Perhaps it was a mistake starting a new thread for this, but I have several pics to post and I'm also a little proud of the grab itself and the work I did to get it shiny again!
I'm sure most of you are familiar with the Mercator K55K (often called the Black Cat Knife), which can be found brand spanking new on a number of sites that you've likely been to as a result of everydaycarry.com (Best Made Co, Cool Material, Amazon, etc). It's a simple design in an extremely thin folder that's been around since 1867. It is a lockback, which is pretty awesome for regular EDC use. Despite the lockback being somewhat unique to the K55K, it often gets compared to the French Douk Douk, which happens to be a slipjoint.
Anyway, a quick history lesson (sorta) and the onto the pics! So rumor has it that these were issued to German soldiers in both WWI and WWII, but there's no actual proof of that. There is, on the other hand, no denying that many German soldiers did indeed carry these knives. It's said that American soldiers would find them either on German soldiers, or just laying around, and then bring them back to the US. In the 50's and 60's, these knives that were brought back from the war and handed down became popular in South Bronx street gangs. The knife has remained in production since its inception in the mid 1800's, but the original manufacturer liquidated and sold of the business in 1995 to Otter-Messer, the company who still makes the knife today that you can find on all those sites I mentioned earlier.
I picked mine up at a local antiques store after eyeballing it for months. It was rusted and gritty to open and close, but he had a fair price on it (as far as I know) and then he dropped it down another 36% after my incessant haggling. The story he provided was that a local WWII veteran brought it in to sell off with other artifacts he acquired in the war. He even sweetened the deal for me by telling me that the vet was from my hometown - pretty cool! Since I have no way of proving the validity of his tale, and because I'm having an awful time dating this knife (I've been given some information for people to call, so I'll update this with any new info), I simply don't know its age. I'd like to believe his story and will continue to until the knife's true authenticity becomes known. So here it is, in both before and after shots. I have yet to sharpen then blade, but that's next on the agenda.