"Marca Oro" -- 1940s? switchblade

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Bill DeShivs
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by Bill DeShivs »

I see that it has already started. That's not a bad offer, BTW.
The hole in the safety slot was drilled when the knife was made. It allows the saw blade that cut the slot to be inserted. This is the way the older stilettos were made.
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
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button_man
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by button_man »

Uh, what exactly has already started....? Please forgive me; I have no A/C and it's about
a million degrees in the shade and I think my brain just hit the "soft-boiled" stage.....

The Pilot Hole scenario makes sense too; but why don't I see it in ANY of the other old picklocks in "Switchblades of Italy" -- ? Most of the knives shown have the safety button slid all the way down, and so the safety button itself could be concealing a hole..... but in EVERY photo where you can see that end of the slide channel, there is no hole. (e.g. pages 43, 44, 56, 57, 85, 97, 98) Was the Pilot Hole method only used by certain shops; or only for a short time; or are such details lost to the mists of time.....?
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fastr19
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by fastr19 »

button_man wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:49 pm Uh, what exactly has already started....? Please forgive me; I have no A/C and it's about
a million degrees in the shade and I think my brain just hit the "soft-boiled" stage.....

The Pilot Hole scenario makes sense too; but why don't I see it in ANY of the other old picklocks in "Switchblades of Italy" -- ? Most of the knives shown have the safety button slid all the way down, and so the safety button itself could be concealing a hole..... but in EVERY photo where you can see that end of the slide channel, there is no hole. (e.g. pages 43, 44, 56, 57, 85, 97, 98) Was the Pilot Hole method only used by certain shops; or only for a short time; or are such details lost to the mists of time.....?
He's referencing the bidding you're receiving on the knife. That $1500 is decent.
One of the authors of "Switchblades of Italy" participates on this site. He goes by Quaero. You might message him.
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Bill DeShivs
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by Bill DeShivs »

Fastr19 is correct.
I assure you, the pilot hole is actually a trait of the older stilettos.
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
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Factory authorized repairs for:
Latama, Mauro Mario, LePre, Colonial, Kabar, Flylock, Schrade Cut Co., Presto, Press Button, Hubertus, Grafrath, Kuno Ritter knives.
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by button_man »

Oh, I see..... well, actually the offers started and ended on May 23, when I initiated this thread.
As soon as I stated that I was not going to sell the knife any time soon, the offers stopped.

Bill, is the overall style of this knife consistent with the way that Italian stilettos were made in the 1930s?
It has occurred to me that a possible reason for the brand name to be Spanish, is that Italian knife makers might have seen the
Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) as an opportunity to market weapons to the Nationalist side, which was being supported by Mussolini.

If this is a possibility, then my knife could be over 80 years old. This conjecture hinges on whether or not
Italian stilettos made during the 1930s were similar to the 'Marca Oro' and I have nothing available for comparison.
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Jackalope
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by Jackalope »

Button_man,

You have a wonderful imagination. We applaud you for wanting to learn the history of this very special old knife.

Your knife was made in Maniago, Italy. Most likely post war in the 1940's. It is possible the knife was imported to Spain. It will more than likely be impossible to find out exactly much more info than that. Bill D. knows what he is talking about. He has personally handled more of these knives than most of us combined. Best of luck to you.

You can try and contact Lucio DiBin on the Sharperdeals forum. His screen name is michelef13.
He lives in maniago. His business supplies handle material to many of the knife shops around the world. He is a very valuable resource for information on the history of these great knives.

Oh and by the way, I would offer you $1000 for the knife if you ever decide to sell.
button_man
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by button_man »

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fastr19 ~ Thanks for the lead...! I will definitely be contacting the gentleman.

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Jack ~ I am not the only person with a "wonderful imagination" if you think I'd reject 1,500 and then accept 1,000 -- LOL !

Seriously, I fail to see what is so "imaginative" about my inquiry. If this knife could have been made in 1948, is it so outlandish to think that it could have been made a mere ten years earlier? The issue here is whether any aspect of the design, materials, or workmanship absolutely precludes this knife being made in the 1930s. If anyone can offer evidence either way ---which would have to be something rather more than saying "most likely" with no supporting data--- I would welcome such information, regardless of whatever era in which it places the knife. So far, nobody has.

If it turns out that this knife could have been made that early, then there is also nothing "imaginative" about the possibility that it was made to sell into the war market in Spain. This was not just some local little squabble; it was a proxy war involving many of the powers that would soon battle in World War II. Germany and Italy supported the Nationalists; the Soviet Union and volunteers from throughout Europe and the United States supported the Republicans.
It was, for all intents and purposes, a microcosm of the global conflict just a couple years down the road. Many countries donated and sold weapons into this war market. Ordinary citizens in Spain battled their neighbors in the streets. War atrocities abounded on both sides. To suggest that the knife makers of Italy would blithely ignore this profound situation --in which their own government played an active part --seems somewhat unrealistic to me.

I appreciate the lead on Mr. DiBin -- I'll give it a try and post the results.
sylvan
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by sylvan »

The man's name is DiBon, not DiBin. Yes, he might be able to give you some information.
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by Peiper »

The hole in the safety slot was drilled when the knife was made. It allows the saw blade that cut the slot to be inserted. This is the way the older stilettos were made.
I assure you, the pilot hole is actually a trait of the older stilettos.
I have five with the same pilot hole. Three are flat guards. From left to right: Latama flat guard, unmarked flat guard, Edwin Jay, Latama flat guard, and finally Coricama.
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button_man
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by button_man »

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sylvan -- Thanks! It will be a lot easier if I have the right name! LOL
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Peiper -- Great photo! Thanks for sharing! I had no idea these pilot holes existed before I found the 'Marca Oro' .... it seems interesting that your three middle pieces have offset safeties; but the two end pieces have the safeties somewhat centered in the safety slot. I wonder whether this was completely random, or whether it depended on a set factor, like the materials used or the specific workman.
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UPDATE: I sent a message to 'Quaero' some time ago; but there has been no response.
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Peiper
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by Peiper »

Google's translate program has interpreted the name as "Gold Brand" in SPANISH -- NOT Italian! Perhaps made in Italy for sale in Spain?
Thanks for the reply and I am glad the picture helped. As far as the translation of "Marca Oro", The Italian and Spanish languages are about 80% similar in meaning. They are both derived from Latin which was the language of the Roman Empire. It is possible it has the same meaning in both languages.
button_man
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by button_man »

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I have just received some great information from a longtime collector! This person has generously supplied the attached pictures,
and given me the following (slightly edited) assessment of the ‘Marca Oro’ based on his many years of switchblade research:

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(The ‘Marca Oro’ knife) was probably made between 1937-1948. Made for a company in Italy and hence the Marca Oro use of the word.

This is the 1926 Coltellerie Riunite (Coricama) catalog. [see attached photo] One of their brands was RANA and ...on the cover it says “MARCA RANA.”
It’s how they did things like the graphic for Marco Oro.... (which is) a metallurgy type company from 1948 in Italy. [see attached photo]
You can see in the 1926 Coricama image and the 1930s Ausonia images [see attached photo] “Marca” was used commonly in Italy.

(The ‘Marca Oro’) knife had a body shape (that) was starting to be used in the mid to late 1930.
And the drill hole for the safety at the bottom is like that on some of my 1930s flat guards.

So there’s a good chance it’s a very rare old Italian stamp seen for the first time. Probably in the late 1930s or early-post WW2 before 1948.

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Jackalope
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Re: "Marca Oro" -- 1950s switchblade

Post by Jackalope »

I love to see the old paperwork.
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