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#1 nuke41

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 09:47 AM

I’m going to start this post off by saying that Bill Stone is the real expert on what’s an original Stone knife/knuckle and what isn’t. As a long time collector of Stone knives I’m going to present the facts as I see them and call it like I see it, that doesn’t mean I’m right and I’d appreciate it if any of the other Stone collectors here can weigh in on the issue with their opinions.

A couple of weeks ago I ran into a fellow collector at a show, he’s recently bought a Stone knuckle off Gun Broker and asked me to take a look at it. I borrowed it for the afternoon and took some pictures of it compared to a 1990s replica sold by Bill Stone and a period theater copy made during WWII that was verified and sold by Bill Stone.

Virtually any military edged weapon collector would consider Stone knives to be a “big 5” item that’s on their must collect list. The problem in the past has always been availability since the original knives are so rare, I had to wait several years to get one that was verified by Bill Stone as an original. I’ve also bought many of the 1990s replicas and any period copies that looked authentic. The 1990s era replicas are highly sought after in their own right, but cannot be mistaken for a WWII knife unless heavily doctored. One complicating factor is that Stone knives and knuckles were copied during WWII by other foundry men, making it to my knowledge the only knife to be copied while the war was still going on. These can be hard to tell from the originals since the patina will be the same as an original and the surface detail can be nearly what an original is.

Of concern to me and other Stone collectors has been the recent appearance of several Stone knives and knuckles on online auctions, mostly Gun Broker and some on eBay. They have been sold by 3-4 seller IDs and most notably all the sellers live in Eastern Washington state in the Spokane area.

The pictures posted are of:

- A 1990s replica sold by Bill Stone. The knife is numbered on the rear of the skull and this one doesn’t have the knuckle bow. The metal is polished and there is no patina.
- A period theater copy of Stone knuckles. While not an original Stone knuckle, this was verified as a period produced copy by Bill Stone and is very collectable in its own right because of its patina and correct surface detail.
- A “Stone” knuckle bought from Gun Broker (item # 239934980), sold by “arcane” as “parts of a large estate of a knife collector”.

Using the period copy and the 1990s replica, here are my thoughts on the “arcane” copy.

- Surface detail on the knuckles is poor: While original Stone knives varied in detail quality and finishing, I’ve never seen an original or period copy with such poor detail and casting quality.

- Detail quality is poor: The eyes and the bridge of the nose appear to be ground away, I cannot tell if that was done after it was cast or if the pattern is made that way. It could have been sloppy casting and the maker had to grind away portions of the face. The teeth detail is mostly carved and not cast in; this is how the 1990s replicas were done. The detail on the ridge of the spine of the grip is also inconsistent from any original or period copy I’ve seen. It has a rough pattern like a rough file or dremel tool was used to clean it up.

- Surface detail compared to period copy and 1990s replica: While it doesn’t match either exactly, I think the “arcane” knuckle has more in common with the 1990s replica.

- Patina: From an original or period copy you expect a pewter type patina, something ranging from a light to medium pewter look. The “arcane” knuckle has what appears to be a forced patina. It doesn’t show well in my pictures, but the patina on the knuckle isn’t even like the period copy, it has distinctly dark recessed surface areas that look much blacker in person when handling it. Patina on aluminum theater knives seems to take 20+ years to develop and I’ve never seen a fake have an original looking patina that could fool a serious collector. The most common ways I’ve seen people try to fake patinas is some type of dark paint wash and the use of a couple of acid based products such as Birchwood Casey aluminum black; neither comes close to an original even patina. The patina on the “arcane” knuckle looks more like Birchwood Casey aluminum black.

- Size: The “arcane” knuckle is slightly smaller than the 1990s replica and the period knuckles, if the “arcane” knuckle is newly produced it can’t be of equal size to these older ones since due to metal shrinkage the casting is always smaller than the pattern.

Opinion: In my opinion the “arcane” knuckle is a modern copy made using one of the 1990s replicas as a pattern.

