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Chris Bucklen




Location: West Virginia
Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat 19 Jun, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Historical Automatic knives         Reply with quote

Hello everyone! I was just wondering if there were any automatic or spring assisted knives made during the Renaissance? If so how were they made? Where were they made? Any information would be greatly apreciated. Thanks.
"Let no man glory in the greatness of his mind,
but rather keep watch o'er his wits.
Cautious and silent let him enter a dwelling;
to the heedful comes seldom harm,
for none can find a more faithful friend
than the wealth of mother wit." - Hávamál
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


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Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

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Posts: 4,146

PostPosted: Sat 19 Jun, 2010 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm unaware of any automatic knives such as modern switchblades, though that doesn't mean they didn't exist (there were a lot of wacky experimental weapons in the Renaissance, so just because I haven't seen one doesn't mean there isn't a surviving example out there somewhere). However, there were daggers meant to be used in the off hand in conjunction with a sword that had spring loaded blades that split apart to aid in parrying. Here is one such example from the album section:


http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/photo/4342.html

I've handled a couple antiques that are like this. Usually there is a switch on the guard right next to the thumb that you push forward and the blades spring out. To close it you have to use your hands to push the blades back into place where they snap shut.

I'm not totally certain of where in Europe these were most popular. I've seen German and Italian examples, but I haven't seen a large enough sample to say whether or not they were used all throughout Europe (and they are all certainly more rare than a standard dagger).

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Chris Bucklen




Location: West Virginia
Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jun, 2010 9:49 pm    Post subject: Thanks         Reply with quote

I have seen pictures of these pieces in a few books in my personal library and on the Internet. These blades along with the spring technology used in wheel-lock firearms made me curious about spring loaded knives. Thank you for your answer very much.
"Let no man glory in the greatness of his mind,
but rather keep watch o'er his wits.
Cautious and silent let him enter a dwelling;
to the heedful comes seldom harm,
for none can find a more faithful friend
than the wealth of mother wit." - Hávamál
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