View Full Version : Tommy Lee boot knife

03-26-2002, 02:55 PM

About 10 years ago, I bought a boot knife by Tommy Lee, with fossile ivory scales. Is there an aftermarket for this maker? I'm considering selling it if I can. It's his usual design for boot knives, and it's a plain stainess blade (not damascus.)



Les Robertson
03-26-2002, 08:57 PM
Hi Joss,

There is a limited aftermarket for Tommy's knives. Due primarily to two things:

1) He has been out of knives for a couple of years now

2) His lack of morals and integrity really pissed off a lot of custom knife buyers several years ago. I for one will not deal in Tommy's knives due directly to this.

When you say "usual" boot knife is it 4-5 inches, double hollow ground, bolster with fossil ivory scales?

If so, $350 -$400.

03-27-2002, 12:37 PM
Thanks Les! If I manage to get that, it will be more than a 100% return - so much for my argument. ;-) I bought it 10 years ago, so...

What was this lack of integrity? I dealt with the guy for 10mn at a knife show in Paris, and since have never heard about him. But I'm curious...



03-27-2002, 02:50 PM
Les says there is a limited market for Tommy Lee knives because 1. he has been out of the market for a couple years

just for conversation and evaluation of this concept, as collectors are we to be then concerned that knives in our collection will not be as collectible when the author leaves the field of knifemaking or passes on? I certainly hope no or the whole "investment" concept that has been discussed by Les and others in another forum certainly takes on a whole new meaning

Now as to the second comment re "morals and integrity", I have heard remarks similar on other occasions but don't know the history.

My biggest concern with Tommy's knives has always been with the "dagger" style as I often found that the centre line did not run true the length of the blade. Certainly examinable at the table or after (sometimes the bad lighting in show rooms is a hindrance to good examination of a knife) but almost impossible to see from a photo or description in a "for sale" listing such as here and other forums or on EBay.

Les Robertson
03-27-2002, 05:23 PM
Hi Murphy,

I have always held that knife makers and their collectors are "generational". By that I mean a time frame of about 10-15 years.

However, many makers become multi-generational. This is done primarily though the maker staying current.

This can be done through show attendance, advertising in magazines, working with dealers and having a presence on the Internet. There are other avenues to utilize but these four are probably, overall, the best.

These makers are the one's who's work always seems in demand or sought after.

Makers who do not continue to introduce themselves to new collectors are minimizing not only their ability to be competitive in a particular market. They also diminish each year the amount of people who will be interested in the work of these makers.

The longer they stay away, the smaller the group of buyers there are for your knives from this maker.

This is one of the many things that has always impressed me about Bill Moran. Prior to his retirement late last year. Bill in his 70's has a 25 year delivery time, still did shows, and went out to the ABS School. He did this even though anyone who has been into custom knives for even a few years knows who he is.

For most makers they will hit a plateau of popularity. It is wise to be able to determine this and divest yourself of your knife or knives made by this maker.

Again, this is advice for those who are looking at their knives as an investment. Emotional attachment makes you think a knife is worth more than it really is. It also makes you hold a knife longer than you should.

Understanding the generational cycles and market timing will be important factors in getting the most out of your knives.

Tommy Lee
03-15-2012, 07:05 PM
March 15th 2012


Today I am happy to report that Tommy Lee knives have been selling quit well .
They hold a strong dollar value and are quit desirable among custom knife collectors.

See you at The Blade Show

Cordially: Tommy Lee

08-12-2013, 01:09 AM
:gossip: Tommy, So happy to finally find you. Sure do miss all the knifemaking 'talk' of so many years ago. Contact me if you see this message, LaQuita:help: