Within the American Bladesmith Society, there is a charitable sub-group known as The Order of the Mystic Brotherhood (TOMB). They distribute donations to members who have run into trouble such as a shop fire or injury. They also donate materials to ABS teaching events and the like. They auction off a very special, collector-grade knife each year at the Blade Show, and they have announced this years Object of Desire.
It is a knife that was crafted in the 1960’s by none other than ABS founder Bill Moran. It is an M-11 that came from the private collection of Col. Bud Brandt. At has been detailed/cleaned by ABS Master Jay Hendrickson who even used a vintage piece of leather that came from Bill Moran’s shop to make a new sheath for it.
In the above video, Hendrickson gives a bit of background on the knife as well as TOMB. He then shows off and describes the knife in detail. (Jump ahead to 1:45 to get right to the knife)
He tells a humorous story about the evolution of the M-11. When it debuted, it retailed for a whopping $36, and there were old-timers who scoffed at paying so much for a knife. If they only knew.
When Moran released his second catalog, the price had climbed to $55. When his third and final catalog came out in 1981, the knife was selling for $360. This early example is expected to sell for thousands. It will be part of the ABS Auction at Blade Show in June.
You can read more about Bill Moran here.