Voyles Knife Auction No. 42 is history


Auction prices are a real- time reflection of the market- at that time and under those conditions. 

Voyles Auction #42 is now closed and it was a success. Clearly the majority of the lots sold for well in excess of their minimums.

The auction inventory consisted of all types of knives- customs, vintage and current productions. The caliber of the knives were from just under $5000 to under $50.

135 lots were offered (a lot in many cases included more than a single knife). It appears 131 lots sold, however a few of the lots minimum didn’t appear under the description. 

4 lots failed to reach the published minimum and 9 lots sold at their published minimum. Total sale right here before Christmas was a tad over $36,000, before you add the Buyer’s Premium (13% for credit card purchases, otherwise 10%).


Gray Taylor Custom

5 lots sold for over $1000. Lot #1 was the only one to sell for over $2000. This knife was the highest sale in the auction. It was a Gray Taylor, Kingsport, TN exquisite folder. Tortoise insert in the interframe, relief engraved with gold inlay throughout, gemstone thumbstud. 3 ½” long closed, hand rubbed finish. It sold for $4650.

9 lots sold for between $500 to $1000, with the balance of 121 lots selling for under $500. Like I said, this auction had something for everyone.

Published in: on December 24, 2008 at 6:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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OK, OK, I am finally getting an EDC


Last week, one of our CNJ readers posted a comment about me being a uber geek. Now, I need to clear the air of a couple of things.

While I took no offense, I want to make sure you know I am equally passionate about knives.

I have to confess though I do get pretty excited about all things Mac (Apple Computers). I have a blast playing on my computer, publishing CNJ, and chatting with fellow collectors on forums, YouTube and by email.

I also know I tend to foster the geek image as a result of me taking it upon myself years ago to promote the fun of our hobby via the World Wide Web.

Computer nerd posing as a knife collector

The members of ElephantToenails.com know a dark secret I shared a few years ago. It is one that has made some folks think I am really just a computer nerd posing as a knife collector. 

So, in an effort to set the record straight- I’ll tell you too.

I don’t have an EDC (and never have). I did buy one off eBay specifically as an EDC, but couldn’t bring myself to carry it…it was a used Case XX redbone toenail. I’m just too much of a collector to bring myself to use it.

Now, if you don’t know what an EDC is I am sorry, but I won’t further embarrass myself by explaining what it is.

I could sit here and give you all the reasons/excuses for why I don’t have one (travel a lot, don’t get into “cutting” situations often, etc, etc.,), but the EDC situation is a bit more problematic for me because my favorite knife isn’t easily carried in my britches pocket, OK?

The Problem Is Now Solved

Well, I think I have solved the problem now. I found a knife I want for Christmas (another one actually). From here out I will be able to hold my head up high around all my knife friends.

All will now know I am really not a computer nerd posing as a knife collector because I will be a card carrying member of the EDC Club.

With that said, I’d like to introduce my EDC:


Published in: on December 23, 2008 at 6:30 am  Comments (7)  
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Merry Christmas & the 12 days before


1953 Boker Tree Brand Christmas Ad


I’m trying to catch up with my family in getting into the Christmas spirit.

If you are like me and have been so busy you haven’t had a time to get ready for the Holidays, then take a break and enjoy this Acapella group singing a medley of songs to the 12 Days of Christmas. It is really good. In fact, I’m feeling better already.

Merry Christmas! I’ll be posting over the Holidays, so if you need a knife news fix, come on by. 


Published in: on December 22, 2008 at 7:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My Sources & Resources


In Planes, rental cars & basketball? I admitted I fell behind on my posts the end of last week. Some folks might think I can just peck out a post with little thought or preparation, but oh contraire.

In fact, on more than one occasion I have been asked, “Where do you come up with the different stuff you write about on CNJ?”

Well, I look for interesting, funny or informative topics. Sometimes I might have a beef, but the topics do follow a pattern- unless I just get a wild hair. They include a mix of current events, economic news, knife and cutlery company news & history, humor, trends, and web and computing tools.

The other day, I received a nice email from one of our readers-

“Thanks to CNJ. This is a great place to get info that usually slips through the cracks of the knife world.”  Steve Wells

Enter the CNJ Press Room

herald-press-room Today, I have decided to invite you into the press room. Here you will see us busy- thinking, reading (I do a lot of reading) and writing (and re-writing).