Putting my law enforcement analysis hat on, I find it more than coincidental that the Spokane area of Washington State has become such a hot bed of Stone knife/knuckle “estate finds”. There is another Stone knife on eBay as I write this, item #300587026598, being sold by “puremanb”. I notice that the feedback for “puremanb” shows a sale in April of this year, item #300551846373, another Stone knife. I also see that “puremanb” lives in “Spokane, WA”. While it’s hard to judge from the pictures, the patina on the knife in April looks like the “arcane” knuckle I recently looked at.

Recommendation: If you buy something ask for an inspection period and then send it to Bill Stone for determination on what it really is. Next best thing would be to post details here for others to study and weigh in on.

Attached Images

  • Arcane_1.jpg

Edited by nuke41, 13 August 2011 - 10:07 AM.


#2 nuke41

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 09:49 AM

The Arcane grip looks darker than the period copy, both look lighter in the pictures than they really are.

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Edited by nuke41, 13 August 2011 - 10:10 AM.


#3 nuke41

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 09:49 AM

Pics

Edited by nuke41, 13 August 2011 - 10:01 AM.


#4 nuke41

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 10:02 AM

More pics.

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  • Arcane_3.jpg


#5 nuke41

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 10:05 AM

Pics of “puremanb" knives, from eBay.

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#6 Tony-in-NH

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 11:07 AM

Very well thought out and excellent presentation of the facts. I have also noticed a lot of "FAKES" coming out of that area. There must be a foundry in that particular area they are using.

#7 Still-A-Marine

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 04:26 PM

Thanks Jeb outstanding information. Let the buyer beware!!!! Bill

#8 gunbarrel

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 07:07 PM

Jeb,

U.S. military knife collectors owe you a debt of gratitude for this post, and I suggest that it gets posted under the Edged Weapons Fake/Reproductions section that I suggested before. We are talking about a knife that is an icon to U.S. military knife collectors. I would hate to save my money for years to buy one then to see it devalued by fakes.

Thank you! :thumbsup:

#9 nuke41

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 05:54 AM

As a follow up; "puremanb"s knife on eBay, item #300587026598, sold for $1,400 last night. The buyer is going to be sorely disappointed when he shows it someone knowledgeable and finds out it’s a poor quality modern casting. It doesn’t even have a Kabar blade, so it can’t be an original Stone knife. More proof that buying the research books first is always a good investment.

Edited by nuke41, 15 August 2011 - 05:54 AM.


#10 gunbarrel

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 04:10 PM

User ID: private listing - bidders' identities protected

Is it possible that somebody that is obviously not knowlegeable would spend $1,400 on a knife? I wouldn't want anybody to know that I bought it, either! :pinch:

#11 SKIPH

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 01:17 PM

Nuke41 &Tony- Thanks Again for the help, and the thorough explanation. I can see that finding true STONE knives can be a bigger minefield that M3's, if you don't do your homework. SKIP

#12 Cromwell

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:39 AM

Their are so many " e w stone " versions it's really a joke.

Let's see Just to name a few "versions"you got, the only real IMO ews knives as cast by ew on the uss holland,the ones ew let friends cast on the uss holland,the Australia foundry cast versions,currie cast versions,the true original Chinese ? Design that ew copied his design from,the copies made on at least 3 other ships during the war,the copies made after the war,the odd ball ones ew made like the m7 blade one etc...The ones Dale at edmf cast up,the other odd ones Dale cast odd blades on to,the back door ones,the poorly done ac copies,the current tiawan cast versions,the brass versions,the bronze version,etc,etc,etc.

Unless a person has a letter written by e w stone sr & notarized stating the knife was cast on the uss holland by his own hand ,I call BS and would have many ? on all the other "versions".

A real hand cast by EW Stone sr during WWII knife is a TRUE icon and super rare and IMO worth over 4k + but all the rest ?????

Read the may 2002 issue of knife world ew stone wrote a article on these knives,it's a real good starting point on the path to just how many of these knives were made just during WW2

#13 Tony-in-NH

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:18 AM

Apparantly nuke41 struck a nerve!!!!!!!!!!!

