Information on the identification of this knife is totally the result of the knowledge and research skills of John McCain. I posted pictures of this knife on iknifecollector.com and Mr. McCain took the ball and ran. Below is his response on iknifecollector.com:
“Here is what I know so far-
A) -Based on your Bakelite sniff test, the brightly colored handle material is called Catalin (an early rival of Bakelite).They later became one company-Sometimes, both are referred to as Bakelite, but true Bakelite only came in brown and black- Anyhow, Catalin was invented in 1927 and was not used after WWII as other, newer celluloid-like materials were invented-These knives were not made during the war, so that would date your knife to 1927- 1945. Most likely, in the earlier range of that time frame-
B) The knife was made in Solingen, Germany for export to Brazil.
C)Your knife and sheath are definitetly a typical North Brazilian style called a Faca de Ponta or (pointed knife) in English-This was confirmed by Cesar Schavone , my IKC friend-These knives were typically carried by the wealthy as a sign of prestige, although the banditos also liked these long knives-
D) The maker is still unknown, although I have found other photos with the same woman’s profile image surrounded by a laurel wreath – They could not identify the maker, either- The ” High Life” name was apparently used by several knife companies and knife importers and does not refer to a specific company- I have never seen the “H.D.A.” on another knife and is probably the monogram of the recipient of the knife, particularly if he was some one of importance-
E) Your knife is in excellent shape for it’s age- I found one other example with a similar handle material- In this case, green handles with yellow scroll lines- It recently sold for $325 and it was in MUCH rougher shape ( both the knife and sheath) if that helps you on value-
D) The lady’s image is probably a royal princess or queen-Some suggested Princess Elizabeth or possibly Queen Wilhemina of Denmark who had some connections to German nobility at times
Here is an image of the other knife with the green and yellow handles for comparison purposes
Here is the link to the pictures and the response:
I bow down to the greatness that is John McCain.