Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

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Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by deo-pa » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:12 pm

Knives stamped "H.H. TAMMEN / LUCKY BUCK" have been mentioned only a few times in AAPK postings. Most of the hits on the word "Tammen" are in conjunction with the abalone-handled knife shown below. It was posted in 2011 by AAPK member paulsvintage in the "Old and Obscure Brands" topic (Paul last posted in 2016). Here is the link to Paul's post: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=21642&p=207148&hil ... en#p207148.

I won this exact knife last week on eBay. It came from Roland (kootenay joe) who had purchased it from Paul. It was one of a group of a dozen or so knives Roland had consigned to a seller he works with. It arrived yesterday; it's a real beauty and is near mint. The tang stamp is shown below. Tammen was not a knife maker so it is a contract knife. While the knife is not stamped "Germany" or "Solingen" Roland believes it to be German and I trust his expertise.

None of the mentions of H.H. Tammen in AAPK has any information on the company and Goins only lists the name with no other info, so I decided to do some digging. I found the following (edited) description of H.H. Tammen the man and his company on the Western Americana website called "Cayuse" - here is the link: http://cayusewa.com/item/artist/h-h-tammen/.

H.H. Tammen (1856-1924)
"A maker of souvenirs in the west, based in Denver. They specialized in rodeo, National Park and western items. Harry Heye Tammen was born in Baltimore, Maryland on March 6, 1856, the son of a German immigrant pharmacist. He attended Knapps Academy in Baltimore, then worked in Philadelphia before moving to Denver in 1880. With his partner Charles A. Stuart he worked as a Denver bartender in 1880, and in 1881 they established the firm of H.H. Tammen & Co. (aka H.H. Tammen Curio Co.) in Denver, Colorado.

The company focused on creating souvenir mineralogical curiosities of Colorado, but also sold photography, silver souvenir spoons, and the like. In 1895, Tammen became a co-editor of the Denver Post. He was apparently behind the controversial decision of Buffalo Bill’s family, to bury him in Denver instead of his hometown of Cody, Wyoming. The H.H. Tammen Curio Co. was in business until 1953, and possibly as late as 1962."

I also found out that the October 2010 issue of Knife World had an article titled "H.H. Tammen - One of a Kind" which I'm sure must have a lot more detail of interest to us knife folks. If anyone has that issue I'd gladly send you a few $ to make me a copy of the article that I could keep with the knife; PM me.

Dennis
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Tammen Tang Stamp.jpg

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by LongBlade » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:28 am

Cool knife and quite enjoyed reading the background Dennis ::tu:: ::tu:: ... Just as an FYI - The 2010 issue of Knife World is in the archives of Knife Magazine's website - one can access all back issues with the digital subscription...
____________________________________________________________________________
Lee

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by deo-pa » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:18 am

Thanks Lee. I'm a print subscriber so I assume I'll also have access to the digital content. I'll check it out.

Dennis

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by deo-pa » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:47 pm

It turns out that subscribing to the Knife Magazine print edition does not give access to the archives; that requires a separate premium (digital) subscription. I'll consider that in the future, but in the meantime if anyone has the October 2010 Knife World issue please let me know. Thanks,

Dennis

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by kootenay joe » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:21 pm

Dennis thank you for finding out who H.H. Tammen is. In the center of the stamping it looks like there is the figure of a man or elf ? I think this might be the manufacturer's logo. Or does it show up on other Tammen articles ?
I will start to look through Anthony Carter's book for the logo. I might already have done this with no luck when this knife was with me.
What i appreciated is the real abalone which is rare. Most are synthetic abalone.
kj

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by deo-pa » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:56 am

Yes Roland it is their logo and does appear on some other items (see attached photos from eBay). It's a strange figure. As best I can tell it is a sitting man with folded arms with a medallion around his neck. I'll need to find a more clear example. Perhaps the Knife Word article I mentioned above discusses the logo.

