The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
Ach! Sorry I missed that chat, Jan! Some of the knives in that picture have interesting provenance (for me, at least). Like the Tibo, which I purchased directly from the designer Brian Griffin -- I should mention that he wrapped the knife in a paracord color of my choice & then made a bracelet out of the same paracord for me. I had read Brian's articles in the now-defunct Tactical Knives Magazine, and by chance purchased a knife from him on another forum without realizing who he was. I stayed in touch with him a little over the next couple years through that site & the TOPS Knives Users page on another social media site. He is an excellent knife writer & photographer, & as I was more of an aspiring knife writer myself, & my photography was atrocious (turns out the old phone was a huge factor), I asked him for a lot of advice and he willingly answered all of my questions. He's a great guy.
The Mil-SPIE 3.5 folder up there was the one that was the catalog model when TOPS released the knife & added it to their catalog. I'm not at liberty to say how I acquired this one, or from whom, but it's provenance is certain. Too bad I messed it up a bit by using it for what I thought would be relatively light tasks. It's still in quite good shape, just not the shape it was in when I obtained it.
I obtained the Silent Hero via the designer Anton Du Plessis. This is another great guy. He's out there on the front lines fighting poaching in Africa, protecting primarily the large animals through the Silent Heroes Foundation & in partnership with several other organizations. Anton donated three of these knives to the Foundation, and upon making a set donation amount, the knife was sent to me as a thank you gift. Which means that all of the money went to the Foundation -- that knife was worth every dollar.
The Black Rhino in the picture was my first TOPS knife, which gave it a certain sentimental attachment. Alas I had to let this one go due to needing funds. But that's okay, the sentiment is still there, & with this photo there is still the memory of deciding to finally put the funds into what was, at the time, the most expensive knife I'd ever purchased.
The CRKT Hood Camp Knife 1 (HCK-1) was actually a display knife at SHOT show, where the designer Karen Hood herself was present to talk about the knife. There is no way this knife was not in her hands, likely quite a bit during that show. I also heard from a source at TOPS that they had a bit of a rush to get this knife to the SHOT show -- this particular knife was a pre-production model in that they had not gone into full production runs when this knife was made, though it was made to the specs of those on the production run.
I also was able to obtain confirmation from Craig Powell at TOPS that Leo Espinoza was the designer of the Camillus CK-9. Grady Powell from Dual Survival used this knife on that show multiple times. Given that & the fact that Grady & Craig share a last name, I asked if there was any relation or if Grady had any hand in the design (given that he designed another TOPS Camillus knife at about the same time). Craig Powell said that no, they were not related, the shared last name was a coincidence, & that current TOPS president Leo Espinoza was in fact the designer of the CK-9, at the request of Camillus in order to have a US-manufactured line of knives. It's just cool to get the background on some of these things, especially when the manufacturer really is the only way to obtain this information.
I bought a few fixed blade pieces today in my shop....Most were older and interesting. There was an odd-shaped Finnish hunting knife, an old Swedish knife with stag handles, a Puma from 1967, and a 1970's Buck hunter that I don't think is pictured. Also a locally-made hunter with no markings, supposedly made in an adjacent town by a local bladesmith there. Finally,there was a nice old Marble's with the original signed sheath (unsure of exact age).