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Toledo Letter Opener

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Office Antiques748 of 1020Sealing WaxAn Old Souvenir--Wooden Letter Opener
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Posted 3 years ago

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thekoby
(1 item)

I recently purchased this letter opener from a garage sale. I was intrigued by the Spanish-style rapier shape, but got even more excited when I saw the Toledo stamp on one side of the blade.

I have been doing some research and can not find any information about the possible age or value of this product. It is approximately 8.5 inches in length, the bell, cross member, and handle are made of brass and are painted. The sheath is brass-capped leather and on one side, it is hard to read, but it is stamped "Made in Spain." The other side appears to be hand-stitched due to a slight inconsistency with the stitch pattern and size. There is obvious wear and tear to the sheath as well as the blade seems to have a few nicks in it from usage. The handle at the end has been tarnished from being used and I am in the process of cleaning it up without damaging the brass or the paint on the bell guard.

I would like to know if anybody has any information they can give me about this item. I would like to know a few things about it; was it really manufactured by the famous Toledo sword factory in Spain, how old is it (around what date range would this have been used), and if there is any historical value to Toledo letter openers (i.e. were they just novelty items given as gifts or is there any significant purpose behind someone having one of this age). The person I bought it from did not give me any information about it besides "it is very old."

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Comments

  1. Esther110 Esther110, 3 years ago
    These were purchased as souvenirs from Toledo. Many, many were, and still are, made. I have seen them go for anything between 6 and 20 euros. Not a rare item, but beautiful just the same.
  2. thekoby, 3 years ago
    Thank you Esther. Any idea on an approximate age range for the one I own?

    I have found replicas and reproductions of similar openers on eBay and various web sites while trying to find more information, so I guessed it wouldn't be worth a whole lot. I'm more interested in the historical value than a resale. I plan to keep this item in my possession for as long as possible because, as you said, it is quite a beautiful piece to own.
  3. Esther110 Esther110, 3 years ago
    Just a little bit of useless but quaint information:
    If the person that bought this originally traveled to Spain in the 70s or prior, he/she probably was allowed to enter the foundary and shown how the swords were forged and hand made.
    For safety reasons, this is not allowed now, unfortunately.

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