A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

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americanedgetech
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A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby americanedgetech » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:59 pm

Hello all,
First post here, and of course it is a question.
There is a knife I can not find any information on. It is a 4 blade, dog leg w/ black horn scales, and about 3" closed.

http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/4l4AAOSwuLFZvazf/s-l1600.jpg

I am trying to find out more about the maker. The tang stamp is "A.JORDAN Co / GERMANY"
The blades are carbon steel BUT this knife appears unused/very lightly used (polished)?

I am opening a retail shop in the spring, and I have no clue how to value this knife. I am not asking for an appraisal on it but rather a path to follow for more information on when it was made, and who A. Jordan was/is ?
I believe it could be early 20th or late 19th century but I actually have no idea.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully I can contribute here. I am a budding collector/ soon to be shop owner, that suffers from CDO. That's OCD in the correct order ::hmm::
Ken Mc.

WTB Kershaw 2120 MACHO Lockback Parts knife
I need a pile side scale. THX!

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby Mumbleypeg » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:56 am

A.J. Jordan was an import company in St. Louis c 1878 - 1926. They imported cutlery made in England and Germany.

Recommend you acquire a copy of Goins Encyclopedia of Cutlery Markings. If you're going to be collecting, buying, or selling cutlery, especially collectables, this book is a must. I'm going to post a picture of the page listing A.J. Jordan so you can not only get an answer to your question, but also see the comprehensive nature of the info in Goins' book. You can purchase a copy through the Knife Magazine web site.http://www.knifeworld.com/featuredbooks.html

Also for your reference here's a link to a thread here on AAPK discussing other useful reference materials. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=42388&hilit=Remington+books

AAPK also has a very useful "search" function, and "Research" section (the link is in the header waaay up there at the top of the page). I used to be surprised at how much information is here in AAPK archived threads. I'm no longer surprised. ::tu::

Ken
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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby americanedgetech » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:49 pm

Thank you again Ken,

I have been using Goins, and I have been looking at a lot of the information here. I try fairly hard to find info before asking to be "spoon fed".
It's the Irish in me. Independent till I die...

The knife I am asking about is NOT from "A.J." Jordan (the importer) but is it actually "A." Jordan. A German knife maker. I found one reference to him working between 1868, and 1888. Then another that listed him as active between 1898, and 1918, and listed his company as A. Jordan & Son. Perhaps the "son" is A.J. Jordan?

Both of these references were in off topic conversations so they were basically side notes to another conversation.
I did find one cutler living in New York City, and selling knives named A. Jordan that was just in between the dates I mentioned (1900 ish) but there is no mention of him producing/manufacturing knives in the short 5 year span of his business there. I have only a reference of him distributing another brand thru his shop.

Also what has me stumped is the image of the knife I linked is TOO pristine looking. The blades should have a much richer patina. The knife does appear to be 100+ years old in all ways but it's sort of a conundrum as to condition, and maker.

I realize having this info will not change the world but it might brighten up my world just a bit. ::tu::
Ken Mc.

WTB Kershaw 2120 MACHO Lockback Parts knife
I need a pile side scale. THX!

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby Mumbleypeg » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:11 pm

Got it! Some more good clear in-focus pictures of the knife would help. Not to discount what your research has found so far, but since Jordan is not a German name it might be one of the many knives made in Germany but stamped with an American-sounding name for export to America. Just speculating. ::shrug::

Ken
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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby kootenay joe » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:41 pm

A knife maxim: Condition and Age are 2 separate entities. There are knives well over 100 yrs old that still look exactly like they did when they left the factory. Such knives are rare however and most of what people call "mint" actually show some signs of age like black spidery marks, etc.
Point is: you cannot discount a knife just because it is in truly mint condition.
This brings up the second point: Fakes abound ! many are very well done, can be just a blade swap or entire fake knife. So a vintage knife that looks mint must first be cleared of being an imposter, a fake.
If the alteration was just 'buffing to mint', this can usually be detected with close examination, which gets easier with experience.
To assess your knife pictures taken from directly overhead are needed: both sides, blades open & blades closed, looking into 'well' blades closed, looking at spine, blades open. Least important, but still important, close up of any markings.
With such pictures and the experience here at AAPK, a fairly reliable assessment as to the origin & age of your knife will come about.
kj

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby kootenay joe » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:54 pm

Carter's "German Knife and Sword Makers, 1850-1945" list 3 "Jordan" manufacturers:
Carl Jordan Sohn, mark was "CJS".
F.A.Jordan, did not make folding knives
F.W.Jordan, 1867- 2001 (or maybe present ?) markings: "Jordan", "Tell" and logo of 2 Dutch children wearing clogs.

