Winston Churchill engraved knife

Sam

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It’s rare to see photos of Churchill’s engraving much less to find a piece on eBay. The seller did a rush job, took extremely bad photos, and said the engraving could have been done by Lynton McKenzie but couldn‘t confirm it. I grabbed it because I was pretty sure it was Wìnston’s work, despite the awful, blurry photos.

It arrived yesterday and I was sweating bullets unboxing it knowing that it would take me 2 seconds to know if it was his work or not. Actually I knew instantly, and confirmed it by finding his name engraved in micro letters on the back of the blade.

I‘m not sure when it was engraved but hopefully Wìnston can give me a ballpark time. The knife is supposedly pre-1965, but think the engraving may have been done later than that. It seems to be more refined and delicate than his earlier work.

For those that might not know, Winston had to stop engraving a few years ago after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and his condition has gradually worsened with time. Despite that, he remains in good spirits.

EDIT: Jim Sornberger send me pics of the book of Dr Holifield's collection from 1978 which features this knife. Thank you Jim! That does confirm that the engraving was done in the 70s.
 

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mitch

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He surfs, he SCORES!!!!!!!!! The crowd goes wild!!!! I hope you got a killer deal.

About 20 yrs ago a Churchill-engraved Sharps-Borchardt came up for auction and it wasn't even identified as such in the catalog. The listing hinted that it could be a Kornbrath, but I immediately recognized it as some of Winston's earlier work. I thought about bidding and kicked myself when it sold for 'only' $12,000...
 

mitch

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This beautiful! Was the engraving done before heat treatment of the blade. I have wondered how knife blades are engraved if they are hardened steel.
Morseth blades were laminated with soft, engravable sides and hardened center layers. I used to have one around here- I wonder whatever happened to it...
 

Sam

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Morseth blades were laminated with soft, engravable sides and hardened center layers. I used to have one around here- I wonder whatever happened to it...
I was wondering how the hell he engraved it. The engraving is as crisp and sharp as the moment he cut it, with no evidence of polishing or abrasion as you might have if you had to remove fire scale or discoloration after heat treating. Having a soft outer layer makes total sense.

Interestingly, he used a tiny beading tool to bead the background, similar to what I remember Prudhomme doing back in the day.

Yes I got a killer deal.
 

mitch

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Have you gotten any info about this piece from Winston yet, Sam?
 

Sam

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Have you gotten any info about this piece from Winston yet, Sam?

I heard from Judith but not Winston. He's been having some health issues lately. One of his oldest customers and friends told me he thinks it was done in the 70s. I don't know if it's ever been published. I don't recall seeing it, but I might just be forgetting it if it was.
 

Sam

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That knife looks familiar to me Sam but I cannot remember when, where or ever if. Just seem to remember it from somewhere. Even the subject of the softer layers on the outside of the blade.
I'd sure like to know if it's been published. If you ever see it in a book or magazine please let me know.
 

Daniel29

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Thank you for posting this beautiful work from Winston! He is by far my most favourite engraver and i was very sorry as i heared about his health condition.
A few months ago there was a knife posted at ebay also engraved by Winston and i havent seen it in any book before. It is a Jess Horn knife with a pheasant and a partridge above blackleaf ornament. I dont know the price anymore but it was to high for my wallet. But at least i got some images, better than nothing.

You posted in the FB group that Winstons works a published in only a small selection of books. Could you name those books or magazines? I have Rogers books aswell as the Colt Eaton book. It would be nice to know other public sources as if this is the only chance to see what he did besides that.

Greetings and thank you!
 

SamW

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Sam, I got an email from Rick Thronburg with a photo of a Knife Digest Annual (from the '70s) with a photo of a knife like the one you acquired but engraved by Lynton. Probably the one I remember. Lot of cobwebs in the old memory bank! I forwarded the email to you. TOS
 

Sam

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Sam, I got an email from Rick Thronburg with a photo of a Knife Digest Annual (from the '70s) with a photo of a knife like the one you acquired but engraved by Lynton. Probably the one I remember. Lot of cobwebs in the old memory bank! I forwarded the email to you. TOS
Sam: I have updated my original post with pics Jim Sornberger sent me of a book of Dr Holifield's knife collection from 1978 which shows this knife.
 

mitch

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Looking at the new photo of the book cover, that ivory-handled skinner is another Morseth engraved by Winston. I think he did quite a few. The piece to the left of "Sotheby" is another of Winston's, but I can't read, recognize, or recall, the maker.

Hey, Scott Pilkington! Look way back in the Winchester(?) Engraving book I just sent you, I believe there are shots of one or two more.
 
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Sam

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Looking at the new photo of the book cover, that ivory-handled skinner is another Morseth engraved by Winston. I think he did quite a few. The piece to the left of "Sotheby" is another of Winston's, but I can't read, recognize, or recall, the maker.

Hey, Scott Pilkington! Look way back in the Winchester(?) Engraving book I just sent you, I believe there are shots of one or two more.
Yeah, it looks like he did several. I saw one online that had animals he'd engraved into the horn handle material.
 

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