And while you’re here, I’m going to share with you the resources I use to stir up my thinking or provide additional information for the stories.


The list of resources is too long to post here, so I added it as a permanent page to the site.


It is entitled CNJ Resources & References. As I identify others, I’ll add them. Check out any that interest you and if you find a story angle, let me know.

Now that you are on the inside, if you get an itch to write a topic you think the readers of CNJ will be interested in, let me know, but unlike the traditional knife magazines, you won’t get paid so make it a topic you enjoy.

Published in: on December 22, 2008 at 6:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Collecting- A Psychological Perspective

Weekend Edition



Have you ever thought about why you are a collector?

You know the- why you collect, where your passion comes from, and how you felt when you found, and bought, the last addition to your collection? 

I know, men don’t typically like introspection one bit, but check this out-


Some years ago I was looking for books on collecting. I wanted to find information on collectors and why they collect what they do. Sounds like exciting reading doesn’t it?

Well I found COLLECTING: AN UNRULY PASSION-Psychological Perspectives by Werner Muensterberger. It was exactly what I was looking for, or so I thought.



Instead of me writing a review about what I think the author is saying, allow me to use this shrink’s own words-  

“Collectors themselves- dedicated, serious, infatuated, beset- cannot explain or understand this often all-consuming drive, nor can they call a halt to their habit. Many are aware of a chronic restiveness that can be curbed only by more finds or yet another acquisition.”

Then he closes out the first chapter with- 

“I have followed the trail of these emotional conditions in the life histories of many collectors. They reveal the need of the phallic-narcissistic personality. They like to pose or make a spectacle of their possessions. But one soon realizes that these possessions, regardless of their value or significance, are but stand-ins for themselves.

One more quote-

“And while they (Collectors) use their objects for inner security and outer applause, their deep inner function is to screen off self doubt and unassimilated memories.”

Talk about DEPRESSING!!  This Muensterberger guy must have been someone who was outbid at the last minute on eBay (a victim of being sniped). If this dude had called me I would have told him upfront that I was nuts and saved him a lifetime of studying to figure it out.

Anyone here interested in joining the Knife Collectors Anonymous?

Published in: on December 20, 2008 at 7:20 pm  Comments (2)  
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Planes, rental cars and basketball?

I don’t have to tell you the storm the country experienced yesterday caused disruptions to much of the nation’s transportation and delivery systems. 

While we pride ourselves here at CNJ in bringing you up to the minute breaking news and information, we simply can not control acts of God. As sophisticated as technology is here in the US, and as advanced as our transportation networks are- you know the old saying- Stuff happens. Well, stuff happened and it interfered with the delivery of the most recent edition of CNJ.

airliner….actually, here’s the deal. I have been on a whirl-wind business trip to South Florida and I got back last night….just in time to see the last 6:41 minutes of my son’s basketball game (he won!). This morning, I’m on my way to my middle daughter’s basketball game. At 1:00 my son plays again. 

So, CNJ will resume its normal schedule once things settle a bit. 

Enjoy your day!

Published in: on December 20, 2008 at 8:45 am  Comments (2)  
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Knife Triva- Not all knives are made to cut

triviapursuitIf I asked you to name a knife that doesn’t cut, what would you say?

You want a clue? Well,  let’s see…. OK. It is called a knife, but it doesn’t have a blade.

If you think you know it, then go ahead and click through to see the answer, but if you don’t, here are a couple more.

While is doesn’t have a blade, it could kill you if used incorrectly. It isn’t a knife you would buy to add to your collection.

And, you aren’t likely to see one at any knife show.

Last one- It cost $5 million.

What is your guess? The winner gets a free one-year subscription to CNJ.


Published in: on December 18, 2008 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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A challenge knife manufacturers face everyday

usflagI was talking to my banker earlier this week and we got off on the subject of the economy. I mentioned that the Chinese imports are hurting U S knife manufacturers. He interrupted me and, while reaching in his pocket, said he wanted to ask me a question.

Then he pulled out a metal handled two- bladed knife and asked me what was wrong with it. I didn’t see anything broken. He softly said again, “So, what is wrong with that knife?” I looked at it again and there stamped on the rear master blade tang was the word- “China.”

He said, “This knife serves my purpose. It does what I need it to do. And, it only cost me about 10 dollars.”

