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  #1  
Old 06-18-2017, 01:03 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Let's acknowledge this +$11,000 white tenite m15 knife

This knife has more than a day left on auction on E-bay, and the high bid stands at $11,600. This is the highest price I've seen on E-bay. It is probably one of the earliest, has an early Solingen blade, great condition.



I didn't know the current state of the RMK collecting market would support this kind of price. I had some questions about the seller given he has sold nothing, only has 33 transactions, and no feedback for a year. Maybe it is just me, but I don't like to see pictures with three different backgrounds possibly from different venues? Anyway it is a unique knife. Worth watching.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/132224836308...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-23-2017 at 07:58 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2017, 02:21 PM
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samg samg is offline
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I agree Jack. I'm surprised with the market on this one, and the different backgrounds and lack of strong feedback history would bother me too.
I'll be watching the end of this one.
Regards, Sam
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  #3  
Old 06-18-2017, 03:40 PM
505Gibbs 505Gibbs is offline
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I'm glad to see others have ?????????? on this one.
Have been watching since it popped up.


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  #4  
Old 06-18-2017, 06:24 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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My hat was in the ring, but a customer of mine is bidding on it so I decided to just be a spectator now.
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  #5  
Old 06-19-2017, 03:09 AM
jeepster jeepster is offline
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A white Tenite went for much more than that several years ago....on ebay.
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  #6  
Old 06-19-2017, 12:36 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Yes one did sell for some ridiculous price, but I thought I read that it was an anomaly caused by some misunderstanding. If these two-screw white tenites are worth this much, I wonder what Gary Clinton's three screw original is worth? In any case, the market for collectable Randalls seems to have softened a lot in the last few years.

Might as well post this white Tenite handled Randall m15 that is also now on E-bay. The seller is asking $16,000. This is an Orlando blade rather than Solingen, but the Heiser sheath is damaged with the brown button missing and a hole in the leather where the snap was. It probably cannot be repaired. On the good side, the early two-grit Norton stone appears to be an original whereas the stone with the Solingen is a replacement.



I would probably rather have the Solingen. It is certainly one of the early-early Solingen blade batch delivered in 1955. I would then search for a period stone.

Another question - why is it that the white Tenites all seem to be m15s? There should be some m14s somewhere...the original m14 and 1m5 knives shown to the military were 3-screw white Tenites.

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-23-2017 at 07:59 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-19-2017, 01:12 PM
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Here are the 3 bolt Tenites Jack is referring to. In Clarence Moore sheaths



Etched on both knives.


Last edited by samg; 06-30-2017 at 03:31 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-19-2017, 01:29 PM
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Here are the early Randall Catalogs on the M14-15

1954 Randall Catalog



1959 Randall Catalog



1961 Randall Catalog



We know that Randall wasn't updating the knife photos for each catalog, but it looks like early on the 3 bolt models were available, as seen on the prototypes.
Regards, Sam

Last edited by samg; 06-30-2017 at 03:37 PM.
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2017, 01:36 PM
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Gary Clinton showed this knife at a lecture he gave at Blade a few years ago. It is the only three screw white Tenite in a Moore sheath I've seen in person. I would think the use of the Moore sheaths for this knife marks it as very early.

I'm not particularly drawn to m15s... much prefer m14s. But this one was cool...



I think Gaddis says that Moore invented the split back riveted sheaths specifically for the m14 and m15 knives. Heiser then used Moore's sheaths as a prototype. Randall himself was may have been involved in designing the split back sheaths for m14-15s and referred to them as "revolutionary."

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-23-2017 at 08:00 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-19-2017, 02:23 PM
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Jack, do you recall if Gary's m15 is a solingen, or Orlando blade?
I'm more of a purist, just as I prefer Orlando WW2 steel to Springfield, I also prefer Orlando steel to the German. Or should I say Swedish steel to the German? But that's a great part of Randall history too, as recounted in Gaddis' book, page 56


Last edited by samg; 06-30-2017 at 03:40 PM.
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  #11  
Old 06-19-2017, 03:13 PM
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I'm pretty sure Gary's was an Orlando blade. I'll E-mail him and ask, but Solingen 15 blades were not available until early-mid 1955. My opinion is that there were not many 14s or 15 Orlando blades made early on, 1954-55 in any case. It was peacetime and demands for combat blades were not strong. Beginning in 1955 Mr. Randall had 500 Solingen blades for 14s and 500 for 15s available and it took him until 1963 to sell them all even using many of them as blanks for the m17 beginning in 1960, and the new model 18 in 1963. That means an average of less than 50 Solingen 14s and 15s sold per year.

