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Author Topic: Counterfits and Cheats  (Read 1757 times)
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Ed Fowler
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« on: April 25, 2015, 08:22:44 AM »

I hate them! In the last few weeks I have received photos from readers about outstanding knives of history they have purchased. One man recently bought a Michael Price dagger, he was ecstatic, it did not take long looking at the photo to tell it was a long way from an original Michael Price knife. I believed it was a fake, sent photos to Mark Zalasky of Knife World and he confirmed my thoughts. He felt it was one made by Atlanta Cutlery and sold as a copy. Someone had aged it quickly and sold it as an original Price  knife. He is a good guy and I hated to be the one to tell him it was not an original.

The Aims Rifleman's Knife has been copied by at least four outfits that I know of, I find the copies for sale at gun shows as originals, originally purchased for around $100, they are priced at $1,000 and up. While an original is worth around $6,000. Folks buy them and are cheated.

Another gentleman was considering the purchase of a Huber, fortunately he sent me photos of the knife before he purchased it. I told him it was a copy and he did not buy the Huber, he did not tell me how much the asking price was for the Huber. I enjoyed this one!

A well known collector who had not studied Shiveley knives purchased a Shively for around $700, showed it to me and I suggested it was a copy. Others confirmed my thoughts.

I hate to be the one to have to tell them that the knives are copies, it is tough to be the messenger of bad news. I feel it is my obligation to tell them but it is tough.

I take it personal when I have to get involved.

Your thoughts?    

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Daniel Rohde (D-Vision)
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2015, 11:19:51 AM »

I don't mind someone replicating a knife but selling it as the really thing is just wrong and sad.
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Joe Calton
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2015, 04:48:03 PM »

in my mind there is a huge difference between copies, patterns and counterfeits.

copies and patterns I don't see anything wrong with. that is a really good way to learn a ton about another makers work. you see a knife that calls to you, and make one like it, and you can learn a lot from it. the same as when we were kids, and someone built a great fort, so you made one just like it yourself. through this sharing of ideas is one of the reasons that our knowledge base as a species is so great. I make something, someone else copies it and finds improvements, then someone else improves the improvements. Copies and patterns are an honest way for us to learn as a species.

Counterfiets on the other hand are not as honest. I have a sort of a counterfit of the declaration of independance in my library that my grandparents gave me as a souvenier of some museum that they visited. it is a very nice souvenier. on aged paper, and is a really neat piece of work. it was intended as a souvenier, and marketed as such. and I think is a great way to bring a feeling of a historical document. so that part of it is honest, and as long as it stays like it is I see nothing wrong, and a lot of good about it. but..... to try to pawn it off as an original, or to make a counterfeit copy and to profit off of it would be about as dishonest as it gets. I feel the same way with copying knives. to make a copy of another makers knife, and then try to sell it as that makers knife with the intention of making a profit from that makers work puts the counterfeiter in the lowest class of low class, good for nothings out there.
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2015, 09:30:08 AM »

I just read where archeologists have found that man has been making knives for over 2.5 million years. It is highly improbable that any of us today can develop a design that has not been made before. More likely we will end up developing a design influenced by specific aspects of many knives we have seen. Our understanding of the specific attributes we use in our knives results in performance attributes specific to our knowledge and the performance qualities we seek in the knives we make.

This is human nature and our ability to use knowledge from the past is inspiration for the future. While it is impossible for me to recognize where all the information I have running around in my head, I always try to credit those who I can identify.
For example the Michael Price Grind, I am positive he is not the first to develop it, but he is the man who taught me through one of his knives.

As long as we credit those who showed or inspired us, there is nothing wrong with copy. When we claim to have discovered something, we tread on thin ice. Maybe we figured it out on our own, but we most assuredly were not the first.

Bill Moran is credited with re-discovering Damascus Steel, he figured it out on his own and was the first to be publicly noted for making it, but there were many blade and black smiths making it at the time.

When ever someone claims to be the first, I just smile; both at the writer and at the man who makes the claim.

Copy is a long way from counterfeit.
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