Davis Reproductions Notation Knife
Original: Italian, circa 1550
Housed in museums and private collections around the world is a small set of Renaissance serving knives decorated with musical inscriptions. Obviously items crafted for the wealthy, their etched blades show the blessing sung before the meal and the prayer of grace said afterwards. One example is housed at The Victoria and Albert Museum
in London. It has an ivory grip decorated with incised and filled floral patterns (like scrimshaw), surrounded by spacers of brass, ebony, and green-dyed ivory. A silver knob completes it. The blade, with an integral bolster, is acid-etched with floral designs and a woman's face in addition to the musical notation and text and is partially gilt.
This reproduction is extremely faithful to the original. The blade is acid-etched in patterns that replicate the original closely. Gold leaf has been applied to the bolster and base of the blade. The grip is made from legally-sourced ivory, incised and filled like the original. The spacers are brass, kingswood, and green-dyed ivory. The knob at the grip's end is steel.
As a household item, this knife would almost certainly have not had a scabbard. With that in mind Josh Davis created a felt-lined wooden box that serves as both a means of storage and display for the knife.
See our hands-on review
for more information on this knife.
Overall length: 11.75
Weight: 6.125 ounces
Width of bolster: .5"
Blade: 7.5" long; 1.75" wide tapering to .625"
Grip and pommel: 4.25"
Maker: Davis Reproductions
of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Inspired by a 16th century serving knife (#310-1903) in London's Victoria and Albert Museum.