JACK: This knife was quite common in Siberia and Manchuria from about 1890-1930 and was called the "Finnish Knife". Every kid worthy of his salt either had one, or aspired to have one. They were made in all sizes. Now it seems that they are quite rare and hardly anyone, even knife collectors, have ever heard of it - and those who have, call it a Barrel Knife. Even though these were called Finnish Knives, it seems that they were all made in Sweden, a country known for its fine steels.
The well tempered carbon steel blade folds into a box-like brass frame, which is then slid into the hollow handle, being held in place by a straight flat spring, workable from the rear of the knife. (This spring is missing in the scanned example).
The handle has a cross-section of a fat ellipse; the wood is Karellian birch from the Karellian (sp?) peninsula in Finland. Fittings on the handle are steel.
Hi again! I am not a knife collector, but the reason why I wrote about the knifes is that I work at a place called "Citizens Advice Office" here in Eskilstuna and we get rather many emails from people living abroad who ask for information about their knifes, teapots, tools and what so ever. At our office we have all kind of information about Eskilstuna and it is very nice to get these kind of questions about the history of Eskilstuna. If you want, look at the site of Eskilstuna. There is a summary in English.
He was born 1846 near Eskilstuna. He was just 13 years old when he started his career by working at a razor blade factory. He studied and worked in Germany and England for many years. 1873 he came back to Eskilstuna and started his own factory with 4 employees. He started with razors and smaller swords. In 1882 he started to make these "swedish barrel knifes". These knifes became very popular in a lot of countries all over the world. His company grew for many years and he won a lot of awards at exhibitions. Johan Engstrom died 1915 and his company winded up shortly after that.Regards,
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Arco Iris Arsenal.