While cleaning up my office this past week I stumbled on to a crook knife I bought myself about 3 years ago. I had it wrapped in a rag tucked in a box with random junk. I bought it at a rummage sale for no more that $5, the fellow had about 3 of them all in rough shape. This one was the only one usable, handle firmly fixed, and blade somewhat sharp. It looks to be handmade from a possible broken kitchen knife, as the marks are from Sheffield, England, as popular as bushcraft is I don't think that they were commercial crook knifes with cattle horn handles from the turn of the century!
The makers mark is reads "J (or) I.Wilson, Sycamore St. Sheffield England", then their trademark peppercorn and diamond stamp. Doing a quick google search of the stamp, The company was started by Thomas Wilson as a general cutlery maker in 1750. After Thomas' death, his son John took over until his death in 1851. Apparently by the 19th century the peppercorn and diamond trademark was one of the most popular and well known trademarks of the cutlery industry. While searching I came across this image of a auction of a 6 pack of skinning knives. On the package you can clearly see the peppercorn mark and a bit of history of the company
The horn handle is very comfortable and the crook is not to deep, no spoon making with this one. Even without a sharpen, it whisks wood quite easy, and the very old rivets that connect blade and handle hold strong.
I need to get my butt in gear and sharpen this knife up and take it for a spin, maybe hammer out a paddle finally. Any readers dabbled with crook knives? And tips or ticks you can share?