I just thought I would give a quick story about the First Stiff horns that Loveless made. The stiff horns have been around so long they seem very familiar to each of us, but the fact is that this knife was never a catalog knife in 1974. Loveless did not start making the Stiff Horn until Jan/Feb of 1986.
The photo you see of the two knives together was shot about 24 hours ago. The top knife is one I have owned for 36 years is shop #19, and the bottom unengraved knife is #17. The engraved knife was one that Loveless gave me at the 1986 Blade Show in Knoxville as a graduation gift when I matriculated from the University of Georgia. (The school was glad to see me go.) Shortly after I got the knife, we sent it to a new engraver, Jon Robyn, who was working with Old Dominion engravers. We had Jon put on a painting by Manet called “Olympia.” Wow, Jon blew our faces off with the fine engraving. I think Jon said he spent 40 hours on the engraving.
These were made with the shop numbers under the knife blade on the tang, as you can see in the photo of #17 and #19. I liked this at the time and still do. The next batch of Stiff Horns that Bob made is different than this first run. You can tell by the length of the bolster. The first batch was are all made with a 1 1/4” bolster. The next batch he made has a much shorter bolster and is not numbered underneath the blade on the tang. The first batch were nickel silver guards, very soft for engraving but tended to turn color a bit; the handle is, of course, classic green micarta, and the blade is a small 3” blade.
Bob said, “This is the Jess Horn knife I designed in 1974, but mine doesn’t fold.” These are very well-designed knives and have a very lovely stance to them. Also, notice the especially unusual sheath that the knife has. Somewhere along the way, the sheaths got switched with another Stiff Horn knife because this one says #22. So that means someone out there in Loveless land has another sheath #17. If you have it, we can switch. Still, the sheath is super rare; not all of them had this sheath.
You can also see that the stiff horn is a bit bigger than the stag city knife, but that is a small knife because the Stiff horn is not a massive knife by any stretch of the imagination. Bob loved the Stiff Horn.
Be sure to check your Stiff Horn knife at home and see if you have one of the very first made. Measure the bolster and check where the number is located. Maybe 25 were made like this, maybe less. Notice the funny note that Loveless wrote about my Stiff Horn; it says, “Me and JW wuz too Dronk…” that is classic Bob because my Dad was not a drinker. Loveless always did have a heck of a sense of humor.
The Stiff Horn #17, with no engraving, is for sale
Price is $5,300
You just can not find this vintage anymore. They have all gone deep into collections around the world over the decades.