Here are a few different old knives for this thread and I say with a grin not associated with cutting apples but I guess someone could if they wanted
.. Two old dirks or maybe more appropriately daggers with different origins but both with that classic swedge associated with these single edge cutting blades running along the spine from tang to tip (though the Frosolone knife is technically called a sfilato from its Italian roots)…. Just as an aside I think the terminology is somewhat cloudy and confusing for dirk vs dagger and it no doubt depends on who you read - I believe technically these are dirks (despite some who define daggers as double cutting edge knives) - small daggers in Scotland are called dirks and are single cutting edges – yet large pointed symmetrical blade that are almost short swords are also called dirks or daggers again depending who you read.... guess I’ll go with dirk for the first knife which can be defined as a small dagger GRIN ….
This first dirk found on a local antique barn hunt appears that it was most likely made in Sheffield or one of the other areas for cutlery in the UK though I can’t rule out early American either (showing to a few other collectors I heard Sheffield as most likely and recently I saw an old Sheffield made jack that was a barehead and squared off as seen in this knife so essentially the same design – so at least the style was possible from Sheffield) – absolutely no signs of a tang stamp or makers mark so tough to identify in terms of a maker… anyway all iron construction including liners, bolster and lockback… still a very functional knife with snap and solid, and the lock-back works perfectly. This knife no doubt was well carried for years – the stag is very pocket worn and no doubt thin from years of carry which to me is pretty cool – it does look like there was 2 pins added to the mark side handle and done very cleanly which probably reinforced the stag to the liner but have no clue when along the way this was done as a means to preserve the handle cover (from a personal standpoint it is not something I would do but this knife may have lost the mark side stag if not for the extra pins so in a way I’m good with it
– no doubt rest of pins are all original… my guess on age of knife is +/- mid 1800s… no doubt this was the type of knife carried as a weapon but probably could have seen some other cutting purposes as well… Closed length is 4 & 1/2”…
The second is not one I ordinarily collect as it is outside my geographic collecting zone
but I couldn’t resist it a few years ago when discovered on another local hunt at an “antique” barn – I categorize these knives as my “special opportunity” area
… The knife is stamped and made in Frosolone (Italy) and Frosolone was no doubt an important center of knife making in the world in the latter 1800s - early 1900s and still today has some active cutleries though not as numerous as the past.. I believe in 1900 there were more than eighty cutlery shops in addition to a big steel industry… Like the first one this also has all iron construction and despite the crack and few marks on horn handles it is a very solid knife (that crack in the horn on mark side is solid and not going anywhere and most likely occurred with age and drying)… These knives were termed sfilatos in Italy and many cutlers made this design. Interesting that the stamp of “Frosolone” is upside down in terms of what is normally seen on tang stamps in addition to no maker mark… as I read about Frosolone in the late 1800s it was in a sense very much like Sheffield with many makers and shops, lots of apprentices etc, and thus very hard if not impossible now to nail down the maker… knives from Frosolone were known for blade stamps or etches rather than found conventionally on the tang but I suppose both were done pending the cutler – additionally not all cutlers used their name as some only stamped Frosolone… Frosolone still has some knife makers today and I sent photos of this knife to a current Frosolone cutler who appears to be well versed in Frosolone history – he confirmed the knife was made in the latter quarter of the1800s and no later than very early 1900s… he noted it was a classic design in all ways for that time period based on materials etc. Some other background reading noted that when lockback knives became illegal in Italy in 1871 this folding sfilato was developed and continued as a style still associated with Frosolone today… Closed length is 4 & 7/8” …