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c1974 Ibberson sowbelly made by the skilled hands of Stan Shaw

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by supratentorial, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006

    This c1974 Ibberson sowbelly was made by the skilled hands of one of the last of the little mesters, Stan Shaw of Sheffield England.

    Photo credit: http:[email protected]/7309672652/

    I just received the knife today and thought I'd share the seller's photos. It is a wonderful tribute to the 1920 pattern... and at almost 40 years of age, it might also be considered an oldie. ;) The handle is nicely rounded. The blades walk and talk. I believe it still has the edge that Stan put on the knife. There are a few spiderwebs and a pin crack on the mark side. I think the handle material may be ivory though the the seller described it as smooth bone. I hope you enjoy the knife. :)

  2. stevomiller


    May 4, 2001
    I really like that one! The 'belly' is mich more pronounced than on most of this pattern.
  3. Gevonovich


    Jan 17, 2011
    Now that is a treasure, Jake!! The handle has such a pronounced curve or "sow belly". I love it.

    Edit: Steveo and I posted at the exact same time...with the same thought
  4. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    Thank you, stevomiller and Gevonovich. There's a nice writeup about Stan Shaw on the British Knife Collector's Guild website: http://www.bkcg.co.uk/guide/stanshaw.html and there's a book about Stan written by Geoffrey Tweedale (ISBN 1-874718-20-2)

    Here are a couple more photos.

    ...with vintage sowbellies


    ...with modern sowbellies


    a closeup of the ivory


    Stan's initials and the date inside the liner


    Some more photos of Stan Shaw

    photo credit: http://www.bkcg.co.uk/guide/stanshaw.html

    photo credit: http://www.redbubble.com/people/johnthurgood/works/7532616-stan-shaw-little-mester
  5. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker

    Aug 18, 2008
    Nice old sowbelley; thanks for sharing!
  6. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    Thank you, Peter.

    I enjoy the craftsmanship and the history... it's also extremely sharp even though it was sharpened almost 40 years ago and the metal has undoubtedly oxidized over the years. I haven't gotten around to carrying it yet but it is a joy.
  7. Dan57


    Apr 8, 2012
    Wow... that's a gem.
  8. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    It's broken..........I think you need to send it to me.........I will send you one of my unbroken knives. Fair?
  9. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    Thank you, Big. ;)

    I am wondering about what to do with the crack since I intend to carry the knife. If anyone has advice on it, I'd enjoy hearing it. I've read through old posts by BRL and Bill and others. It seems that once it's cracked, ivory is usually stable as is... I have ~100 year old knives that seem to have stable cracks in the ivory. If I glue it back, I think the pressure might cause more cracking. I could also glue it without pushing it together but it would stick out a little. I think I might push it together and just deal with the consequences. Unfortunately natural handle materials tend to move around. I haven't decided on epoxy or super glue. I've heard that some people use flowable dental composite to mask the cracks but I'm more concerned about function rather than appearance.
  10. chuko

    chuko Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  11. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    Charles, That one has some lovely file work. Additional photos are most welcome. Thank you for sharing them. I ordered Tweedale's book and am looking forward to seeing more of Stan's work. Someday I'd like to pick up another example to preserve along with the old Remingtons.
  12. festerfromnzed


    Aug 18, 2008
    Beautiful old knives...and i sure hope i live long enough to earn a set of hands like that!!!......................FES
  13. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    I hope I do too! :)
  14. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I don't have any advice on what to use to stabilize the handle, but I sure would get some good advice and do it.
  15. Campbellclanman

    Campbellclanman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Hi Jake, mate...nice score, I would contact our very helpful Bladeforum member "Wellington" on the ivory question, and of course with his history and connection with Stan he could have some very helpful comments?
    I only hope one day I am lucky enough to own such a prize!, I love that deep belly!

    I can imagine that there would still be quite a bit of strength in those hands as well!
    Lovely knife Jake-thank you so much for showing us.
  16. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
  17. sitflyer


    Mar 10, 2011
    That is such a nice looking knife. Such gracefull lines. Thanks for sharing.
    The image of that masters hands will stay with me:thumbup: They remind me of my granfathers hands:)
    I will be curious to know about any suggestions on the crack stabilization. Please do share.
    I have stabilized cracks in wood projects before by packing them with sanding dust from same type wood, then wicking in low viscosity CA, but wouldn't even know where to begin with ivory...any good info would be a valuable tool for the mental toolbox...
  18. CNoyes

    CNoyes Gold Member Gold Member

    May 30, 2009
    That's a very nice knife.

    Years ago, I purchased two Stan Shaw pearl handled sowbelly stock knives with all the file work on the springs and blade backs. They were pretty much like the one Chuko has shown above.

    I think they were dated 1974 and 1975, but memory is weak on that.

    Someone had listed them on Ebay. I stupidly asked if there was any stamping inside the liners. That certainly alerted him that there was something special about the knives.

    He subsequently ended the auction, but we continued to communicate; one could do that back then.

    I ended up buying both for $150.00 each.

    They were essentially mint condition knives.

    I eventually sold them to a dealer for not much more than that.

    I now, of course, wish I'd held on to them.
  19. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    sitflyer, I've also read that some mix ivory dust in with epoxy to match the handle material. I think the dental composite would probably be the way to go for aesthetics. I don't mind an old knife showing a little character so I'm not sure if I'll go this route or just glue it in place.

    Charlie, It's neat that you had two. I don't know the monetary worth of the knives but I had seen a few with pearl covers and extensive filework that were priced much higher than $150... they may have been the ones that you sold to the dealer. I bought this one for well under $150 but unfortunately it isn't as well preserved as the others. The seller didn't mention the pin crack but it was clearly shown in the photos... and I rarely pay much attention to anything other than the photos. The low purchase price and the cracked cover give me an excuse to put this one in my pocket. The videos gave me even greater appreciation for the knife. It's amazing that Stan still uses mostly hand tools to make knives. Someday, I'd like to find another one that was better preserved over the years... I'd also love to put my name on his list but I'm not even sure how to contact him or if he is still taking orders.
  20. waynorth

    waynorth Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 19, 2005
    Stan has enough orders to last him well past 100 years old! I have a Shaw collector friend who ordered some knives from him 6-7 years ago, and he's not hopeful!
    Oh well - the aftermarket is still perking along!
    Nice carry knife, Jake. Since the handle is broken, and slightly displaced, it probably presents a sharp point which needs a little sanding to be practical. Since the crack occurred against the pin, squeezing it shut may very well run the crack at the other side of the pin. I think filling and sanding is the right solution to make it a carry knife.

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