#14 Cromwell

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:47 AM

Once again point missed,point is their are so many copies of these knives out their unless it's from ew sr and well documented it's NOT a "real" E W Stone sr. Knife. End of lesson.

Oh btw that brass one you got ... Well :think:

#15 gunbarrel

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 01:58 PM

Apparantly nuke41 struck a nerve!!!!!!!!!!!

Once again point missed,point is their are so many copies of these knives out their unless it's from ew sr and well documented it's NOT a "real" E W Stone sr. Knife. End of lesson.

Oh btw that brass one you got ... Well :think:


YEAH TONY! :mad: If you and Jeb would just pay attention to THE LESSON, you just MIGHT learn something from Mr. Cromwell! -_- Jeeez...

Looking forward to more lessons, Mr. Cromwell, Sir. This is only your third post and I already feel so much more...enlightened by your posts.

Edited by gunbarrel, 18 August 2011 - 02:00 PM.


#16 Cromwell

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 03:55 PM

YEAH TONY! :mad: If you and Jeb would just pay attention to THE LESSON, you just MIGHT learn something from Mr. Cromwell! -_- Jeeez...

Looking forward to more lessons, Mr. Cromwell, Sir. This is only your third post and I already feel so much more...enlightened by your posts.



I totally understand backing up long time members , from a person who just blows in but those who really know will understand my info.

As stated read knife world then look down at me,find the " back door " 1990s era knives,look for the odd blades edmf cast on to "e w stone" style knives,Look for the post ww2 era knives,etc... Lots of murk in the water.

Anyone have better info ?¿?¿

#17 gunbarrel

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 04:00 PM

I totally understand backing up long time members , from a person who just blows in but those who really know will understand my info.

As stated read knife world then look down at me,find the " back door " 1990s era knives,look for the odd blades edmf cast on to "e w stone" style knives,Look for the post ww2 era knives,etc... Lots of murk in the water.

Anyone have better info ?¿?¿


No, you are The Man! :thumbsup:

#18 Cromwell

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 06:19 PM

Sorry for wasting ur time. :crying:

#19 gunbarrel

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 06:26 PM

:bye1:

#20 nuke41

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:02 AM

Their are so many " e w stone " versions it's really a joke.

Let's see Just to name a few "versions"you got, the only real IMO ews knives as cast by ew on the uss holland,the ones ew let friends cast on the uss holland,the Australia foundry cast versions,currie cast versions,the true original Chinese ? Design that ew copied his design from,the copies made on at least 3 other ships during the war,the copies made after the war,the odd ball ones ew made like the m7 blade one etc...The ones Dale at edmf cast up,the other odd ones Dale cast odd blades on to,the back door ones,the poorly done ac copies,the current tiawan cast versions,the brass versions,the bronze version,etc,etc,etc.

Unless a person has a letter written by e w stone sr & notarized stating the knife was cast on the uss holland by his own hand ,I call BS and would have many ? on all the other "versions".

A real hand cast by EW Stone sr during WWII knife is a TRUE icon and super rare and IMO worth over 4k + but all the rest ?????

Read the may 2002 issue of knife world ew stone wrote a article on these knives,it's a real good starting point on the path to just how many of these knives were made just during WW2


I thought I’d wait a while before I revisited this issue, I suspected it would “self-reload” and I was correct.

Cromwell suggests that there “are so many copies of these knives out their (there)”; I’d say yes and no to that idea. Up until recently Stone knives, even the period theater copies, were exceedingly rare. Even good period copies went for $1000 and up because original Stone knives were so rare that a collector could wait years to obtain one (I know I did). Today I’d say I agree with Cromwell, Stone knives and grips are common, so common that a quick check of gun broker, eBay or some of the knuckle forums will turn up at least one, maybe more, for sale. The real issue is why have they become so common and why are they all coming out of the Spokane area of Washington State? Did an unknown Stone collector pass away and the world’s largest Stone collection found its way to an estate sale where they all went for peanuts?