And I don't think that many Orlando 14s or 15s were made later during the 1950s either for the same reason... combat blades not popular in peace time and there were cheaper Solingens available. Since these are military blades of an unproven new design, not many would have been ordered per year. Many soldiers of that cold war era would have opted for the m1.

Furthermore, I think that the 3-screw handle was a very limited edition*... probably only in 1954 prototype stage. That is why they have Moore sheaths. I believe Heiser took over making split-backs in 1955 and the handle was redesigned to be 2-screw also in 1955. Remember that Heiser ceased using the Heiser stamp in late 1958... so both of these knives for sale are certainly pre 1959, more likely both are 1955. Why? I would almost bet that the use of white Tenite was finished by mid-late 1955 though I don't have any hard evidence.. just deductive. I would suggest only a few 3-screw white Tenite prototypes were made, maybe 10-15 at most (?), and not that many white Tenite 2-screw models, most likely less than 50. But where are the comparable m14s? Surely there are some?

Here are two controversial opinions that somewhat contradict Mr. Gaddis. First, I don't believe for a minute that Mr. Randall was not concerned commercially about the use of the m14 or m15 for the military. I believe he contracted with his agent to provide Solingen blades and went to great links to get an acceptable mass produced knife blade because he was hoping for a massive military contract to provide these knives. I always think "commercial viability" when I review his career. It was who he was.

Second, note the partial quote in your scan of Gaddis referring to the ability of the knife to be modified to use as a "bayonet on a 30 cal. M-1 carbine." I have had a hard time understanding this, but after consideration, I think Gaddis was wrong in this statementn, and it was simply his misinterpretation of the wording of a Bo Randall letter. I think Mr. Randall's letter referred not to the knife, but to the sheath, saying it could be adapted to use a "CARABINER" ... which is the word I think we used (in mid-1960s USArmy) for the wire attachment allowing a package to hook onto a web combat belt. Yeah... I know, the wire "hanger" it isn't a true "carabiner" which is rock climbing equipment. In any case I don't think Mr. Randall's comment had to do with converting the knife to a "carbine" bayonet. But if you were unfamiliar with "carabiner," it would be easy to misinterpret the word to be "carbine." Of course, I could be wrong... gasp, what a novel concept!



Sam, after I bought a Solingen tool steel m14, I found myself being pretty impressed with the factory made blade. It would hold an edge as well as an Orlando blade and was a solid product. I'm not equally impressed with the Solingen stainless blade which I could never get to take a good edge. But that is another story.

*There were probably two types of 3-screw handles. The original prototype had a pass-through Tenite handle with 3 screws, but only a few prototypes used this method. Then the shop started using the slotted Tenite handles with three screws, like Gary Clinton's. About 10 of these were made for the Marines, and I think this ended in early 1955 after some of these were also provided to the Air Force. Thereafter, it was 2-screws.

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-23-2017 at 08:01 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-19-2017, 04:18 PM
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I am surprised that there was no lurkers in wait. Sold for $11.6k by someone with 33 feedbacks, won by someone with 70. Interesting.
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  #13  
Old 06-19-2017, 04:32 PM
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Interesting that Bo Randall was trying to get these 2 models into the military as official equipment. I'm sure it was disappointing,. But as we know, just a few years later, he had an impact on the space program with the Astro, derived from the m15. Great story.
Jack, your theory about Bo's commercial desires on these 2 knives is probably right too. How long would it have been though before these knives ceased to resemble Randall knives, what with budget and manufacturing concerns. Bo would have gotten his royalties, but what would those knives have looked like, in say, 10 years?
Regards, Sam
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  #14  
Old 06-19-2017, 05:41 PM
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I'm sure solingen steel is very good quality steel. Bo would not have used it if not, I believe.
I am such a narrow collector when it comes to knives. I have a case folder that I use, a schrade that I got from my brother years ago, and a Mid-late 70's Randall 10-3 that I use every day.
Bo Randall was such an innovator and always looking for a way to make specialty knives for special applications. I am so grateful that Bo and Gary opened the door and files for Bob Gaddis to tell the stories. Each decade beginning with the 1930's, had great innovation in knife design and applications.
Sam
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2017, 04:39 PM
william768 william768 is offline
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The same EXACT knife with SAME EXACT pictures was sold on eBay by a different seller about a year or 2 ago. That sale seemed legit .

I sent 8 Ebay messages to seller about this discrepancy and i heard nothing .

I have doubts on this sale.

Last edited by william768; 06-21-2017 at 04:41 PM.
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