Previous Knife Fairs

Over a decade of Knife Fairs!

A Decade of Knife Fairs

The first specialist Knife Collectors Fair in Great Britain was held over a decade ago. Since then there has been one every year, held at the Antiques and Collectors marquee at The Midlands Game Fair. There are knives of all types, including old collectable knives, new factory knives from all over the world, and fantasy knives.

Additionally, some of the best makers of superb hand made knives in this country have stalls selling their knives, and taking individual orders for knives made to customer’s requirements. From a small beginning, these Knife Fairs have steadily expanded, and last year it included nearly 20 of the very best makers and dealers, with large stocks of interesting and widely priced knives for sale.

Below are reports for a Previous Knife Fair, the review written by the Gun Mart Magazine, and also last year's Knife Fair.

Review of a Previous Knife Collectors Fair

The following is a review of a previous fair and photos which appeared in an issue of the Gun Mart Magazine and is reproduced with their kind permission :

The Usual Suspects

… and a couple of unusual ones; Pat Farey reports on knives and knifemakers at the Midlands Game Fair

Picture of two knives

Once again Pat Dyer organised his Knife Fair to run in conjunction with the Midlands Game Fair at Weston Park in September. The knife show has its own marquee within the main show ground, and by incorporating it into this hugely successful Midlands event, Pat has ensured that the knife exhibitors attract a much wider audience than you would normally expect for such a specialised subject.

A usual stalwart

This year there were the usual stalwarts of the show, but a number of new faces made an appearance including Per Albrechtsen and Bjarne Rasmussen from Denmark. Although I never had a chance to meet Per, it was made up for by the magnificently crafted knives shown to me by Bjarne Rasmussen.

Dagger with damascus blade

These included many Norse style long knives, but in particular an award winning carving set and a fantastic dagger with damascus blade and a naturally twisted narwhal tusk handle –the burnished metal scabbard with inlaid snake skin was pretty spectacular too.

Picture of Moonraker Accessories Stand

Also exhibiting at the Midlands Game Fair, but not at the Knife Fair, were specialist knife retailer Moonraker Accessories and custom knife maker, Geoff Hague.

It would take far too long to give a complete run down of the show, so here are some samples of the knives (and exhibitors) at the show.

A fine knife
  • Two Mick Wardell fixed damascus blade knives with polished horn handles and plain nickel silver bolsters
  • A Mick Wardell folding ‘razor’ shaped (Palmerino pen knife style) damascus blade with bone/antler scales and decorated nickel silver bolster
  • Magnificent damascus bladed dagger with twisted narwal tusk handle from Bjarne Rasmussen of Denmark
  • Wooden carving board
  • Bjarne Rasmussen with his award winning carving set, consisting of a engraved ivory handled carving knife and fork, with Eskimo style ulu knife all fitted into a magnificent reversible wooden carving board
  • A fine example of a classic Bob Loveless drop point hunting knife
  • A “Treeman” handmade J Behring hunting knife with leather and ‘crotch’ antler grip
  • Knife maker and knife
  • Guy Stainthorp with one of his custom made hunter knives
  • A liner lock folder by Guy Stainthorp with RWL34 drop point blade and G10 silver twill scales
  • Alan Wood, one of the UK’s leading custom knife makers
  • An immaculately crafted Alan Wood knife with beautifully shaped Damascus blade
  • Quality knife
  • Steve March, collector, buyer and seller of custom and vintage knives, especially Randall Made and Loveless models; Steve showed a Mick Wardell ‘Grizzly Bear’
  • Steve Johnson with a Randall Knife Society limited edition No.4 Zacharias...
  • Jonathan Moore, bespoke leatherworker, with two of his fine custom sheathes for knife and accessories – he also makes some very smart rifle bolt carriers
  • Excellent knife
  • Mick Penfold, world class award winning custom knifemaker
  • Dave Budd demonstrating the black art of correct knife sharpening – he reckons he now does almost as much teaching as actual knife making
  • Paul Baker of Bushman hand crafted knives – he also specialises in Japanese blades
  • Knife expert and knife
  • Philip Siddell is a joiner by trade, but now he'’s trying his hand at custom knives – and making a good job of it too
  • Mike Keogh of Mikes Knives; he also organises the annual Knives-UK Show – see elsewhere in Look Sharp for further details
  • Geoff Hague has a stand in Gun Maker’s Row
  • A magnificent example of Geoff Hague’s folding knives
  • Mike Lamprey of Moonraker Accessories exhibited in the main fair

  • Exhibitors:
    Pat Dyer (01743 351038)
    Per Albrechtsen (Denmark – 0045 45420123)
    Paul Baker (Bushman 01453 825208)
    Dave Budd (0776 4742569)
    Colin Cooper (02476447192)
    Mikes Knives (Mike Keogh 07903 870515)
    Mike Lamprey (01805 601331)
    Paul Lovelock (07710259977)
    Steve March (07860 432709)
    Stephen Miller (01469 569691)
    John Moore (07986284090)
    Mick Penfold (01579 345783)
    Bjarne Rasmussen (Denmark – 0045 74582752)
    Philip Siddell (01543 472320)
    Guy Stainthorp (07946469888)
    Mark Tomlinson (01253 858717)
    Mick Wardell (01237 475 312)
    Alan Wood (01697 747303)

    Plus
    Geoff Hague (01672 870 212)
    Moonraker Accessories (01747 830418)

    Last Year's Knife Collectors Fair

    Last year's Midland Game Fair was again held on the Saturday and Sunday of the third weekend in September at Weston Park near Shifnal, Shropshire. This major event has now been running for more than twenty-nine years, and 89,000 people came to it last year. The knife fair was as usual held in a marquee adjacent to the antiques marquee, and was bigger than in previous years as more people had booked a stall.

    The Knife Fair was full of both stallholders and the general public for more than ten hours on both days. Nearly all of the best knife makers in Britain were there showing and selling their knives. These knives covered the whole spectrum including folders, game knives, bushmen, bowies, axes and specialist knives of every type. They were made in a wide variety of metals, with handles ranging from the functional to the exotic. Additionally there were dealers selling imported knives mostly from the top American makers and companies.

    For anybody who collects old knives there were examples of some of Sheffield's finest names including Joseph Rodgers and George Wostenholm. Lastly for any potential makers there were all the necessary supplies ranging from complete kits to individual parts.

    Once again overseas knife makers made a welcome appearance with Per Albrechtsen and Bjarne Rasmussen from Denmark, bringing superb Norse knives of all descriptions. It is hoped that in future years more makers from outside Britain will have a stand at the Fair. For the first time a forge was set up outside the front of the marquee and demonstrations of blade making was given by several exhibitors. This attracted many of the public, who stopped to watch and ask questions. Hopefully it will encourage more of them to become interested in learning the skills.

    The exhibitors included: Mick Wardell, Colin Cooper, Per Albrechtsen and Bjarne Rasmussen, Paul Baker, Mick Penfold, Mike Keogh, Philip Sidell, Alan Wood, Paul Lovelock, Mike Lamprey, Mark Tomlinson, Stephen Miller, Guy Stainthorp, Steve March, Richard Coles, Chris Mathews, Paul Hardwick, Oliver Davison, Dave Budd, John Moore, and Jackie Leigh of "Leather bits."

    Overall the Knife fair was a great success with everybody reporting excellent sales, and a tremendous amount of interest from both specialist collectors and the general public.