the nautical birth of scrimshaw as an art. The happy whale is glad that tea is Cutty Sark's only quarry.

Bill's strong connection to Schrade back-in-the-day is the authenticity cherry-on-top. He told me that Uncle Henry Baer was very interested in scrimshaw and truly was the real deal. Larger than life but down-to-earth too. Bill used to visit with him and demonstrate his scrimshaw technique at Henry's request. They would chat in his office while Bill worked on a piece.

My Mom would have turned 90 this past Sunday so I was already thinking of her some. She had been an elementary school-teacher and I think our intricate Cutty Sark model was one way she tricked us into thinking learning was fun. One of my very first memories is of her holding me close to the model on the mantle while telling me all about it. I must have been four or five and couldn't have weighed much. I liked the model and her face. The message went over my head at that point.

Knife also commemorates my Mom's grandmother, my "Great-Gran". She lived to be 98 years old and was of coal-miner stock born in West Wemyss on the seafaring Scottish coast. Capt George Moodie was her uncle so it was not very far removed for her. She also came to Canada when her daughter (my Mom's mom) emigrated. As such I am lucky enough to remember her from the 1970s as well. It was her that had passed down the Captain Moodie family connection. "Ach, me wee bairn!" She said that every time I arrived for a visit and I recall a very loving smile. She was the total Scotch stereotype accent-wise and was one step away from being as unintelligible as Brad Pitt in "Snatch".

This collectable gives me an excuse to ponder all sorts of good memories. Home run!
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Feb 4, 2021
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Hi, I am from Fife, Scotland, and I am researching Captain George Moodie for a book to be written by a relative of his (and yours!). I am keen to contact descendants of the captain. I have a lot of information about him which you may find interesting. Did you know that his father was a harpooner on whaling ships?
 
Joined
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Hi, I am from Fife, Scotland, and I am researching Captain George Moodie for a book to be written by a relative of his (and yours!). I am keen to contact descendants of the captain. I have a lot of information about him which you may find interesting. Did you know that his father was a harpooner on whaling ships?

Hi! Sorry about the late reply and welcome! Both my hard-drives died within a month of each other and I lost a bunch of time-consuming knife scans. It soured my collecting attitude for a while and I haven't been reading these forums.

I do not know anything about Captain Moodie's father. I would love to learn as much as I can from you. Thanks for posting. I hope my reply didn't come too late.
 
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