Dennis
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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by Old Folder » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:03 am

PM sent Dennis.
Happy Holidays.
It's always important to know what you don't know.
Dan

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by Old Folder » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:14 am

kootenay joe wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:21 pm
Dennis thank you for finding out who H.H. Tammen is. In the center of the stamping it looks like there is the figure of a man or elf ? I think this might be the manufacturer's logo. Or does it show up on other Tammen articles ?
I will start to look through Anthony Carter's book for the logo. I might already have done this with no luck when this knife was with me.
What i appreciated is the real abalone which is rare. Most are synthetic abalone.
kj
PM sent kj
It's always important to know what you don't know.
Dan

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by deo-pa » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:14 am

I now have the Knife World article thanks to Dan (Old Folder)! It is lengthy and full of fascinating details about the man, the company, the knives, and the logo. It may take me a few days but I'll post much more info about all of the above. This story just gets more and more interesting.

Thanks Dan!! ::ds::

Dennis

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by kootenay joe » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:06 pm

A big "Thank You" to Dan who also sent me pictures of the Knife World article. It shows the same abalone pen knife and suggests they were made in USA possibly by Union Cut. Co. This is the author's opinion. I still think it looks German made. H.H.T. also had fancy metal handle advertising knives made and these ones are marked "Germany". Mr. T. died in 1924. This knife might be older than i had thought.
I'm having as much fun from selling this knife as i would have from buying it ! Thanks for posting it Dennis.
kj

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by Old Folder » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:37 am

Your very welcome Dennis and Roland. ::nod::
I enjoyed learning about H.H. Tammen and his life story.
I thank you for your original posts.
It's always important to know what you don't know.
Dan

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by deo-pa » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:26 pm

I now have the Knife World article thanks to Dan (Old Folder)! It is lengthy and full of fascinating details about the man, the company, the knives, and the logo. It may take me a few days but I'll post much more info about all of the above. This story just gets more and more interesting.
Here is some more information on the quite remarkable H.H. Tammen (1856-1924). The information and the photos comes from the Knife World article authored in 2010 by Mark Zalesky, who is the owner, publisher, and editor of Knife Magazine. I contacted Mark requesting his permission to post the entire article as reference material here on AAPK. I haven't heard back from him but if he OKs it I will do so. If you are a Premium subscriber to Knife Magazine you can access it via their archives (October 2010 issue).

Without going into detail (it's all in the article), Heinrich Haye ("Harry") Tammen (see his picture below) left home as a boy, found work in a Philadelphia beer garden, became a bartender, became the head bartender at the famous Palmer House hotel in Chicago and then the Windsor Hotel in Denver, the city's finest. Then the founder of H.H. Tammen & Co., purveyors of souvenirs and western artifacts of dubious authenticity (think Navajo blankets made in mills back East). And to top it off he became a co-owner of the Denver Post and Kansas City post as well as the owner of a circus.

As for Tammen knives, only two types are known: the abalone handled type discussed here and coined aluminum handled ones with souvenir-type scenes (see image below). The latter are very much reminiscent of the aluminum handled ones made in huge numbers by D. Peres of Solingen, and I wouldn't be surprised if they might have made Tammen's. These knives use the Tammen tang stamp shown in the image and not the "Lucky Buck" stamp used on the abalone knives.

His Lucky Buck trademark that appears on his abalone knives and many other items is the name he gave to what he said was a clay idol of the Pueblo Indians (you can see the figure in more detail on the advertisement below from 1893). You can also see it on the sign on the side of his store in Denver (see photo). Harry Tamman was quite the character and a fascinating fellow. Just for fun you should search on "H.H. Tammen" on eBay and see all of the various curiosities the company produced. After learning about this fellow and his interesting history I'd be hard pressed to part with my H.H. Tammen Lucky Buck pocket knife.

Dennis
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Heinrich Haye Tammen.JPG
Tammen Alum Handled Knife.JPG
Tammen Advertisement (1893).JPG
Tammen Advertisement (1893).JPG (23.46 KiB) Viewed 51 times
H.H. Tammen Curio Co. Store.JPG

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by Waukonda » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:41 pm

Great stuff, Dennis, thank you very much for posting this, really enjoyed it.
Ike

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Re: Some Information on the H.H. Tammen Tang Stamp

Post by deo-pa » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:18 am

My pleasure Ike. It's a heck of a story isn't it?

Dennis

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