I don’t know about you, but I love old knife catalogs with all the different varieties of knives. Plus, knowing a catalog is an original edition intrigues me every bit as much as an old knife.
Yesterday early evening a very rare knife company catalog closed out on eBay. It was a Holley Manufacturing Co. original edition from 1904 with 125 highly illustrated pages. In case you aren’t familiar, Goins Encyclopedia shows their years as c. 1854 – 1930s.
The history of the firm starts back in 1844 when Alexander Holley built a knife factory in Lakeville, CT. He eventually took in partners and in 1854 incorporated under the name Holley Manufacturing Company. They continued enjoying success until around 1900 when larger firms began taking market share. The larger firms mass production methods outpaced Holley’s hand forging. In 1915, Holley downsized, yet continued making knives until the late 1930s.
In Levine’s Guide to Knives and their Values, 4th edition, Holley Mfg. Co. is rated as Very High in desirability. He also states the firm ceased distribution around 1904.
Also included in this eBay sale was a price list and an explanation of their pocket knife numbering system dated March 18, 1907.
I had to run pick up my youngest daughter from practice. When I got back the auction was history.
The catalog sold for $518.88. Good stuff is always in high demand.