Posted 8 months ago
Here are three pocket knives from Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary in Czech) in the Czech Republic. This area has been known for its hot springs for centuries. The spas built around the springs have been increasingly popular with tourists especially since rail transportation was introduced in the mid-1900s. These knives are built with a shallow brass “pan” on the front side and plain cattle horn on the back. The pan is fitted with natural stone pieces cut into geometric patterns sometimes referred to as "pietra dura." It is then filled with a tar-like mastic which, when hardened, is polished off revealing the colorful patterns. There is a central panel, usually engraved with “Karlsbad,” although I have seen “Karlovy Vary” and “Carlsbad” (the two smaller knives have lost the white paint which filled the engraved letters). The tang stamp most frequently seen is an anchor with a letter “F” on either side (the left one is reversed for symmetry). This is a mark of Franz Frenzel, a manufacturer in Bohemia ca. 1900. I have also seen “Solidus”, a Frenzel mark, “W J D” within an “X” (unknown), and “Solingen”, a cutlery center in Germany.