Category Archive 'Bob Loveless'

27 Oct 2019

15 Loveless Knives

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Blade Magazine has a feature illustrating 15 Bob Loveless knife designs that you and I will never own.

Loveless was, without doubt, the most brilliant and original custom knife maker of the last century. A decade or two ago, just about everybody making custom knives was doing copies of Bob Loveless’s Drop Point Hunter.

Success, however, went to Loveless’s head, to put it mildly. He hired an employee, who then actually made all the knives, and became an arrogant asshole. He did not even do a catalog. He sold you photos of his knives at so much a photo. He ran a three-to-five-year waiting list. And he gleefully charged (back in the 1980s) $100 an inch, plus an extra $100 for that rather vulgar naked lady stamping and that was $100 for each side of her.

I didn’t like his nude stamping and I did not like his “I can treat customers like dirt” attitude, so I did not even put in an order. And just as well. Goofy air-headed Loveless collectors have bid all his knives so far into the stratosphere that you’d feel crazy using one.

They are nice designs, but, alas! priced out of the world you and I live in.

RTWT

The Loveless book is also back in print at $45 here.

12 Sep 2010

Robert Waldorf Loveless (January 2, 1929 – September 2, 2010)

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Late period knives, featuring his optional Naked Lady stamp

America’s greatest custom knife maker and most influential designer, Bob Loveless, passed away recently at the age of 81 of lung cancer.

I’ve never owned a Loveless knife.

I called Bob Loveless once about 20 years ago and asked to purchase his catalogue. He offered to send me one, but assured me it was basically pointless. His waiting list was somewhere beyond 6 years. He charged (at that time) a cool $100 an inch for a knife, and there was an extra charge for a Naked Lady stamp. Both for the frontal and rear versions. I remember asking him if he charged extra not to put that on a knife, and he laughed.

“Most of my customers are rich, vulgar guys, who absolutely love it.” he assured me.

He proceeded to explain that he thought it was a pity that people who actually wanted to use them couldn’t afford to buy them and that the enormous wait made every knife a financial opportunity for the buyer. But he liked making that much money, he conceded.

It was kind of a shame that the excellence of Loveless’s designs propelled within his lifetime his products into a stratospheric world of high-end collecting, but admirers could at least console themselves that Loveless spawned a nearly infinite number of imitators and copies of Loveless patterns could be found by the score, some made by bladesmiths collectible in their own right as well as by mass market cutlery companies.

Like a lot of artists, Bob Loveless was an extremely smart guy and a colorful rascal. He will be missed.

Local LA Times obit

Wall Street Journal article

Wikipedia article

A Loveless dealer website


Bob Loveless, 1974


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