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Abram Brooksbank (of Sheffield) folder

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Jack Black, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Picked up this Abram Brooksbank (of Sheffield) folder this afternoon. These are a few pics taken on my kitchen table this evening. As you can see the blade (which I think is hand-forged) has been heavily ground, and in fact I think it may even have been re-ground from a lambsfoot (like the one in the black and white photo from the Sheffield collection). Almost looks like a sodbuster now. Only half of the blade stamp and ‘Defiance’ logo can now be read unfortunately. Despite it’s age, the action is fantastic, and it feels great in the hand. I’ve done absolutely nothing with it yet, but I’ll be sharpening it up to carry and use. Just hope all that grinding hasn’t softened the steel, but it looks like a well-used knife.

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  2. JAlexander

    JAlexander

    Oct 16, 2003
    That's quite a score, Jack. Oddly enough, as I opened this thread my music player started up The Dalesman's Litany. Neat coincidence.
     
  3. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Very nice James :D
     
  4. Humppa

    Humppa Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    Nice knife, Jack! Do you know about how old the knife is - in which time it could have been built? I really like the look of that worn out stag.
     
  5. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    I think it may be Victorian (19th Century). The shop I got it from was in Dewsbury market in West Yorkshire. They only had a few knives. There was a stainless Richards knife from the 70's or later, a tiny carbon-bladed Richards which was badly rusted, another miniature with a broken blade, and what looked like it could have been one of the traditional Austrian patterns that you posted about a while ago. The handle was what looked like Bambi's hoof and lower leg, would that make sense? Unfortunately it was in a different cabinet to the other knives and the chap in the shop couldn't find the key (it was also quite expensive).
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  6. comoha

    comoha Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    I really like the blade shape. A great all around utility geometry.
    Nice score!
     
  7. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Yes me too Corey, but I don't think it's the original blade shape, it seems to me the nail-nick is too close to the point, and that the point sits wrong in the folded position. I'd be interested to hear what others think.

    By coincidence, Malinda Works on Malinda Street, Sheffield, where the knife was originally made was a stones-throw from where I used to live in Sheffield. In fact I think I may have even been there, and with another forum member.
     
  8. Humppa

    Humppa Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    Thanks for that info. Wow... seems to be an old beauty!

    The austrian pattern (Trattenbacher Taschenfeitel/Taschenzaunkerl) could be available in UK. Someone might have brought there after vacation or while business. The handle shape of Bambi´s feet might be interessting looking. There were many makers of these knives in past in Austria, someone could have made a handle in that form/shape. It would be nice to see, but not when it was that expensive
     
  9. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    The knife was folded, so it wasn't easy to tell, but it certainly reminded me of that pattern. Maybe I'll have to pay another visit to Dewsbury! :)
     
  10. Campbellclanman

    Campbellclanman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Ground or not....if I had a choice to own that knife the answer most definitely would be yes!!
    When you look just how much length was lost - there's not a lot, the knife still looks good when closed compared to a lot of the early Sheffield's you find...when closed the blade is half way along the liner!
    I agree fully with Andi-that Stag looks just beautiful, I dont think its worn - I think Stag is perfect like that.... just great to see, thank you Jack.
     
  11. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Thanks Duncan, I'm very pleased with it. Only went out to that particular town on the spur of the moment (I was supposed to be doing something else) and only spotted it the second time I walked past. The guy in the shop not only gave me a good price, but actually knocked off 25% because I didn't argue about it. I wish I could pass it round so you guys could check out the action, really smooth, but locks up nice and solid. Certainly a step up from most of the old Sheffield knives I find. I'm looking forward to carrying it. :)
     
  12. mike Berkovitch

    mike Berkovitch Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    It's a great find the scales are extremely nice and the mod. have been done tastefully. It should be great EDC though my only concern is the tip riding a bit high. But I'll take it of your hands whenever you'll get enough of it (I suspect not in this life :)).
    Mike
     
  13. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Thanks Mike! :D Yeah, the scales have a really lovely feel to them, even nicer than olive wood, much warmer than any other stag handles/scales I have. It's possible I guess, if the knife was originally a lambsfoot, that the tip was damaged, or that the knife was damaged in some way in any case, which may have led to the mod. The tip isn't proud, but it's exposed, and as you can see that's contributed to a slight rounding. I think I'll make a small pouch to carry it in. :)
     
  14. mike Berkovitch

    mike Berkovitch Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Good idea

    Mike
     
  15. ea42

    ea42 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2006
    Believe it or not that may actually have been a hawkbill. Looks nice this way!

