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Old 29th December 2018, 02:15 PM   #1
Mel H
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Default Lion Navaja

Hello All, just picked up a reasonably sized, elderly Navaja with a lion trademark on the blade. I'm hoping that someone here who has more knowledge of these knives may be able to tell me something about the maker.

I have some pic's of the knife which I'll put up when I've reduced the image sizes.
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Last edited by Mel H : 29th December 2018 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 29th December 2018, 02:28 PM   #2
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More pic's.
Overall length open is 32 cm (12.6 inch) with 15 cm (6 inch) blade.
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Last edited by Mel H : 29th December 2018 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 29th December 2018, 02:29 PM   #3
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A French mark for sure. Maybe not famous, though; not listed in Forton's work.
Let us then see the whole piece, Mel .
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Old 29th December 2018, 03:14 PM   #4
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Fernando, thank you for pointing me in the right direction, I've now done a little searching. It seems that Au Lion did have a moment of fame, they contracted to produce the first U.S. mod 1918 trench knives ( now much sought after ), there doesn't seem to be a lot of information on the maker.
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Old 29th December 2018, 04:05 PM   #5
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Au Lion is the trademark of R. V. Cruege of Bordeaux (Gironde), per The Who's Who of French Arms from 1350 to 1970 by Jean-Jacques Buigné.
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Old 29th December 2018, 05:57 PM   #6
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Thank you.
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Old 30th December 2018, 12:30 AM   #7
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Hi Folks,

Great detective work and Happy new Year everybody!

Cheers
Chris
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Old 30th December 2018, 08:43 AM   #8
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I'd stick a ~1 in. solid or split key ring thru the hole to help raising the lock, like mine:
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Old 30th December 2018, 12:02 PM   #9
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I like these knives, I have some other larger old ones. I've got a some split spring rings in my toolbox but they're brand new and don't look quite right, I'll keep an eye open for one with some age and patina.

Here's one of my older Navajas.
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Old 30th December 2018, 11:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel H
I like these knives, I have some other larger old ones. I've got a some split spring rings in my toolbox but they're brand new and don't look quite right, I'll keep an eye open for one with some age and patina.

Here's one of my older Navajas.


Now. that's a really nice and colectable piece - Congratulations!

Cheers
Chris
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Old 31st December 2018, 10:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
... I'd stick a ~1 in. solid or split key ring thru the hole to help raising the lock, like mine:...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel H
... I've got a some split spring rings in my toolbox but they're brand new and don't look quite right ...

Some detail Wayne doesn't seem to mind of, though !
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Old 31st December 2018, 12:41 PM   #12
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Mine have the rings they came with, the Okapi and Kudo ones are recent tho. The others are older, the small one is quite old. The other is one made in Germany before they licensed them to South Africa to become the Okapi.
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Old 31st December 2018, 05:35 PM   #13
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Default Navaja

I have a navaja which might have a lion mark on the blade,thought you might like to see it.if it's not the same as the lion navaja perhaps you could identify it for me .thanks
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Old 31st December 2018, 06:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel H
I've got a some split spring rings in my toolbox but they're brand new and don't look quite right, I'll keep an eye open for one with some age and patina.


Patina can be achieved on steel by a day or two soak in a thick paste made with instant coffee.
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Old 31st December 2018, 07:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Patina can be achieved on steel by a day or two soak in a thick paste made with instant coffee.


Add a dash of hydrogen peroxide to jazz it up.
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Old 31st December 2018, 07:48 PM   #16
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I've already dropped a couple into a damp flower pot in the garden, it'll probably do the job in a couple of weeks but you can never be sure with modern spring steels.
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Old 31st December 2018, 08:27 PM   #17
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Amazing ! why not spending a few more bucks and buy the real antique thing, instead of testing these alchemist schemes ? .
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Old 31st December 2018, 10:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Amazing ! why not spending a few more bucks and buy the real antique thing, instead of testing these alchemist schemes ? .


Referring back to my earlier post, I did say I'll keep an eye open for one with some age and patina. It's not a great priority at the moment. ( I'm just in the process of opening a new bottle of single malt to help bring in the New Year in quarter of an hour or so )
Best wishes to all.
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Old 1st January 2019, 03:27 AM   #19
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Lew had quite a collection of these as well, both old and new:
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Old 1st January 2019, 07:56 AM   #20
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Back to the original question the Au Lion ( Au Lion/Société Généralee) was also contracted to produce the first batches of 1918 trench knives for thUS Army in WW1.

And Happy New Year to all
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Old 1st January 2019, 01:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookyboy1
I have a navaja which might have a lion mark on the blade,thought you might like to see it.if it's not the same as the lion navaja perhaps you could identify it for me .thanks

Difficult to read the mark on your navaja, cookyboy1. Could you improve the pictures; or tell us what are those letters ?
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Old 1st January 2019, 01:31 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel H
... ( I'm just in the process of opening a new bottle of single malt to help bring in the New Year in quarter of an hour or so ) ...

I did it with a bottle of chilled Spanish Cava .

Happy new year .
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