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Welcome to the Elephant Toenail Collector Club (ETCC).

Come on in. Membership is open and free. Here at the ETCC we all share our appreciation for this handful of a knife.
The ETCC purpose is to celebrate this wonderful old knife pattern. Toenails collectors range from folks that are crazy about the old ones, like me, up to collectors of modern day productions.

Very Brief Toenail History
Toenails were first made around the turn of the twentieth century as hard-core working knives. Evidently the pattern was a popular knife because dozens of firms began production shortly after that. Interestingly, the knife took on different names as each maker attempted to differentiate their toenails from the others made during that era. Some of the nicknames includes, Vest Pocket Axe, Rope Knife, The Jumbo and many others. Today, they are primarily known as toenails, and elephant toes, elephant toenails and, probably the most popular- Sunfish knives.

In my research and interviews of the Old Timers of our era, all agree ET's are a highly popular pattern. While their reasons differ, each agrees their unique design has immediate appeal.

Collecting Toenails-
The approaches used by toenail collectors range widely also. Some tend to collect based on the era the knife was made in, for example those who are primarily into the timeframe of the Granddaddies of cutlery history productions (Platts, WR Case, Case Brothers, Napanoch, New York Knife Co., Cattaraugus, etc); others limit their collection to a single brand, others still, go after toenails made around a specific geo location of the cutlery company, and then others like particular handle materials. There are even others, but you get the idea.

If you aren't into the history of the knife, that's cool too, cause they are still being made today by many firms, and even custom makers too.

Tags: Elephant, Knives, Toenail

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Replies to This Discussion

Comment by Scott King on October 31, 2009 at 13:33
Here's another sample of the one I am talking about below. This one is a single blade easy open. Note all three of these are stamped on the shield: Compliments R. RYSE, Indianapolis, Indiana

Comment by Scott King on October 31, 2009 at 13:22

Here's another example of the Platts I posted.

This one sold on eBay March of 06 for $3750.

Comment by Scott King on October 31, 2009 at 13:12

There seem to be a few vintage toenails coming available lately. Nice Case Brothers Stag "standard style" on eBay right now and got an email yesterday from a guy with a Platts Jumbo. Plan on talking to him today. Here's a pic of it.

Comment by Scott King on November 9, 2009 at 21:00

I am missing something here?

Comment by Scott King on November 9, 2009 at 23:00

Sorry for not being clear. I just thought it was darn funny to see "Hammer Brand" on this cheap looking "toenail," that's all. Instead of like this-

Comment by Scott King on December 12, 2009 at 13:13

Roger, VP of ETCC was a wheeling and a dealing at Parkers Show. Never seen more toenails brought up to him to look at. He had a sign up advertising he was looking to buy old ones. It worked in getting folks attention (maybe he won't mind me sharing how he finds so many).

Comment by Scott King on December 12, 2009 at 13:01

Got a toenail treasure to share with y'all-
It's a wood Case Brothers box with 6250 marked on it. Hard to read, but it's there.

It is also marked 1/2 dozen.

Comment by Scott King on December 12, 2009 at 8:06

Just got back from the Parker Show. Reporting on toenails, they were plentiful...but all of those weren't for sale. Some collectors bring them to share with the crowd.

...there was one Jumbo Swellcenter that caught my eye- it has- get this- original finish on the blades- unheard of in a 100 old work knife. Winterbottom bone, worm groove. W R Case & Sons. Check it out-

Comment by Gary Music on January 23, 2010 at 22:45

I'm a Toenail nut! I have about 40 or so all "Classics" from the Case Parker program. I remember when I received my first one.................WOW...........I was hooked. I love the vintage toes also, out of my price range.

Comment by Scott King on April 7, 2010 at 8:35

All quite on the toenail front? I haven't seen one come my way in a few weeks not. Last one was a Colee but the guy didn't want to sell it.


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