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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to find out about a Bowie knife a friend of mine gave me for helping him to move some stuff. I took it home and decided to clean it up and sharpen it like I always do to a new knife. I noticed on the inside of the guard there was the name "Anselmo" stamped on it. I was curious so I got online and looked "Anselmo" up and found out he was a knife maker and had made the fantasy sword in the movie "Beast Master". This guy also made knives for the rich and famous. His name is Victor Anselmo and he lived in California. He has since passed away. My problem is I can't find out anything about his knives or find anyone that has one of his knives. If anyone has heard of Victor Anselmo or knows of anyone who has heard of him please let me know.
 

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Victor Anselmo lived and worked in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles. He becamed friends with John Nelson Cooper of Cooper knives fame and worked with Cooper in his shop for quite some time, learning a great deal from that great master. Victor eventually got his own shop in the valley and made knives for local knife shows and commissions for knife enthusiasts of whom I was one. I worked at the Recycler in Los Angeles and visited Anselmo's shop often. Victor made some knives which are very reminiscent of Coopers work but in general he was a very original and VERY gifted knife maker and designer. When he was of a serious mind he could create really nice pieces of great variety. Some of his bowies are truly fine and his hunting knives , many of them, are exceptionally handsome and deeply utilitarian.

Victor had an enthusiasm for making tough and beautiful knives from the old Atkin Silver Steel bastard file which he swore were as tough as any knife going, though he worked in most of the popular steels and 440 stainless when requested. You may see some of his knives show up from time to time in knife shows in California where most of his production occurred. He made perhaps 10 or more knives of his design and some of my design for me, some of which I had scrimshawed by the great master scrimshander and blade grinder Bob Engnath who was a legend in the knife world for his writing and knife supplies and blade blade blanks. Victor made most knives using Baldor buffer motors with the ConeLOK wheel with various grades of grinding grit and polishing wheels. I think he got this from Cooper who also used the ConeLOK system. I have some nice photos of Vic somewhere around here as well.

Victor moved to florida and retired except for the reissue of the Beastmaster Blade he did for that company. I had not heard Vic died. Could be possible as he did suffer from lung problems from so much grinding.

Not every knife Vic made was a masterwork, he often rushed some knives out for various shows, but his skill and gift was enormous and when he set his mind to a fine piece of work, he produced many absolutely wonderful pieces of cutlery art. His work was traditional in approach , often original in design and truly masterful when he wished it so. Vic Anselmo was one of the really fine knifemakers of his era and his better knives are truly collectible and generally very functional as well. I found him to be a cheerful guy who really loved making knives. He had his ups and downs, no one is perfect in this world.. but Im very glad I knew him.
Michael Kramer
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You knew Anselmo? I have a master quality Bowie knife that has some age on it but still is very nice. The name Anselmo is stamped on the inside of the guard. Please tell me anything that you can about this guy. I will never findout how much my knife is worth, but I don't really care because it isn't up for sale.
Thank you for the information on Anselmo. I greatly appreciate it. I have been digging for over a year and a half now to no avail. I could find bits and pieces here and there but not a hole lot.
 

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Nice knife!
 

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Thank you Michael. That was a nice historical perspective on the man and the personalization made it all the better.
 

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Nice knife.
Nice pics...... thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you, I am lucky to have a nice collector like this one. And thanks for the history behind the guy that made the knife, it makes it that more special to me.
 

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Earlier Anselmo Bowie

Hello, my name is Vic Anselmo, the son of Knife maker Vic.
My Dads alive and still kicking some what, but is ill and has been for a few years.
Nice knife, if you notice the stamp is undamaged (My dads later stamps have a defect) this means your knife is from around the time of the N.Hollywood shop (I believe) I will ask him about it when we talk. The fit looks very good on this Blade,(*i would not use or sharpen it any more) thats a quality knife from a master knife maker (I have to be honest here, every one of his knives look familiar to me, i saw and have seen many over my life time) and yours rings some bells. I'll think on it...
I'm rambling, sorry..


Noiret: I guess we have met in the past? I'm "little Vic" and for a lot of my youth was hanging around his shops, going to knife and Gun shows. Do you know David Saks by any chance? or Marty, from Marty's guns and collectibles? Just looking to hear news of old friends who treated me well when i was a young kid..
Take care, and if i can i'll answer questions if its helpful...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
WOW!! Vic Anselmo, I would never have thought his son would answer a post that I made. I am truely honored. Your dad made a fine knife when he made mine, I can tell its been around a while because it shows some wear on the scabbard but the knife is OK, just needs a little polishing. I am glad to hear that your dad is still alive. Anything that you can tell me about my knife would be greatly appreciated because I really want to know all the info on it that I can get. Again WOW, I am just blown away!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Vic, I have a question, the blade on my knife needs to be polished. If I sent it to you do you think that you could polish it for me? I would expect to pay you but I would know that it would be done right. We have some knife makers around where I live but I don't trust them to touch my knife. Just asking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got to digging some more on my "Anselmo" knife and traced the blade pattern to John Nelson Cooper who Victor Anselmo worked with for a number of years. The blade design was called "Bianchi" and from the best I can tell was made by Vic Anselmo sometime around the early 1970's. There was a picture of the knife on the Bianchi by John Nelson Cooper-Arizona Custom Knives along with a description and a price. The knife had been used and had alot of stain on the blade and was missing the scabbard for the sum of, now get this, $595. They would throw in a scabbard for $50.
I was really surprised to find out how much my knife could actually be worth, plus the fact that I found out about when it was made and who may have designed the knife.Victor Anselmo made a few subtle changes to the pattern of the knife and for the better I think.
All in all I was really excited to find out what I did because I have been looking for around a year just to find out what I have.
 

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I don't know that I could have brought myself to sell that knife. Sure is a nice looking knife.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I haven't sold mine, can't bring myself to do so. Its a once in a life time thing as far as I am concerned. But the guy selling his is loosing a piece of history that he can never get back. I took it to a local knife maker and had the blade cleaned and man she sure shines now. You can still see the origional tool marks in the knife blade if you look close.
 
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