Sometimes it’s the pattern. Sometimes it’s the handle material. Sometimes its the feel of the knife. For me, this early Ulster Knife Co Ellenville, NY (two line stamp) has all three characteristics. This lockback folding hunter appeals to the eye. The stag, with warm tones in the raised areas, look like they were “grown” to be on this knife. In addition, just holding this knife in your hand transports you back to the late 19th century.
In the early 1870’s, a group of Sheffield immigrants began the Cooperative Knife Co. in Ellenville, NY (Ulster County). In 1876, a banker by the name of Dwight Devine bought the company and changed the name to the Ulster Knife Company. The knives that came out of this early period are highly regarded for their quality.
I purchased this knife on eBay. Not recently. In the early days of eBay, approximately 1998. It was a new way of acquiring knives . No longer were knives only to be found in the glass cases of dealers at antique shows, knife shows or flea markets. Collectors no longer needed to leave the privacy of their own homes to feed their hobby. Some say the internet has taken the fun out of collecting while others say it has enhanced the collecting experience.
This knife is hefty at 5 1/2″ closed. It shows signs of wear; the blade looks to have been reshaped and a crude pin suggests the blade was adjusted at some point. However, the locking mechanism still functions and the blade snaps shut. For what this knife has seen during the last 100+ years, it seems to have survived just fine!