Monday, July 25, 2022

CLF 2022 Auction: Classic Frontier Knife by Todd Butler


Artist Todd Butler’s hand-forged knives are in high demand, and for good reason. His knives are among the best blades currently available in the custom market, and are only increasing in popularity with collectors. Elegant lines, rugged dependability, and unparalleled craftsmanship characterize the work of this master bladesmith. 

A regular supporter of the CLF Fundraising Auction, his donation to this year’s event is a standout that’s sure to elicit competitive bidding. This early 19th century-inspired frontier knife, hand forged from 5160 steel, features a deep false edge to the top of the blade and a decorative Spanish notch. This is an attractive but well-made knife; the knife features a sturdy through tang which is peened over the pommel cap. The knife’s “S” guard, ferrule, and pommel cap are made from mild steel. 

Butler’s knife also features a unique curly maple handle. The artist custom made his own aqua fortis stain using wrought iron shavings from a 125-year-old Michigan bridge. Butler mixed the wrought iron shavings with nitric acid and used the mixture to stain the curly maple handle, which was then heated and given multiple coats of French linseed oil to bring out the rich colors that can only be achieved with aqua fortis. 

Butler’s knife is accompanied with a custom leather sheath. Hand stitched and antiqued for added depth of color, the sheath also features a tasteful row of decorative stamps. 

For more information on the work of Todd Butler, contact:

Text by Joshua Shepherd

Photography by David Wright

To see all the artists’ postings for the 2022 CLF Fundraising Auction go to:

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