The "A.Jordan" on O.P. knife is not a manufacturer's mark.
I suspect it might be the same company as "A.J. Jordan". What we need are other examples of knives marked "A. Jordan".
kj

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby americanedgetech » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:34 pm

Ken,
I agree with you on the surname. I've spent time researching that alone.
To summarize that aspect... "Jordan Family History. English, French, German, Polish, and Slovenian; Spanish and Hungarian (Jordán): from the Christian baptismal name Jordan. This is taken from the name of the river Jordan (Hebrew Yarden".

It could indeed be a Germanic name. Hard to say...
The idea that it could also be an "American sounding name" for import/sales reasons sounds a little off base. I am under the impression that folks at or around the turn of the 19/20th century were more commonly know to be proud of their own identity, and their products. Not to say that "Americanization" did not occur but I believe it is a more modern aspect of life. Hard to make a call on this tho.
You may be 100% correct...

KJ,,
I absolutely understand your points on condition, age, and authenticity.
I am a marine fabricator, and life long mechanic. Restorations of wooden boats have given me a fairly "keen" eye for spotting re-worked metal parts, and I also know how to make these same parts look as new as possible without giving the tell tale signs that educated customers will try to avoid.

Knives are another magnitude of difficulty to restore/polish or fake with NO tell tale signs. Experts there are very few.
ESPECIALLY when an asking price is just a few dollars. There is no return in time/skill. Especially considering this is an obscure maker? with very little info.

The knife in question is on FleaBay right now. "OLD ANTIQUE A JORDAN CO GERMANY 4 BLADE KNIFE"
The images are pretty good.
This is more an exercise in learning for me than it is a knife I want... (otherwise I would not reveal where it was) :wink: .

I am more interested in trying to learn how to research these things.

I really do not think this is an A.J. Jordan unless it is a very early example!?!? Perhaps a "clone" maker from that era? Again I think that idea is a stretch.

If anyone is truly interested in following this thru to a reasonably acceptable answer I can post up the links I have found referring to "A. Jordan Co"

I also found the other Jordan-s you mentioned, and none of them "jive" with what I have found.

There is mention of an "Albert Jordan" cutler from NYC as a distributer in an advert. here... (under Dicks Knives) https://books.google.com/books?id=0J0-A ... ty&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=SzQ7A ... fe&f=false

Apparently Mr. A, Jordan from NYC had legal issues surrounding importing knives that he "claimed" were knives that he had sent to Germany for repair. Perhaps that made his stay as a cutler short... ::dang:: Perhaps...
https://books.google.com/books?id=XVMMA ... MQ6AEIWDAJ

Perhaps THIS Mr. Jordan was indeed importing knives, and marking them? Just as the AJ jordan was doing around the same period?
If that is the case, I would love to have that example from FleaBay. Sort of a scandal piece... ::nod::

There is more on A. Jordon in German records... I can find them again if wanted...

Thanks guys!
Ken Mc.

WTB Kershaw 2120 MACHO Lockback Parts knife
I need a pile side scale. THX!

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby kootenay joe » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:10 pm

Those who fake knives seem to be rather compulsive. I have seen good workmanship to fake knives whose value is very low if authentic. My belief is that some of these 'craftsmen' are driven to fix up any old knife that they see could be made into a sellable knife. They are not thinking 'gee this will only pay me about $2 per hour' but "i can fix that old knife up so i'm going to do it".
The low end but fake knives i have seen were verified to be such by Bernard Levine. What i propose above is the only reason i can think of for doing such work that won't pay much at all.
kj

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby americanedgetech » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:19 pm

I understand Kj. People do love to play... :roll:

At this moment I am leaning more towards this knife being from the A. Jordan Co that had the legal issues from importing knives he claimed were factory repairs in 1927.
That also matches the printed ads from 1922 where he was selling other makers knives (Dicks), and no mention of him as a manufacturer.

If they were un marked at the time of import there was no proof that he was avoiding tariffs. Thus the legal case, and the short span of his shop in NYC. Sort of made his bed, and couldn't sleep in it.

The knife on Flea (IMHO) is an etched makers mark, and not a tang "stamp". Hopefully one of you fellas can educate me on this... but the point is A.J. Co could have easily marked the unmarked blades for retail, and thru his narrow sighted business dealings lost his business.

This would also explain why there are few (if any) other examples of his "work".

