Friday, November 15, 2013

1930's Victorinox Spartan

A few weeks ago I noticed an old , slightly damaged Spartan on Ebay. The seller was a known Sak-seller from Basel, Switzerland. The oldest Officers knife I owned was one from 1937, so this one, with the fibre scales instead of the Cellidor scales would set my "oldest knife date" back to before 1937. The knife looked ok, but the triangular shaped reamer was shortened and the outline on the Vic-shield was missing. Nothing that holds me back from buying it... ;) The shield outline was coloured with a red pen and the tools were all scratched up. After some cleaning, lubricating and polishing, I managed to colour the shield outline with a "silver marker". I finally got it for 72 Euro. A fair price for a knife of over 70 years old. My first guess was that it must've been from before the 30's, but after taking a closer look at the blade stamping, I noticed a rather small time window....

Age - marks :

* Fibre scales : These scales were introduced in 1909. Before 1909 the scales were made from wood. This knife has fibre scales!
* Can opener : The typical Soldier 1891 can opener ( large curved spike ) was produced till 1946. From then on there were two new types. The most recent one changed a little bit in the last few years, but stays by far the best one ever made. But this knife has the oldest type!
* Triangular reamer : From 1961 on, they changed the beautiful triangular shaped reamer in the known curved reamer. This knife has the old type, used from 1897 till 1961.
* Rivets : From 1961 on they made the rivets invisible (inside the scales). These rivets are very visible!!! :)
* Shackle / Ring : From 1961 on they made it possible of attaching  your keys to the knife by shackle at first, later by attachment ring. This knife has none of the above!
* Cap lifter : The cap lifter without the wire stripper and narrowed flathead screwdriver was made from 1942 till 1951. (This date must be a mistake, because now I have the proof that a knife, probably manufactured arround the 30's, has a cap lifter.)
* Blade stamping : The Victorinox stamp with crossbow in the middle was used in 1931 according to the stampings-page in a recent Victorinox book.

Conclusion :

There are a lot of contradictions in this age-dating, but one thing is certain... The fibre scales weren't used after 1937 and the stamp is only a few years used, so I would say early 30's. The next one will be finally one with wooden scales or one without caplifter. 

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