ANTIQUE "1865" CAMBRIDGE CUTLERY WORKS SHEFFIELD

BrotherJim

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Antique "1865" Cambridge Cutlery Works Sheffield knife received today :)

Said to be from 1865 but I have not independently verified that date. The only thing I'm absolutely sure of is that it is from Cambridge Cutlery Works (see photo). There is a shadow on the ricasso as I tried to enhance the stamp. I've read that "ENGLAND" did not appear below Sheffield on knives before about 1890, so I'd say this knife is at least 130+ years old. It does not have "ENGLAND" stamped on the ricasso. No chips or cracks in the stag. 5 1/8" blade and 9" overall. German silver guard.

The most remarkable thing is that this knife still has a factory edge on it !!! The last man to sharpen this knife was a cutler in Sheffield, century before last. Buy that man a beer. Unfortunately this knife did not come with a sheath. The original sheath is lost to the ages. My best guess is that since it still has the factory edge, it may have been part of a display at some point, was separated from its sheath and the sheath lost over time. Insane that in 130+ years, it wasn't used or sharpened and virtually untouched by several generations.

I don't have reference material or resources other than google, so maybe the only way to verify age is to take it on the Antique Roadshow LOL ... unless someone here has some info or experience with antique knives. That would be greatly appreciated :)

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BrotherJim

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Another thing that leads me to speculate it may have been part of a display at some point is the color differences in the stag, mark side to pile side. One might imagine the pile side has never been exposed to lighting and other environmental factors that may or could have darkened the mark side stag. Dunno. Maybe the differences are because it was in a sheath for a long period of time ... but what happened to the sheath? I'll never know for sure.
 

BrotherJim

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BrotherJim

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There are no cracks or chips in the stag. Anything that may look otherwise in the pictures is just lighting and camera anomalies
... and intricate detail of the stag
 

BrotherJim

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Unused factory edge adds value. No sheath takes away. It is what it is.
I'd thought it wouldn't matter to me that there is no sheath with it.
Now, I think I'd like to get a period correct reproduction sheath.
... and the search begins LOL
 

huntnfishin

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Unused factory edge adds value. No sheath takes away. It is what it is.
I'd thought it wouldn't matter to me that there is no sheath with it.
Now, I think I'd like to get a period correct reproduction sheath.
... and the search begins LOL

I would want a period correct sheath too! Be fun to use that one :)
 

BrotherJim

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I would want a period correct sheath too! Be fun to use that one :)
It sure as heck would be indeed !!!
Thing is, I have several fixed blade knives including Russell and Ruana as well as Morakniv and others ...
Don't need to sharpen this one any time soon LOL ... would be fun to carry for conversation though.
Besides, I have two more antique American Civil War knives on the way to me, one in stag and the other bone.
From different Sheffield cutlers.
And they're both used ... so we'll see what comes out in the wash ;)
 

BrotherJim

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Goins list Cambridge as a brand in use from 1900-1920. Tweedale’s does not list it as a Sheffield maker, at least not under that name.

n2s
Levines Guide lists it as Cambridge & Co. US Navy contractor. Goins lists it as Cambridge Cutlery Co. Sheffield England.
I think anything you find in lists and guides with "Cambridge" in the name is going to be the same company.
In Britain, once a knife manufacturer registered their name "Cambridge" I can't see another cutlery manufacturer also being allowed to use the same name in any form but who knows.
And if this knife were made in Sheffield 1900-1920, it would definitely have "ENGLAND" below Sheffield on the ricasso and this one does not.
I could be wrong, but this knife is much older than 1900-1920. IMO
 

BrotherJim

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Even if it is 1900-1920, I think it's in remarkable condition and that's what I priced purchase on, not an unverified date of "1865" ;)
 

BrotherJim

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Would only apply if the knife was intended for export to the U.S.

n2s
It was purchased from Springfield, Ohio USA ... but who knows how or when it got there

not2sharp not2sharp ... I have a couple more antique knives on the way to me and any info you could get from your lists and guides, I would greatly appreciate !!! I don't have the books

The one that might be here tomorrow is from F. Ward & Co Sheffield (no "ENGLAND" stamp either): I've found dates stating period of production about 1856-1881

The last one won't be here until about Friday. It simple has Manson Sheffield on the ricasso (no "ENGLAND" stamp either). Haven't been able to find much about "Manson"
The scant info I've found online says he was a "short lived" cutler, late 1840's to early/mid 1860's.

Both the ones on the way are from different USA sources. One from Canoga Park, CA and the other from Elmira, NY
THANKS !!! :)

EDIT: The "F" in F. Ward may stand for "Frederick". Also above F. Ward & Co Sheffield on the ricasso is stamped "B4 * ANY" ... and the knife is a spear point/dagger. The "Manson" knife is a blade shape very similar to the knife in this thread.
 
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BrotherJim

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This Cambridge knife had a very light coat of (Bees?) Wax on it all over but mostly on the handle. Don't know if it left the factory with the coating to help protect in shipment and storage or was applied at some later point in history. In the photos above, you can see wax residue around some of the pins.
 

Un-Chained

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This Cambridge knife had a very light coat of (Bees?) Wax on it all over but mostly on the handle. Don't know if it left the factory with the coating to help protect in shipment and storage or was applied at some later point in history. In the photos above, you can see wax residue around some of the pins.
I have noted the same on older stag handles, it does seem like a waxy coating was commonly used to lessen any effects of moisture, and humidity.
 
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