What concerns me most are what I suppose Cromwell defines as “the back door ones”; what I would suggest is a euphemism for outright fakes meant to defraud unknowing collectors and also devalue the Stone knife market in general. As I’ve detailed above, the “Arcane” Stone grip bears all the hallmarks of a purposeful fake and he’s marketing them as originals. So what has “Arcane” been up to lately and can we finally settle this issue of whether these knives are indeed currently produced fakes meant to deceive unknowing collectors? Let’s look at what he’s been up to.

#21 nuke41

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:07 AM

http://www.gunbroker...?Item=252473705

“HARD TO FIND leather USN marked BOYT 43 SHEATH WITH A ROBESON SHREDGE BLADE ,CAST ALUMINIUM SKULL COBRA SNAKE KNUCKLE DUSTER HANDLE...ALL IN FAIR CONDITION ! SEE PICS ! **** USS HOLLAND USN ITEMS,ID DOG TAGES,DRESS BLUES,FLARE,ZIPPO,ECT... NOT FOR SALE IN THIS AUCTION !**** SKULL KNIFE AND SHEATH ARE THE ONLY ITEMS FOR SALE IN THIS AUCTION ! THE KNIFE CAME FROM THE ESTATE OF A USS HOLLAND Damage Control man WHO SERVED ON THE HOLLAND IN WW2 ! THE ESTATE HAD A LARGE KNIFE COLLECTION that the owner had collected while SERVING ON THE USS HOLLAND FREE SHIPPING WITH BUY IT NOW !!!!”

OK, he’s now claiming its original and from an estate sale of a USS Holland crew member. Intent to defraud is now established.

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#22 nuke41

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:12 AM

http://www.gunbroker...?Item=252626883

“DEVIL KNUCKLE DUSTER knife called "the billy knife" & cast from duralumin in the 40s on the uss holland by a damage control man with casting and machine skills. This version has brass skull crusher horns and a m3 blade along with a us m8a1 bm co vp marked sheath. sheath has a broken strap and lots of wear as does the knife !! see pics for condition ! notes found with collection stated that the knife was made for a "black devils" member who was a friend of the usn damage control man.”

This is actually my favorite “Arcane” creation, that and the crazy story that goes with it. Here again he claims authenticity with obvious intent to defraud.

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#23 nuke41

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:16 AM

http://www.gunbroker...?Item=258354555
“This is a modern re creation and with design changes so it can not be sold as a original... e.w. stone brass knuckle duster made by William Blackcraft knives. It is very heavy and cast from half hard brass.It has the blackcraft W skull logo cast in on both sides and other design changes. ONLY 2 ever made this is a very rare & wicked brass knuckle duster. Your friends dont have one of these & never will !!! SEE OTHER AUCTION FOR A E W STONE KNUCKLE KNIFE !!!”

OK, now he’s selling “recreations”. I’ve also never heard of “William Blackcraft knives”.

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#24 nuke41

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:19 AM

http://www.gunbroker...?Item=259403863
“THIS IS A 70th anniversary of a ww2 era ew stone knife. These were made by William Blackcraft knives and only 5 were made this is #3 . The blade is a ka-bar blade and the handle is deeply maker stamped ,so their is no question that this is a anniversary knife.sheath is a custom item from alamo leather goods. These were cast from a original ew stone mold .Knife has some use on it..see pics for condition !SEE PICS FOR CONDITION !SEE OTHER AUCTION FOR A EW STONE KNUCKLE IN BRASS !!”

I thought only Bill Stone sold anniversary Stone knives? I guess not anymore. I’d have to say I like the quality (and resale value) of Bill’s knives better.

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#25 nuke41

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:24 AM

http://www.gunbroker...?Item=263198383

“This is a for a pointed knuckle collection of 3 hard to find knuckle dusters in alloy not brass knuckles. The bc 41 is a very old school small duster and may not fit modern hand. The ew stone is a odd varation with the snake makeing raised knuckle points and a hairy type back...a very wicked knuckle duster !!! the 1918 is a 1918 style knuckle with skull crusher ...all are used and have wear and are beat up a bit !!”

I’d agree on the assessment of “odd variation” on the Stone grip. Also, “Arcane” should find an original LF&C or Au Lion 1918 grip to copy, using a modern Paki make grip blows the whole effect.

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