As we find ourselves knee-deep in Covid19, often the weeks all seem to blend together. I know the only difference I can remark on would be when I look outside the window, I see the leaves changing color for Fall.
But the knife world seems to be trucking on like a small freight train in a snowdrift. The market for Loveless has been super healthy for the past 8 months. I have sold some fantastic things and acquired a few exciting knives.
This pair is a perfect example of the old "when you think you have seen all the Loveless knives"... something like these two knives pops up.
Let's look at all the neat things that make these Loveless very special. First of all, in 35 years and over 2,800 Loveless knives, I have not seen anything like these two. Sure I have seen bits and pieces of these knives appear on other knives. But never all together.
First of all, the knives date from 1975. How we know this is that the sheath is marked with the logo used on Lawndale knives. Steve Johnson said that when they moved from Lawndale to Riverside in 1974, they did not immediately make a new leather sheath logo. Instead, Loveless still stamped the "R.W. Loveless Maker" on the leather for about a year or so before the Riverside logo came on the sheath. Bob always had his own time and reasons for the odd things he did with the knives. So this is one of them, and it is fascinating that the blades both have the single "Nude" logo. Remember that this logo was introduced in 1975 at the Kansas City Guild Show. It is also lovely to see the single nude logo, as it was not until the 1980's that he started using the double nude logo.
Given that, these are some of the earliest Naked Lady Logos that we can come close to dating.
The next thing you notice is that the pins are not the "two-tone" pins that Loveless made so famous. Instead, these are all stainless, most unusual for a knife of this age, but I have owned several Loveless-Johnson knives that were all stainless. Those Loveless-Johnson knives were made in 1974. As Steve Johnson told me that yes, he and Loveless made them sometimes with all stainless. So this stainless now is carried over to this Nude Logo set of knives. Loveless was either experimenting for maybe made it for a friend.
Then your eye drifts to the bolster that just looks different. Is it because it is stainless? No, it's because the bolster is a little mini wide bolster. Nearly all his hunting knives had the 1/4" bolster, but this one has the 1/2" bolster. Bob usually went with a full one inch bolster if doing a wide bolster looks. So this is very nice, very subtle. Impossible to find; most people don't even notice the change unless sitting next to a regular bolster knife.
You now realize you have a very unique knife in your hands, an all stainless 1975, naked lady logo knife, with wide bolsters. It was not until about 1991 or so that Loveless went to all stainless.
If you look even closer at the knife, you will notice the solder is a copper looking line that was perfectly placed on the knife. Bob was known for his really sloppy solder joints. But these two knives have a copper look. So I did what anyone would do, ask the expert. Thanks to my great and longtime friend, the legendary Steve Johnson, after he left the shop. Loveless was experimenting with things that might work better for the joints. That these may have been brazed before heat treat. It is very subtle, but when you look at it, you can't unsee it. Then you can't stop staring at it. The color is really mesmerizing, the texture is different, and why he did it ... will never be known. As you might note that after 1974 when Steve Johnson left the shop, it was only Loveless in the shop banging around making all the knives.
Oh… the blades are a bit unusual, as most all Loveless hunters back then were 3 3/4" hardly ever did you find a 4" drop hunter, but these are just a hair over 3 1/2". The stag seems to be really clean and matches well. Notice in the one photo of the butt of the knife how pure white it is. Usually, Bob would have just massive, black pitted stag back there. But the drop is almost perfect in the world of Loveless stag.
Not sure if I left anything out, but it was a lot of information that had to be decoded out of these 2 Loveless hunters. I have never seen anything like this. Plus, to cap it off, it was a set of 2, #805 A, and #805B are a drop and semi skinner. But it looks like they are so well done that Loveless was sure trying to impress someone. If it was a regular collector, Loveless would have just pumped out a run of the mill two-tone pins, standard bolsters drop, and semi.
The knives are in super mint condition, with original sheaths, and there is a substantial chance of each one is a one of a kind creation. If anyone has seen another one, please let me know.
These knives were so impressive that we sold them before we could get this newsletter out or even post them for sale on the web site; however, so unique, I thought interesting enough to share.
Thanks for reading, and don't forget to drink plenty of water and eat some chocolate along and along, yet most importantly, stay safe and healthy.