He knows full well the implications to his question about not buying “Made in America” too- for him it’s Customers. Banks accounts. Interest on loans. HIS JOB! – but he was asking a fair question.

You know, he really didn’t seem to care it wasn’t decent quality. He just wanted an inexpensive knife that would go cut. Unfortunately, I am afraid there are many folks out there with his point of view too.

So, the challenge our knife companies face is this- when the knife buyer is trying to stretch his dollars, how do you convince him to spend the extra money for a better quality knife and one that was made here in America?

Casting the first stone-

Now before we jump on my banker friend and declare him to be unpatriotic, how many of us buy/have foreign- made products, like electronics – Nikon, Minolta, Canon, Sony, Samsung, or Mitsubishi, or cars- Honda, Isuzu, BMW, Mercedes, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, or Toyota, -just to name a few?

flagHeck, even some of our own flags are foreign-made.






 The first thought that popped into my head to answer his question was that much of the steel used in Chinese blades (the front tang was stamped “440C Stainless Steel”) is recycled steel and is a lower grade/quality- I remembered reading China bought the steel from the crumbled World Trade Center Towers. Now they are selling it back to us.

Also,  if you are curious about how to define a foreign-made car check this link out. Many of the US cars are built in Canada and Mexico and many of the foreign cars are now built here.

Elvis is online and reads Cutlery News Journal!

spe_elvis_hp_crossword_photoYou are never going to guess who contacted me yesterday … it was Elvis. I promise.

Many of you may already know him because he is active on the knife forum front and is simply known by “Elvis.”

Well, Elvis informed me he beat the CNJ Crossword Puzzle #1. I believed him, but went and checked just to make sure. He did! The record shows 70 folks played it and Elvis is the first to complete it! 

crosswordThen he proceeded to tell me he made one too. So, in a turn about fair play, if you like word games and crossword puzzles- give his a go. It is identified as Know your knives.

Congratulations Elvis and thank you for your support for CNJ.

Published in: on December 16, 2008 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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All the types of knives and the firms that made them

You know by now, I enjoy reading through old cutlery publications and early American knife company history. I’d like to start this week off by sharing with you something I found extremely interesting.

But first let me ask you-

Can you imagine how difficult it would be to attempt to classify all the different kinds of knives made around 1900, in addition to identifying all the different cutlery firms that made each kind?

Do we even know how many different types of knives were made back then? Plus, how exactly do we know a knife’s intended use? All you have to do is read Bernard Levine’s Whut Izzit? column in Knife World each month and his expert attempt at identifying and classifying knives (among other things) to see how difficult it must be.

Cutlery makers and the types of knives they made

cutlerymakersofamer1919headingRecently, while I was doing my pleasure reading, I came across a classification of all knives made around that time. It was published in September 1919 and was compiled by The Cutlery Publishing Company, publishers of The American Cutler.

The publication is The Cutlery Makers of America.


“Official Directory of the Cutlery Trade of the United States classified according to the kinds of knives and blades made, constituting a reliable and comprehensive handbook for cutlery buyers at home and abroad.”

While there are no pictures (other than in the advertisements), the list of the types/classifications of knives is very interesting.

Today, we may call a certain type of knife by another name, or no name at all, but this directory lists the types of knives and the firms who made each as classified by this official directory.

Take for example this classification- Pocket Knives: Advertising-

  • Canton Cutlery Co., Canton, Ohio
  • D. Divine & Sons, Ellenville, N. Y.
  • Golden Rule Cutlery Co., Chicago, Ill.
  • Lackawanna Cutlery Co., Nicholson, Pa.
  • Novelty Cutlery Co., Canton, Ohio
  • Schrade Cutlery Co., Walden, N. Y.
  • United Cutlery Co., Canton, Ohio
  • Wiebush & Hilger, New York

Incidentally, the next classification in the directory is Pocket Knives: Advertising- Safety Push Button- The sole maker listed is Schrade Cutlery Co., Walden, N. Y.

And, Pocket Knives: Revolver- U. S. Small Arms Co., Rochester, N. Y. (I wonder if they made the one for Case Brothers too?)

Today, I simply wanted to introduce this invaluable directory for those of us into American cutlery history. I’ll highlight a couple of other topics you will like later this week.

Published in: on December 15, 2008 at 6:30 am  Comments (3)  
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