Stunning 1787 Reale and more

Chief31

Greenie
Jul 10, 2022
13
142
Returned to a large plantation site I have been hunting on and off for a few years and it always produces. Found a new little hot spot where I believe was yet another outbuilding and dug this gorgeous Reale and a unique pocket knife and old suspender type clip amongst some unknown relics . Looks like the toasted copper may be a draped bust or Liberty cap .
 

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Upvote 41

callmez

Jr. Member
May 25, 2014
96
153
East Tennessee
Detector(s) used
Equinox 800
Tesoro Vaquero
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Here you go callmez thx

I posted new photos of knife . Any idea how to get the rust off so blades can open again ?
Thanks for the additional photos. Your knife is giving up a number of clues that can help with ID, but I'm not quite able to nail it down. I do stick with my original assessment of c.1920-40, American made.

The shield is football shaped, and not all of the companies used that shape. The swedge on the master blade (clip point blade) appears to be quite wide. The glitterstripe handles, too, are an identifier, and then you have the blades which appear to be of stainless steel -- this is early in the scheme of things for stainless steel. Note that the backsprings are NOT stainless, another sign the knife is rather early for a stainless knife.

Guesses based on the above: it could have been made by the Utica Cutlery Company of Utica, NY. Possibly by the Challenge Cutlery Co. of Bridgeport, Conn. It could be by another odd, smaller brand, but I don't think it will be by any of the bigger brands one would think of like Case, Remington, etc. Just my opinion of course!

If you get the blades cleaned up, a look at the nail nicks might help. Uticas often have a long pull master with a short pull on the pen blade that is extra long (that sounds like nonsense, but it's true). Of course-- if the blades are stainless, the markings on them will be easily read if you can get the blades open.
 

callmez

Jr. Member
May 25, 2014
96
153
East Tennessee
Detector(s) used
Equinox 800
Tesoro Vaquero
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Here you go callmez thx

I posted new photos of knife . Any idea how to get the rust off so blades can open again ?
So the backsprings are carbon steel and I think the blades are stainless steel. Presumably the liners are brass. Bolsters and shield are going to be nickel silver (brass with 18% or so nickel added). The handles are celluloid and are in surprisingly good shape, considering all that they've been through.

The backsprings look like nothing but rust at this point, so they will probably just fall apart if you attempt to do anything with them. The shield and liners may well have gone brittle at this point, but they are at least intact. If the blades are stainless they are probably OK. Early stainless tended to make for blades that were very rust resistant, but not that great for cutting.

It all comes down to what you want to do with it. It's pretty much worthless as a collectible, but blades and handles would probably clean up to shiny if you wanted to take them that far. It might even be possible (if the liners are not too badly weakened) to gently take the knife apart, clean up everything but the backsprings, and have them replaced with springs from a similar knife to end up with a working knife. Unfortunately the people who do that kind of work generally don't offer their services to others.

Normally I would say to scrub it out as well as you can, soak the joint area full of penetrating oil, and then try to persuade the blades open knowing that the springs are toast. But the oil will work its way under the celluloid and between the layers in the celluloid, and probably won't come out. If that's acceptable, that's one way to go.

If you were going to try and rebuild the knife using springs from another knife, I'd suggest taking it apart in layers without any oil at all. But you then have an incomplete pile of parts unless you find someone who can do the work. The liners may be shot anyhow, making a rebuild a complicated proposition.

So, back at 'ya -- what do you want out of it?
 

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