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Vintage folding knife

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Have any of you knife experts seen anything like this?

It is marked F.A. Bower Import Co. Germany. 

Here it is folded.


Here it is open.


I did some research on the company but I can't find a knife anything like this on the internet. They imported Barlow knives and hunting/fishing knives from the 40's until the early 70's. 

It has an 8" blade with a stag horn handle. A spring loaded pin lock locks the blade open and closed.

It is a well made knife but not highly finished. It looks like it was made for a specific purpose but im not sure what that may have been. It must have had a belt sheath at one time. It's as big as a fixed blade hunting knife when it is folded closed.

I'm figuring it is 1950's or 1960's.

Has anyone seen anything like it?


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12 hours ago, Dcj0005 said:


I found a link might help looks like it is model number 40

Man you nailed that one! It even shows the sheath. I wish I had it too.

One difference from the model 40 is the blade guard. You see it in the illustration but on the knife I have it is missing. There is no indication on my knife that it was ever there.

They must have imported a few without the blade guard under the FA Bower name. Other than that it looks identical. It could Evidentally be a lot older than I estimated according to this data.

It's a strange knife for sure. I have never seen anything like it. I still wonder about the design. I cant imagine what you would use it for. Maybe it was just a novelty. 

If anyone else out there has ever seen one of these I'd like to hear about it.

Thank you very much Dcj0005! You provided a quick answer to a burning question I had and I appreciate it. 

What do you think it might be worth? $50-$60 bucks? I don't think it is a huge treasure but I know it is a rare knife. And as odd as it is I figure lots of collectors would be interested. I bet it would be worth a bunch more in better condition with the sheath. I would like to hear an opinion on that if anyone wanted to comment.

Im not trying to sell it but just want to develop as much info on it as I can. My step father had it since the 1950's in a drawer with 20 lbs. of other old pocket knives. He got it from a guy on a construction crew that owed him some money and offered it in payment.

My step dad recently died and I found it going through his old stuff. He was a construction foreman for Mountain Bell back in the day stringing telephone lines across the desert. He worked with some mighty tough rascals after WW2 on those crews. The guy that gave him the knife was evidently a brawler and got in trouble with the law. He was going to prison and owed a debt and offered my step dad the knife before they carted him off. The name "L. Mathes" is engraved on the bolster.

When I asked my step dad what he thought the knife was intended for he said, "so you could stick a guy a couple times before you opened it up and finished him off". I figure that is still the most logical answer to the question. It was made during or right after WW2 so that makes sense.


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4 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

It's about the right size for a hunting knife folded. It is just crazy when you open it up. You could sword fight with it!


No sword fighting Bob!! Keep it folded up!

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Bob I have seen that knife before in my not to illustrious life.  I don't know where or when but I thought that it was a ugly sort and always thought that it was a trench weapon.  Might be older than you think, maybe WWI.  

   Old Tom

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