Friday, July 15, 2016

Douk-Douk Knife, Folding Slip-Joint Knife by Cognet, Antoine & Gaspard, France, French Foreign Legion

Today we'll be taking a look at another interesting folding knife that is in my collection, and often in my pocket as well!

This is a modern production knife made by the French company Cognet, Antoine and Gaspard.  It is known as a "Douk-Douk" knife.

These folding knives were designed back in 1929 as an inexpensive folding knife for the working class.  They are a very simple folding, slip-joint knife with a very strong back-spring that bias's the knife towards the open and closed positions.  In other words, it is a non-locking folder. 

The knife is very simply made, with only 6 parts total.  The blade is made of high carbon steel and can be easily sharpened to a razor edge.  The blade style is very reminiscent of the old scimitar swords.  The handle is a single piece of folded steel with a blued finish.  The spring is VERY stiff, and when the blade is opened, it drops into a very deep detent.  When open, it is very difficult to "accidentally close it" making it, for all intents and purposes, a "lock-back knife".  (This is particularly useful for my overseas friends in places like England and Germany, where lock-back and fixed blade knives can not be carried!)

This particular model is considered the "Sorcier" and has the engraving of the "Douk-Douk" on the handle.  The "Douk-Douk", is a mythical, Melanesian Spirit Incarnation.  This model was originally designed for sales to the French Colonies in Oceania.

There are three other models that had different finishes and  handle engravings for sales in other geographic areas:

El-Baraka: engraved with a Tuareg Cross of Agadez, for sales in the French Colony of Algeria. Nickel plated handle.

Tiki: engraved with a Polynesian Tiki idol, nickel plated handle.

L'Ecureuil; engraved with a squirrel, nickel plated handle and a "spear-point" blade.  This model was primarily for the French domestic market. 

These knives became very popular with the French Foreign Legion troops in North Africa, and quickly became a symbol of terror during the FLN revolt in Algeria, 1954-1962.  
These knives could easily and quickly be turned into a very effective fixed blade knife by mashing the metal handle sides together with the blade open.  This created a razor sharp, fixed blade, "dagger" that proved very popular with the FLN (Algerian National Liberation Front).

Today these knives are still prized for their simplicity, ability to take and hold a razor edge, and their "old-school" classic looks.  They have been produced continuously since 1929 in France and can still be purchased from many modern vendors worldwide.  

With all that said, let's take a look at a few more photos of this wonderful knife: