Four years ago this month, knife enthusiast Luis Bernardo Mercado made history when his enormous personal knife collection was entered into the Guinness World Records as the largest in the world. Now, later this year, Mercado will be parting with the large majority of his collection in a gigantic knife sale to benefit local charities.
When Guinness officials arrived to count and certify Mercado’s collection in March of 2017, the final tally came to 2,175 unique knives – more than the average knife shop stocked according to the officials’ research. Almost all of these knives are going up for sale, alongside “fine art, field tools, and other collectibles,” according to the official event site, which also gives the sale its full name: The Calaveras County Art & Knife Charity Estate Sale.
“I plan to sell all but about 100 custom or special knives,” Mercado tells us. “Since setting the world record 5 years ago I’ve acquired more knives and some of these may also go for sale.” Custom and production knives will be available; when we asked Mercado what some of the knives were he gave us this short sample list: “Benchmade, Buck, Medford Knives, Custom Knife Factory, Microtech, Marfione Custom, Olamic Cutlery, Reate Knives, RPW, Yellowhorse, Victorinox, Spyderco, Kershaw, SOG, RAT Worx, Boker, Brous Blades, Chris Reeve, DPX Gear, Quartermaster, Extrema Ratio, Fox, Gerber, Guardian Tactical, HTM, Kizer Cutlery, Ontario, TOPS, Stedemon, ProTech, and We Knife.”
As for what knives Mercado is keeping, he says he’s not making the final decisions until everything is out on display, but some likely candidates for keeping include his Hawk Knives Model B, a Bill Cheatham custom hunter, an Andre Thorburn custom, and the good ol’ fashioned Buck 110 Folding Hunter. “I have not yet settled on which exact knives to keep, though know for sure a few custom OTF will be in the 100,” Mercado adds. “Every knife is special to me so it will be hard to let any go.”
The sale is taking place October 15th, 8am-5pm Pacific, and October 16th, 8am-3pm Pacific. “We will display the knives on tables in my shop in alphabetical order and there will be set prices, most of which will be well below retail,” Mercado explains. “All knives are in like-new never-used never-carried condition.” Mercado says he hopes to have at least $100,000 to give to several local charities after he covers expenses: The Resource Connection, The Arnold Rim Trail Association, Calaveras Humane Society, and The Sierra Foothill Conservancy.