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Old 19th March 2005, 04:18 AM   #5
Chris Evans
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 599

Originally Posted by Frank

I got interested in navajas after reading Sevillian stee. Really cool knives. Did you read it, what did you think of it and where can I buy a navaja. I live in Australia.

Best wishes

Hi Frank,

1. I have read that book and do not think that it is the kind of work that serious collectors or historians of knives would use as a reference.

If you want to become acquainted with navajas you should read the works of the Spanish authority, Rafael Martinez del Peral y Forton. Unfortunately most of his works have as yet not been translated into English, save one: "Navajas Antiguas - Las Mejores Piezas de Coleccion", a magnificent book of 237 colour photo plates, with captions in Sanish-English and illustrating navajas from the era in which they were used in earnest. The standard reference on the subject is "La Navaja Espanola Antigua" by the same author.

1.1 You can buy Forton's books here (they sell all the others that are not listed at the site):

2. Depends what you mean by a navaja; In Spanish that word applies to any folding knife. If you mean specifically those legendary clasp knifes that were used as both tools and weapons, then they went out of use over a 100 years ago and unless you have one made to order or go to an antique shop, you'll have trouble buying one. What's being sold these day as navajas are low quality thematic interpretations that only vaguely resemble the knives of the past and are aimed solely at the souvenier market - A bit like the wall-hanger stainless steel junk swords from Toledo. Only traditionalists and collectors in Spain bother with real navajas, their design and size having rendered them obsolete. I am not aware of anybody importing navajas into Australia, but there could be someone.

2.1 One notable exception to the above is the range offered by the Spanish cutler Exposito. Whilst his knives only loosely resemble those used up to 1900, being utilitarian in design, they are the last readily available examples of traditional Spanish folders, the kind that largely disappeared by 1970. Stay away from their `Serie Albacete' (the ones in the wooden display cases) since these are intended as souvenirs.The prices of Exposito knives are reasonable and the quality is fairly good.

You can buy one here:

2.2 If you want to buy a good replica try here:

Or for a real antique try here:

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