By the age of 13 I had collected a few pocket knives from antique shows and flea markets. After taking them home and removing the gunk, I wanted to find out more about a few of them. I sent some pictures of the knives (remember film!) with a letter describing them to C. Houston Price, author of The Official Price Guide to Collector Knives. This book was my go to, along with Bernard Levine’s, Levine’s Guide to Knives and Their Values. I didn’t think a busy guy like Mr. Price would have time to respond but I sent the letter anyway.
Well, it turns out that Mr. Price was very generous with his time and what he sent back had a profound effect on me as a young knife collector. In addition to some interesting background on the companies that made the knives, Mr. Price gave me his best estimate for the age and approximate value of each knife. He wished me well and told me that getting started at such a young age would be beneficial in my journey as a knife collector. He also threw in a few issues of Knife World which were great resources.
As the year progressed, I continued to collect knives and write letters to Mr. Price. To my surprise, he continued to send detailed responses, well wishes and encouragements as I found new pieces for the collection. He even submitted a curious knife to Bernard Levine, who would go on to do a write up in my favorite “Whut Izzit?” column in Knife World. I felt a little famous after that! These letters gave me motivation and a true connection to the hobby, fueling my interest in acquiring more old knives.