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Thread: French Navajas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Rugby, UK
    Posts
    546

    French Navajas

    Not really sure where to post this but is nearly big enough to be a sword so here goes:
    Up for consideration and comment is a nice 19th century, French made, Navajas folding knife.

    Catalogue description:
    19th Century Spanish Vendetta Folding Knife 6½ inch single edged long clipped point blade. Traces of foliage etching with maker 'Girodias' and trade mark. The long slab grip with shaped brass ferrule, central band and ball pommel. The slab grips with part tortoiseshell inlaid with brass fox and part bone decorated with floral design.

    Stats:

    Weight: 6.7oz(0.19kg)
    Length open: 14'' (35cm) , Closed: 7.5''(19cm), Blade: 6.25''(16cm)Weight: 6.7oz(0.19kg)
    Length open: 14'' (35cm) , Closed: 7.5''(19cm), Blade: 6.25''(16cm)


    Feint etching and makers stamp 'Girodias' and trade mark on one side of blade. Non-locking version of the Spanish Vendetta Knife or Navajas knife. I have established that Girodias were a French company based in Thiers the famous French cutlery producing region. These were produced for export as well as the home market in the 19th century. I have also read somewhere that the tortoiseshell on the grips was actually treated horn but I don't know if this is correct. As stated this is a non-locking knife but the spring is strong and certainly not for single handed operation (not and keeping all your fingers anyway). If anybody has any comments or info they would like to share, please do. To start the ball rolling I note that the feint etching is on one side of the blade only and I wonder if this indicates a blade that should be sharpened chisel fashion. Anyone know for certain?
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    The journey not the destination

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Madrid, Spain
    Posts
    1,429
    Hi,

    'Spanish Vendetta Folding Knife'... this antiquarian's wording makes me smile... there was no such knife in Spain, we had only folding knives (navajas), and some of them were combat ones (navajas de defensa).. revenge is something personal, any knife could help! And in singular it is said 'navaja', no '-s'.

    The French exported a huge amount of navajas to Spain in late 19th, early 20th century, and Girodias is a well-known brand for Spanish collectors. The fact that this one does not have a lock is typical of some the import units, Spanish ones normally had a 'palanquilla' (small lever) lock. However, once the spring it strong enough, and since the right use of these navajas was with the thumb resting over the shoulder of the blade to assist in the weapon control, it should not be a major functional issue.

    I'm not a navajas collector, and therefore I'm often surprised of the high prices they can reach, normally higher than regulation swords of the same period.

    Best,
    JJ
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

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