Reviewed by Knife World staff
Over the last several years, the knife world has been blessed with an
increasing number of books on specialty cutlery - Official Scout Knives,
the M3 trench knife, and so on. The latest to join this trend is a
beautiful - and important - book on advertising cutlery by frequent Knife
World contributor Richard White.
Advertising Cutlery begins with a nice introduction suitable for knife
collectors and neophytes alike. Among the topics covered by White are
available sources on the topic, recent trends, the factors that affect the
value of an advertising knife, and future trends.
The heart of the book consists of 13 different chapters, each dealing with
an advertising subjects: Agricultural Feeds, Seed & Services; Food &
Beverages; Shoes, Clothing & Textiles; Consumer Products; Business &
Industry; Petroleum Related Products; Fraternal Organizations; Whiskey &
Tobacco; Commemorative & Anniversaries; World's Fairs & Souvenirs; Cutlery
Products; Hunting and Fishing, and Miscellaneous. These 13 areas pretty
well cover the advertising field in its entirety, and readers will be
surprised at the wide variety of firms and productsthat the author has
turned up on the handles of an advertising knife. Worked into the chapters
are several short articles of interest, inluding Purina's Checkerboard
Design, Melon Testers, The "World's Tallest Building" knife, Fraternal
Organizations, Knives of Adolphus Busch, and "Zane Grey" Endorsed Ka-Bars.
Astute readers will recognize some of these as adaptations of Richard's
past Knife World articles.
The book's single strongest feature are the many quality photographs
printed in glorious color - a feast for the eyes. Not only that, each
photograph is accompanied by an extensive caption detailing the history
behind the knife, and concluding with an estimated value for each. The
publisher claims over 400 color photographs in this book - and if you
consider 400 photos + 400 brief histories + 400 knife prices - well, that's
a heck of a lot of information for the collector.
Advertising Cutlery will prove invaluable for anyone with the slightest
interest in advertising knives, and truly, for anyone with an interest in
20th century American, English, and German pocketknives, which comprise the
greatest majority of the book.
All of the beautiful pictures and interesting histories may well convert
both knife collectors and antique advertising collectors to this fast
growing area. If you are one of those who has turned up your nose at
advertising knives for years, don't be surprised if Richard's book opens
your eyes. It might even make a convert out of you.
by Richard D. White
Softcover, 176 pp.
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