Some of the most popular items are collectible pocket knives – the little knives that fold up and fit easily in a pocket, deceptively hiding one or several different sizes of blade and often other accessories as well.
What young boy hasn’t cherished his first pocket knife, used perhaps to carve his initials in a tree or slice up an apple filched from the neighbor’s apple tree? A collection of pocket knives might be just souvenir knives from all the paces the collector has visited, or a serious and valuable collection of brand name and antique pocket knives acquired one at a time and lovingly maintained.
One of the nice things about collecting antique pocket knives is that they tend to be less expensive on the secondary market than many of the other types of knives that collectors favor. Most are used but many are in quite good condition—an antique in mint condition will, of course, command a much higher price. One attractive thing about antique collectible knives is that they tend to have a personal history: if the knife is used you know that it probably spend endless days in the pocket of its owner, as much a part of his daily routine as his watch or comb. Though you may never know the story, you’ll always know that there is one.
Vintage pocket knives are so popular as collector items that guide books include considerable information about them—material written to help you familiarize yourself with the different styles, handle materials, brand names, and unusual designs, and to help you figure out what you should expect to pay for antique pocket knives of a particular type.
A good approach would be to get a good guide book and then browse internet sites that sell collectible pocket knives. Most good sites give detailed descriptions of the knives or describe the condition and age, and provide a high definition picture. What better way is there to familiarize yourself with what’s out there and what you should be looking for?
Reputable knife dealers who sell collectible knives usually carry some pocket knives and generally have both newer models and antique pocket knives. Trading sites like eBay are also a possible source of vintage pocket knives, but there you may not be sure who you are dealing with. Always verify that the dealer is honest if you can, and make sure that you can return any purchase you’re not satisfied with. Having said that, most collectible pocket knives offered on the internet are the genuine thing, and there is no better place to shop for your next acquisition.
So what theme will your collectible pocket knives have? Will they be souvenir knives, with emblems, engravings, pictures, and stamps of faraway places on the handles? Perhaps they’ll be antique pocket knives with wooden handles, worm smooth and darkened with time. Maybe they’ll be knives made by a particular company—Shrade, perhaps, or Buck.
Or maybe they’ll be vintage pocket knives from all over the world, a sort of multicultural historical collection that’s sure to be a conversation piece. With the flexibility of internet shopping, virtually any theme will be easy to build on.