It has been my pleasure to make the acquaintance of Anders Halldén of Jönköping, Sweden. Anders has an extensive website with photos and articles about traditional Nordic knives. He has generously allowed me access to his material and I have chosen two of my favorite vintage puukkos from his pages to present here.
The first is a vöyrin puukko by an unknown maker from the 1700s. This knife was carried to Sweden by a family who had immigrated from Finland and was purchased at auction there in November 2010. I really like this classic puukko form and would like to know more about it’s history. The last photo shows the knife after a gentle cleaning.
The second one is a very nice Finnish Toijala puukko. This is one of my favorite puukkos. To quote Anders:
“Enjoy this beautiful work. The knife is a Finnish Toijala, bought in the U.S., maybe it was part of a Finnish emigrants belongings. It was made between 1830 and 1880 according to author Anssi Ruusuvuori.
Best known for producing Toijala knives or puukko is family named Flink, who later changed his name to Wahtera. To compare a Flinck knife to this, I see a big difference, especially in the engraving, but also the metal craftsmanship is more distinct and has better precision on this one. But who has made this and when was it?
I did not want to polish or clean it, the brass has a beautiful patina. Unfortunately, the blade was polished when I bought it. Note that the blade is wider than the traditional Flink blades, having a large bevel similar to the blades of voyrinknivarna. Nothing indicates that this would have been changed. The entry hole in the shaft, which incidentally is open, with no damage and the washer on the shaft knob has not been removed, this is visible in the pictures.
The handle is unusually homogeneous and without marrow or visible pores so it can be of moose bone, reportedly sometimes used in Toijala knives, the red color appears to be original. The pendant has an engraved molded hook, the knife is 21.5 cm or about 8.5 inches.”
Thank you Anders! Be sure to visit his site at http://www.cultur.nu/knivar/ to see some rare and beautiful knives!
Addendum November 10, 2012 from the Finnish National Board of Antiquities, a Kalle Wahtera Toijala and Voyrin puukko: