WW1 era Challenge Cutlery marlin spike Navy knife – VERY rare type. Great condition with original jigged bone handle scales intact; one of the rarest military knives of WW-I.
Very rare large WW1 era Marlin Spike sailor’s knife manufactured circa 1916-1918 by CHALLENGE CUTLERY COMPANY in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA. During WW1 several American cutlery manufacturers, including Challenge Cutlery and Camillus, made these large sailors’ knives for the Allied Navies – mainly Canadian and French. Designated by the British War Office, Equipment and Ordnance Stores department as “Knife, Clasp, with Marlin Spike and Tin Opener”, this specimen looks pretty much like one of its British counterparts, except that The American-made knives were of much better quality. This type is illustrated on pages 132-134 of BRITISH AND COMMONWEALTH MILITARY KNIVES book Ron Flook – a well-established expert on this subject.
This specimen is used, but it is in great overall condition for this type this is the best-preserved WW1 era Navy “marlin spike” type I have ever seen. This large folder is about 5″ / 12.7 cm closed; heavy-duty marlin spike is about 4-1/4” / 10.8 cm long; needle-like tip in intact; the spike is nice and tight with no play. Spear-point blade is about 3-3/4″ / 9.6 cm long; it has been sharpened – it is razor-sharp still. The tip is intact; the blade is tight with no play. The tin opener blade is near-perfect with just some minor surface rust (cleanable). The tin opener’s tip is also intact; the blade is tight with no play. The tangs are stamped CHALLENGE CUTL. CO. / BRIDGEPORT CONN. Original burnt jigged bone handle scales with steel bolsters & pins; original bronze shackle (clasp) is intact; all handle parts are solid with no play. Iron bolsters do have a couple of rust spots here and there, but it’s mostly light surface rust – cleanable if you decide to do so. Bone scales are near-perfect, considering the age – no chips or repairs – VERY rare this nice.
Pretty scarce to begin with, only a small fraction of these WW1 era “marlin spike” knives survived the war and the post-war Great Depression era. Challenge Cutlery Company did not survive the Depression and went out of business in 1928. Today most of the surviving WW1 era “Knife, Clasp, with Marlin Spike and Tin Opener” knives are in private collections & rarely come up for sale. This rare Challenge Cutlery marlin spike Navy knife is in excellent overall condition, considering the age. There is not going to be another knife like this one coming up for sale anytime soon; don’t miss your chance to add this rare military knife to your collection!
This rare Challenge Cutlery marlin spike Navy knife has not been cleaned or tampered with in any way. It is in 100% original “as is” condition; these are the actual photos. We have several vintage American and European folders and fixed-blade knives available for sale – please check out our Collectable Blades section for similar listings.
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