That's kind of my pet theory... I posted this to see if there was something major I am missing... (careful now, open door) :lol:

Edit:
Just this theory alone makes the knife a collectible for me. Sort of a Side Show of Freaks category. These type knives (if I am correct) belong in a category by themselves... Scandal Knives or Backhanded dealer knives...
I would hate to mar the gentleman's memory if I am completely off base but to ME it is walking like a duck. ::hmm::
Ken Mc.

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby americanedgetech » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:59 am

I thought I would finish out the "mystery knife" thread here, and fill in what happened to it.

I think the original listing was $9.99. I bid 25.00 and posted here about the knife...
Later that night it was at 15.00, next morning, 27.00 I went to 50.00, and was beat to 52.00.

The final selling price was either 69.. or 79.00 I forget.
Moral of this story is don't post about an Ebay knife that is still up for grabs.

No one here replied with anything to prove value. I just went with my gut, and some minor research that proved nothing other than it "could" be a mint looking early knife from an unknown manufacturer, and an etched mark from a maybe importer.

But if you saw it on FleaBay, and googled it.... This thread comes up. ::dang:: My point is, this forum has the influence, and authority to jack up bids on what would have been a cheap deal.

From now on I'll do my research after I buy ::doh::
Ken Mc.

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I need a pile side scale. THX!

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby kootenay joe » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:57 am

I and others here i am sure have had the same unexpected increase in bidding after posting an ebay knife in knife forum. The seller of this A. Jordan knife has been selling very collectible knives on ebay for at least 10 years. He has a large following of dedicated knowledgeable 'followers' so an interesting or collectible knife of his rarely flies under the radar.
kj

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby americanedgetech » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:06 pm

That eases the pain a little.

I am in an unusual situation here (life, not the forum). The knives I am purchasing HAVE to be bargains. They will be inventory for retail, and I know FleaBay is not the place to search for bargain collectibles but they have the largest continuous stream of items.
I am also purchasing from several other "net" sources, daily road trips, and anyone that I can get an audience with that might have a bunch of salable knives.

I just found it odd that this knife was listed for 3 days w/ no bites. There was no real interest or hype about it here, and with just a little bit of posted information on what it might be... BAM! interest.
There is much for me to learn.

Just thinking out loud...
Thanks guys!!! ::tu::
Ken Mc.

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I need a pile side scale. THX!

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby kootenay joe » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:24 pm

Quote: "I just found it odd that this knife was listed for 3 days w/ no bites. There was no real interest or hype about it here, and with just a little bit of posted information on what it might be... BAM! interest."

That is exactly the pattern of bidding often seen with a desirable knife. No one wants to show interest by bidding because more bidding then always ensues. Everyone sits tight until about 5 minutes when another bid or 2 come in, then 1 minute, maybe another bid, then: 6 seconds to zero, 10 bids land and price has tripled in last minute.
I have not looked at the bidding of this Jordan knife but likely it went something like i have described.
So: when you see a 'good' knife that no one is bidding on, expect the big guns right at the end. On occasion all the big guns are occupied elsewhere and a low ball snipe scores, so stay involved but don't 'over bid' your means.
kj (ebay coach for hire)

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby americanedgetech » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:46 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Can I call you coach or does it stay as KJ? :lol:

I agree with you on that pattern of bidding. It is business as usual there. In fact it is easy to see the regular buyers, because of their patterns. The entire male side of my family are addicted poker players. I grew up watching betting patterns, and I can see this on Ebay.

I tend to wait to 3 days, and post my low ball bid. Feel out the waters so to speak.
If needed I will double that bid within 4 hours of closing or try to snipe it out under that double price but I do not get emotional about bidding. I set my limit, and sometimes I lose a 100.00 knife by .50 cents. Just the way it is.
But if someone else wants it they will pay retail.

That unknown knife I figure sold for the highest retail it could. I actually would have priced it around 70 bucks IF I bought it for 50.00.

What I am learning however is there are people that are making a living on knives on the net, and I am the new kid on the block. I really do think I have gotten lucky in my finds many more times than I should have.

Using Goins, Levienes books, and any other source I can locate I am still within the 40% mark up range as an average over 250 plus purchases so I feel I am in the "right" game.

Of course a mentor or 1,000+ mentors are ALWAYS welcome! ::super_happy::
Ken Mc.

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I need a pile side scale. THX!

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Re: A Jordan Co / Germany tang stamp

Postby kootenay joe » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:29 pm

Every time a knife sells on ebay there are ebay & PP fees. This really takes some of your profit out. I think you need to double your money to come out a bit ahead; i.e. buy knife $25, sell same knife $50 and you will end up $18.50 ahead. It will be survival rather than 'get rich'.
kj


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