Whimsy Pocket Knife

Perhaps the single object that points to the whimsy, pride of workmanship and the artist’s ability to create is this carved wooden pocket knife. It epitomizes the tramp artist. When I spoke with Adolph Vandertie many years ago he kept his collection of pocket knives he used for his carvings in a mahogany case with slots to fit the knives snuggly. He told me he had worn out dozens of pocket knives during his 50 plus year career. I could not believe that he wore out so many pocket knives. How would one wear out a knife? Vandertie’s son had made a wooden knife for him for his birthday one year and that was the only whimsy knife I have ever seen. This wonderful crafted example has four working blades and is delicately carved. The details are sharp (not the blades!) and there is evidence of a signature but it is illegible.

I would date the pocketknife to the 1920s – 1930s.

USA 20th c.
Price: $875


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