1904 Holley Knife, Lakeville, CT Catalog

1904 Orginal Holley Mfg. Co. Catalog

Original Holley Mfg. Co. Catalog- 1904

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 illustrated inside pagestook 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.

Inside cover and 1907 price list

Inside cover and 1907 price list

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.


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What is the value of a 12″ skinner type wood handle knife with the inscription on the blade stating: “Grand Prize St. Louis 1904” great looking knife, excellent condition, wood handle, inlayed nickel bolster also a faint drawing of Pegasus with unreadable underneath

  2. I like the old catalogs but like the knives even better. I have an old Holley MFG “RIP VAN WINKLE” and also a 4 bld sm congress MOP.
    I’ve only seen the one RVW other than in cat. pages.
    Mine’s not mint but I probably wouldn’t take mint price because of the rarity.
    Holley claimed to be the first truely American knife mfgurer but I also have a nice ole Waterville and they went in business in 1843 per one of my collector books.
    Ron Stewart/Roy Ritchie have some cool collector books consisting of mostly old pages with updated values which are a great help to new collectors as well.
    Thanks for sharing the above info on HOLLEY.

  3. Greetings: I just left a comment about my Napanoch Knife Company SunFish Knife Printer’s Block that you featured. I wrote that I probably could find some of my other items on your WWW site. After I posted my comment, I saw something about a Holley Knife Catalog 1904. I thought I had missed a great catalog on eBay and I was going to kick myself. However, upon seeing the image and write-up, I realized it was my Holley Catalog 1904. It is 5:00 a.m. and I need to get at least a couple of hours sleep; therefore, I’m not looking at your WWW site any further tonight/today! ;-D

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