I have often heard stories about this happening-to others, of course, but one never really believes it. Like winning the lottery. I call it the Dall Deweese Story.
About 20 years ago, I was browsing a garage sale, as I like to do, and found in a shoe box of miscellaneous stuff a couple of old knives, which I bought for $1. One was a Case fishknife, which I gave to my bud, and the other a stag-handled hunting knife that looked as if it had a good blade. Maybe a good swoppin’ knife, at least. I cleaned it up some, found a sheath that fit it, and sharpened the blade. After using it on a couple of deer, I dubbed it “Little Ugly” and made it my favorite deer knife.
Just recently, I decided to sell on ebay some of the knives I had accumulated over the years. I mean, how many hunting knives can you carry? When I researched Ugly, I found a couple of similar knives that told me this one might have collector value, so I did some internet searching. A few people have helped me out and shared their knowledge, and it seems my dollar knife may be worth $1000 to $2500. Seems it is a MSA Marble Dall Deweese, made around 1912, and highly prized by some collectors. Deweese was a famous Colorado/Alaskan guide & hunter back around 1900, and he supposedly designed the knife that bears his name.
Now what? It just doesn’t seem right somehow to be opening deer and bean cans with a $2500 knife, and what if I should lose it in the woods? Hopefully, I can find it a new owner who will appreciate it for its history, and I have to find a new favorite. It would make a great start on my own collection, but I am too old for that. So, farewell, faithful friend, we had some great times together.
I have been meaning to do a follow-up on this, now that we are finished moving and selling most everything we owned. Here goes.
I did some research on the internet and finally found an expert who authenticated my antique, and valued at around $900. I considered marketing it on ebay. I had been emailing with a lady who said she wanted the knife as a gift for her husband, so we made a deal on it. So now “l’il Ugly” has a new home and I was able to pay some bills. For forty bucks on ebay, I found a replica knife with wood handle, which I may carry as my deer knife. I always did like the style. Except that the first time I put the new knife in its sheath, it sliced thru the bottom stitching and almost thru my hand! Small wonder few of the original sheathes are still around.