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Old 8th August 2022, 04:38 PM   #1
RobT
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Default Unexpected Running Wolf Sighting

Hi All,

This pair of parallel jaw pliers was covered with rust when I bought it at the flea market. I was rather surprised when the clean-up revealed a running wolf of Passau logo stamped on the grip (wire cutter side). On one side, the stamp around the main pivot point says, "- BERNARD'S - PAT. MAY 6 1890 JULY 19 1892" and on the other side it says, "W SCHOLLHORN CO. NEW HAVEN CONN.". From what I read online, Bernard was a machinist who owned the patent for the plier design and W Schollhorn (founded in 1870) was the company that made it (Schollhorn was eventually bought out by Sargent Tool). Additional patent info: "PAT APR 2-1907 JUNE 17-1913 is stamped on the other grip (in the same location on the grip as the running wolf stamp).

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 10th August 2022, 01:01 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Thank you for sharing this, and especially for the details from the research you have thoroughly completed! I have always thought that old tools were often a kind of interesting parallel to old weapons in that obviously many types (not pliers of course) indeed became used as weapons as required. Also many weapon types, bill hooks, sickles, etc were redesigned into certain forms.

In many cases makers of weapons doubled into making tools as well.

This marking is of course not related to the 'running wolf of Passau', but more likely the running fox used on blades in England, most notably in Birmingham in mid 18th c. and which seems to have possibly derived from northern England with the Shotley Bridge blade works. Nearby Sheffield also provided some blades as well as cut ware.

It would be interesting to learn more on the adoption of this mark by this manufacturer. Intriguing history.

First pic is a running fox on a blade believed from Shotley c. 1690s(?)
Next an apocryphal example (Gardner ref) of similar in Austria
Next, the Passau 'running wolf' as used there and later Solingen, more of a stylized chop mark form
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Last edited by Jim McDougall; 10th August 2022 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 10th August 2022, 01:36 AM   #3
RobT
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Default Thanks For The Correction

Jim McDougall,

Since I don't really collect Western European stuff, I never heard of the running fox and thought that all such running critter depictions were running wolf variations. Added to that, the manufacturer's name is German so I just assumed that something in his heritage made him choose the running wolf logo. Now I wonder why he chose the running fox since it's English. Any thoughts on that? I really would like to know because I have a mild interest in post American Civil War tool production.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 10th August 2022, 05:22 AM   #4
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobT View Post
Jim McDougall,

Since I don't really collect Western European stuff, I never heard of the running fox and thought that all such running critter depictions were running wolf variations. Added to that, the manufacturer's name is German so I just assumed that something in his heritage made him choose the running wolf logo. Now I wonder why he chose the running fox since it's English. Any thoughts on that? I really would like to know because I have a mild interest in post American Civil War tool production.

Sincerely,
RobT
Rob,
The 'running fox' has become quite an icon in swords from 16th century into the 17th and has often become a point of contention in trying to fully comprehend its actual use. To be quite honest, I was collecting for many years and had thought the British fox was a wolf without even realizing the difference for years.

With markings used on weaponry, it is of course a matter of suggestion of quality and often allusion to certain heritage as you suggest, but every case is different so each much be evaluated on its own.

As you mention the Civil War, I would note that British were keen suppliers to the Confederacy, mostly with weapons of course but certainly there were other materials as well. Obviously a New Haven manufacturer would not be in that context, however British presence in American manufacturing is not unusual overall. It is important to note that all through the 19th century, English materials were always highly present in American markets.

Your thinking toward the German name bringing connection to the mark in the sense of running wolf is not entirely defeated however, as just as the British used the wolf concept to create their running fox, the same instance could be in mind. These kinds of curiosities are what have intrigued me for many years so nicely done here with this one.
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