I acquired this pair of Tru-Bal Model No. 11 CIRCUS THROWERS in 2009 from a gentleman who first posted them in a comment on this site. He wanted to know what they were and eventually we were able to make a trade for an undisclosed (but large) number of new Tru-Bal throwing knives. Something I am willing to do occasionally for something this special.
The condition of these two knives is pretty good. They were definitely thrown and loved. They have the typical black spots on the blade but no rust. The handles show some dents and possibly some sort of chemical melting, but it is just surface deep. They are rare and collectible but could be thrown a couple more times without affecting the value.
Each of these knives is 13-1/4″ long, 3″ wide and 5/32″ thick. They weigh 15.8 ounces each.
After we struck a deal I asked him if he could tell me anything more about the history of these knives and this is what he wrote back to me:
Rainy night and I have a few papers for grad school to write so I will keep this short.
I think the first one was bought in 1993 and the next maybe 1995.
I was living in Delaware not far from Intercourse, Pennsylvania (who ever came up with that name probably was inspired by Virginville and Bird In Hand).
In that town amidst the Amish buggies and the fresh smell of “organic fertilization” is a cutlery shop which is like none other I have ever found on either the East or West coasts.
Country Knives is a one stop shop for everything from swords, to clam knives and everything in between. The last time I was ever that bug-eyed was when I used to go to the Hoffritz stores in the malls in NJ back in the 70s. The staff have always been straight shooters and honest folk.
They had a few “left over” Tru Balance knives that were made by Harry McEvoy.
His son Stephen was a professional poker player at the time. In 1993, I was told that the big one in the rack was part of a lot custom made for the performer at one of the last remaining big circuses (Ringling Bro.s I think I remember). Anyways, I bought the knife and used it on time off as an archaeological field technician working on the levee project in Lock Haven, PA.
A couple of years later, I found that they had yet another and I had been told that that was “the last one”. I had a little more funds to spend, so I bought the #70 at the time so I could round out the set to three and because the 70 was the closest in weight, length and heft.
They remained in storage until 2004 when I emptied the storage bin and brought all my stuff to WA state where I had moved in 2001.
Once my wife and I bought the house, I was able to rekindle this old pastime of mine I had begun when I was 16, had McEvoy’s little green book, and two Japanese “Finale” throwers.
I recall giving those two away after I had the real McCoy, or rather the real McEvoy.