Excellent quality one-of-a-kind small custom Skinner hand-made by Tom Morlan circa 1998; carved tusk “eagle head” handle done by master carver John Alward. Mr. Morlan of Hemet, California is known for his custom knives that are second to none. Most of his work is in private collections but some of his knives come up at auctions from time to time. We had a total of 4 custom hand-carved handle knives by Tom Morlan, this is the one left at this point.
An exotic-looking Skinner with superb quality eagle head carving, the handle is finished with desert ironwood and a solid bronze handguard with fiber spacers. The “screaming eagle” carving is simply fantastic in quality and design; the carving is not signed but it was almost certainly done by John Alward. The tusk has a thin hairline crack on the underside, likely age-related. We have three more nearly-identical style custom knives which are signed by him. Mr. Alward of Allen, Michigan, is a well-known “old school” carver; he furnished a number of fantastic quality, one of a kind custom handles for quite a few high profile knife makers.
This little beauty is approximately 6-1/4” / 16 cm overall with the 3-1/4” / 8.3 cm long, 5 mm thick satin-polished blade; there is no sheath. The blade is etched on one side with the maker’s oval logo: Tom Morlan / TM / Hemet, Calif. and 808 serial number on ricasso. Original edge, the blade has never been re-sharpened, it is RAZOR sharp; the tip is intact. One of a kind custom Skinner by a great American knife maker; it will make an excellent addition to any collection.
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