Balisong Butterfly Knives From Around The World.

Antique 1880's Bontgen & Sabins Nickel Silver Buffalo Horn Balisong Butterfly Knife

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Antique Böntgen & Sabin's 1880 German folding knife patent No: 11072 Balisong Butterfly From Solingen, Germany

Historic Balisong Butterfly Knife Produced In 1880

German Patent No: 11072 September 29, 1880

US Patent No. 229,706 July 6, 1880

High Carbon Steel Blade That is Close to 150 Years Old

This is Close To 150 Years Old !!!!

Bontgen & Sabins (Bonsa-Werk) which was a 19c manufacturer in Solingen, Germany (1885 "springless marvel" patent).

That makes this knife an oldie/19c original and historically significant.


  • Closed Length:  3 5/8 inches
  • Open Length:  6 1/4 inches
  • Blade Length:  2 5/8 inches

I did some research and I found some info in my Levine’s Guide to Knives and their Value: Expanded Third Edition.

According to this book, Bontgen & Sabins (Bonsa-Werk) had many trademarks and were made in Solingen, Germany.

They were active from 1867-1983. This is such a wide timeframe so it really doesn’t help much.

However, on the section on butterfly knives, the book suggest that the butterfly knife is a French invention from possibly the 18th century.

The mechanism was patented in the US by Charles Billings of Connecticut in 1908 and "may have been brought to the Philippines by American Soldiers."

This is a copy of an English patent issued to the German Cutlery Firm of Bontgen and Sabin’s on April 12, 1880.

It seems to describe the balisong pretty well.

One interesting note on this section of the book is that a couple of German butterfly knives are illustrated by Bontgen & Sabin and are dated 1885.

This is a page from Bontgen and Sabin’s 1895 catalog.

Information was gathered from cutlery expert Bernard Levine

Bontgen & Sabins (Bonsa-Werk) from Solingen, Germany had many trademarks, they were active from 1867-1983.

The Böntgen & Sabin AG Stahlwarenfabrik was originally founded by August Böntgen and Louis Sabin around 1870 (registered in 1876). The company made many different products; pocket knives, spring knives, camping knives, straight razors, scissors, as well as bayonets during WWI and SA daggers during 1934-35.  After 1922 the company only used three trademarks; Bonsa, the leg and football, and B&S.  The company stock and the Bonsa brandname was bought by Robert Klaas in 1983.

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