Meet the Parkdale knife collector who keeps more than 60 pairs on display in his living room
When Nik Timar was a kid, he collected Boy Scout badges and GI Joe figurines, and kept a Swiss Army knife among his most prized possessions. Two decades later, his enthusiasm over that first blade has grown into a collection of more than 100 vintage knives and scissors that would knock the knee-highs off any young outdoor enthusiast.
“Serious knife collectors would laugh at my collection because there’s nothing expensive or cutting edge about it,” says Timar, a 38-year-old producer and DJ. Instead, it’s well-worn knives and scissors—by crazy coincidence, 61 of each (and counting)—with a story to tell that appeal to him:
This is a Balisong butterfly knife, one of Timar’s favourites because of its handle, which is made from brass, wood and bone. A friend brought it back from the Philippines for him:
These are classic Swiss Army knives, at left, and a few blades with keys for handles that Timar bought simply because they look so cool. The tiny red pocket knife on the right was snapped up at an antique market in Cuba:
Timar has a few Douk-Douks, which are cheaply made penny knives from France. Some blades are engraved with an intricate design, like the red-handled one here, while others feature a little Douk-Douk, the French Polynesian god of chaos:
Timar’s appreciation of simplicity and functionality also drew him to scissors. His collection contains all sorts: hair clippers, basic classroom scissors, antique surgical scissors, hefty brass pinking shears. “Not much has changed about their form over time,” Timar says, by way of explaining what he likes about them.
These curvy old scissors would have been used for sewing or embroidery:
Same with most of these (the smaller pair on the far left are barber’s shears):
Timar picks up knives and scissors at flea markets and antique shops in and around the city. The collection is right at home among gently distressed furniture, dried flowers, records and other curios in the Parkdale loft he shares with his girlfriend, Amber Joliat:
She’s not at all freaked out by Timar’s sharp edged collection: a couple years back, she hauled a massive tree branch home from High Park, thinking she’d hang all the knives and scissors from it and mount the whole quirky-macabre mobile on the wall. The project was nixed when they discovered the branch was infested with carpenter ants. Instead, the collection is usually neatly lined up and displayed on a long wooden bench in the couple’s art-packed living room. “When friends come over with their kids, we have to remember to put them away,” Joliat says.