The Shield Tells a Story - More on Estimating the Age of Boker Knives

First of all, let me start by saying this is a work in progress. We know how difficult it is to determine the age of a Boker knife. Tang stamps, steel, bolster and liner materials, blade etches, and scale materials all tell a part of the story. Another method is by looking at the shields. It is tricky, because one needs to be certain that the shield is original to the knife. For the sake of argument, let's say that you can be sure ...

Here is a collection of shields, and my attempt to put a date of use with them. Most of these are educated guesses, based on other factors. With that said:

GENERALLY speaking, a plain shield with no company logo or name is pre 1960. Originally, shields on knife handles were mostly for decoration. They also made a convenient location for engraving your initials. In the 1950s and 1960s this changed. Having said that, let me immediately backpedal because Solingen made Bokers have used the tree shield with SOLINGEN underneath for quite a long time.

I've attempted to place a date with the following photos. Please let me know if you have additional photos to add, or correct me if you see glaring errors. I am certain there will be several!


First is the tried and true bar shield. This one is on a knife made in 1937, but the bar shield was in use long before that. One of the earliest catalogs I have is a 1914 reprint and several bar shields are included.

Next is another old standard. The federal shield. There are a few variations on this theme, dating up through the 1950s on US made Bokers. Many variations of these were used in the early 1900s also.






Shield on the left is circa 1937.


On the right is circa 1920s - 1930s.










Acorn shield circa 1920s   


 This shield is circa 1940s-1950s. Together with a BOKER/USA tang stamp. This is my favorite EDC knife - an 8588 stockman pattern with a broken main blade. It was purchased at an online auction. The main blade is about 3/8" too short, and has been reprofiled.

 Below is a shield found on a 1940-1950 era 9361 pattern, scout knife.

If coupled with a BOKER/USA tang stamp, the shield below indicates a US Boker manufactured before 1975. Careful though - many old Solingen made knives also have this shield! Note the lack of a trademark registered symbol. The shield pictured is from a NEW BRITAIN blade etched US Boker circa 1968-1970.

A shield with a trademark registered symbol indicates a knife manufactured after 1975.

Boker registered the "OLDE STAG" name in 1976.

When the COOPER group owned Boker in its final years of US knife production, this shield was used. Circa 1982.

Even though UNITED BOKER was its own separate company, I've included this shield because there are so many out there. Circa 1984-1994.

Below is the standard SOLINGEN shield. This one is still in use today. I have no idea how long this shield has been in use. Made in Germany.

Compare the shield above to this Solingen shield from the early 1960s. Made in Germany.

It is my understanding that the Henry Boker shield below is from the 1980s, and was a special factory order for a large US knife distributor. Made in Germany.

This shield was used in 1994. That was the 125th anniversary of the Solingen manufacturing facility.

Bullseye shield circa 2001-2004

Below is the 2009 shield - 140th anniversary!

This shield is relatively new (circa 2008). It is found on knives with appaloosa bone handles.

Below are two shields that I can not identify. Do you know the age?















I am certain that there are other collectors who can add to this list! Reply, and show your shields. My focus is on Boker knives manufactured after WW2, so I know there are several shields from the early 1900s that aren't shown. Got any pics to add?

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Comment by Katrina Hatch on November 28, 2014 at 17:01

these marks are off another Knife & they appear more identical. 
It was like the stamp was pressed into the hot metal, its quite deep 

Comment by Katrina Hatch on November 28, 2014 at 16:51

ok here is the other side of the handle

In Memoriam
Comment by John McCain on November 28, 2014 at 16:28

Katrina- a couple of comments-- First has anyone noticed that the 2 "trees" or whatever do not match ?? Look at the upper branches of the "tree" in this photo--Tree on the left -branches closer together than the "tree" on the right. 2 different stamps, not a double strike with the same stamp-- Secondly, I inverted the animal figure-- Does not appear to be a horse to me-- Almost looks like a giraffe (maybe). The animal head has a kind of tribal feel to it. Blade shape has kind of a Malaysian feel, but that could be way off base, too.-- A real puzzler I'm still working on-- Anyhow, the two pics I was talking about--


Comment by Katrina Hatch on November 28, 2014 at 9:46

ok I took a close up of the one i shared, plus of the other one. Trees look raised but are not. 

Comment by Katrina Hatch on November 28, 2014 at 8:39

Want a better shot of the trees or the vibrating lines?

Comment by Jan Carter on November 28, 2014 at 8:31

Katrina, can you get a good shot of that for us?

Comment by Katrina Hatch on November 28, 2014 at 8:27

Dragged out the big magnifier & even looked again in outdoor light I see no other marks. There are quite a few little straight lines in a row like a continuous vibration into the metal when made thruout. 
Guess will go back to looking at different styles of carving horse heads & compare that. I am assuming it is a horse head, the opposite side has what looks like main etched into the handle, just not on the side with the marks. 

Comment by Jan Carter on November 28, 2014 at 8:26


That is the guide I use whenever I have a Boker I need to identify.  It is an awesome resource

Comment by Katrina Hatch on November 28, 2014 at 8:16

Thank you all for the feedback on this. I was told to look in that direction. I been going in circles with this mark. I kept thinking this were from India, Pakistan something of that sorts. 
I rec'd a message back from Boker - 
Thanks for posting the pictures. We can't find any knife in our records that looks like this. You can find an overview for the various tang stamps and logos used on our knives at the end of this PDF:http://www.boker.de/pdf/knifeworld.pdf

Comment by Ricky Ray on November 27, 2014 at 12:02

This is way out of my area of experience, but I've convinced myself that in the lower left corner of the closeup photo, there is some additional etching. Something that looks like it starts with a capital V, with a couple of backwards NNs afterwards. When I see that I always assume Russian/Ukrainian.

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