    Eric
     
  16. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    That's interesting Eric :)

    Jack
     
  17. zippofan

    zippofan

    Nov 12, 2011
    Your threads make me interested in Sheffield Lambsfoot knives Jack, but I wouldn't have a clue as to who makes a good one now. I saw an Arthur Wright Lambsfoot Senator in snakewood that looks beautiful, but I'm afraid of taking a chance having read not so complementary reviews of Wright knives over on British Blades.

    I had a nice little Taylor's Eye Witness Barlow clip with wood handles that I traded with Sitflyer. He made it look a million bucks and sent it back to me for one of my Scouts who now carries it proudly!

    Love the mellow look of the stag on your knife, just beautiful :thumbup:
     
  18. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    I know exactly what you mean, the quality of Sheffield knives has been hit and miss (at best) for decades, and that Senator isn't cheap is it? Some of the remaining cutlers seem to think they can charge fancy prices for their knives now without in any way upping quality. I was talking to a woman in Sheffield recently, who worked for one of the few remaining cutlery retailers, and I had to laugh and shake my head at the prices they were charging for the knives they had on display. She told me that their main customers are Japanese tourists, who it seems to me are being conned into buying over-priced knives that trade on reputations made by the city's great-grandfather's. The place was selling Eggington Group 'Wostenholm' bowies for huge prices when those knives used to sell for peanuts (which is all they're worth). They're sold on the back of a load of quasi-historical nonsense relating to Jim Bowie, and I have to confess I had a part in that.

    Years ago, when the Eggington Group couldn’t have marketed water in the desert, a smarter man called Colin Pearce, who had a company called Attleborough Gun Accesories, who’d previously mainly sold Brusletto knives, decided to start selling a few Sheffield fixed-blades. Since we were friends, he sent me one of the first batch of short bowies he got from the company, which were only good as letter-openers. The knife carried one of the other old Sheffield marks they picked up when Richards had finished despoiling them. Since I knew they owned the Wostenholm mark, I remarked that I was surprised that they weren't using it on the bowies. I recounted an old legend I'd read in one of the Knives annuals about an old knife blade that had been traded for a piece of land many years ago, and the Mexican people who owned it reckoned it had originally come from the site of the Alamo, it was made by George Wostenholm . Whether that tale is true or not I don’t know, but Colin had a load of bowies made up with the Wostenholm name on and they sold like hot-cakes. Now the story has been considerably embellished by the owners of the Wostenholm name to the extent that people are being sold the ‘original’ Jim Bowie knife! They’ve made thousands out of it, and I wish I’d kept my big mouth shut!

    I used to live near the Taylor's factory, I like their kitchen knives, and I've always thought of them as one of Sheffield's better manufacturers, even if some of their pocketknives have got a little pricey for what they are.

    Trevor Ablett is another local feller who's turning out traditional patterns. They're machine-ground blades with the knives finished by hand (and sold as handmade knives - not I think dishonestly on Trevor's part - I just don't think many Sheffield cutlers know the meaning of the word 'handmade'). I might pick one of those up while he's still working. If I do purchase a contemporary Sheffield-made knife though, I think I'm going to go down to wherever they're made and at least pick one out for myself, and if I had a choice I'd pick out the steel and heat-treatment for myself too!
     
  19. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Old stag takes on a very rich colour indeed, sort of delicious butter and brownsugar aspect! Sometimes it gets very dark like grilled fat or a fruitcake hue. Wish I knew how to safely fake this ageing as I've a number of stag knives that I'd fancy 'improving'

    Very rewarding find that Jack, will make a very enviable carry knife.

    Additionally, I've got an Ablett knife, kind of Barlow affair in stag with a brass bolster. I had to work on it a bit when it first arrived: sharp bras 'shavings' in the liner. A massively stiff spring to close, bit rough around the edges etc. But now it's turned out a very credible knife with use. Good enough edge, no gaps, good spring/blade line-up, stag softening nicely. Not at all bad for the money, unlike a Wright knife I got, (a replacement for a defective one that was WORSE. Probably the poorest quality knife I've had) bad and a lot more.

    Thanks, Will
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  20. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Hi Will, "butter and brown sugar" is a good description and a good turn of phrase :)

    Good to have your feedback on the Ablett knife. Shame you had to put in some work on it though. Maybe I'll go down to the 'shop and stand there while it's made - wouldn't be the first time I've done that in Sheffield! :D Bad news on the Wright knife, it sickens me that that kind of garbage is being sold on :(

    Jack
     

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