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Steffen S




Location: Norway
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 9:20 am    Post subject: use of folding knives?         Reply with quote

there is a current production knife called Svord Peasant Knife, which the maker says is a design based on knifes used in Bavaria and Bohemia 400 years ago.



and the design is so simple, and doesn't need fine tolerances to work, that an medieval craftsman should have had sufficient skills to make one.



which leads me to my question.
is there any evidence of folding knives being used by normal people in the medieval or rennaisence(misspelled, i know) age?
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are 2 folding knives pictured in the Museum of London book Knives and Scabbards. So they existed. Happy
Happy

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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 10:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Folding knives were used though out the medieval period. There are lots of roman folding knives surviving.
I think I remember seeing a bronze age folding knife, but I am a bit uncertain about that last one...
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Steffen S




Location: Norway
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 11:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thanks a lot for your replies.
i am pleasantly surprised to learn this, i thought folding knives were a more modern invention.

is there any place i could find specs/measurement and pictures of a typical high to late medieval folder?
preferably on the net, so i don't have to wait long for a book to arrive and saving some money too.
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Bernard Delor




Location: France
Joined: 19 Nov 2010

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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a sample of a roman folding knife


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Stephane Rabier




Location: Brittany
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,
that style of knife is very old and traditionnal in some part of France and Italy : "couteau à clou", "couteau capucin", couteau Piémontais"...

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James Head





Joined: 09 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes! Folding knives have been around for a Millennium or two. All of these knives are called 'friction folders' because they have no locking mechanism to hold the blade in place. Instead, the pressure of your hand and the pressure against the blade keeps the knife open.

I have also heard that there is a Spanish folding knife with a locking mechanism called a Navaja that has been around since the 15th century. They make a clicking sound when they open up, which is called a 'Carraca'. Here's a quick demonstration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlFX6gDTxY8&feature=related

And here is an image from the Anonymous Cl. 23842 Fechtbuch which shows a judicial duel using what appear to be Navajas instead of the usual Rondel Dagger usually associated with these types of fights.


http://www.photo.rmn.fr/c/htm/CSearchZ.aspx?o...6NU0TABTQM

By the way, I hope to get myself a Svord Peasant Knife for Christmas. They have been getting good reviews. Happy
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Bernard Delor




Location: France
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This one you may not know. It's a chinese traditional peasant knife. Note that it nevers opens wide, the blade always makes an angle with the handle, usually from 90 to 140 degrees.
(The shape is OK but the damascus blade is not historically relevant).



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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 3:16 pm    Post subject: Folding         Reply with quote

If memory serves there is a small rotating blade sax in the British Museum. Quite nice and very handy as tool and knife.

Also their collection is quite good for Roman Folding knives as well.

Craig
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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 4:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
Here is one of my favorites, it is Roman 200-300 A.D. There are a few articles written about it when it was found, and again when it went on display. A simple search for "Roman Swiss Army Knife" should yield a few dozen results.
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Stephane Rabier




Location: Brittany
Joined: 13 Nov 2006

Posts: 104

PostPosted: Mon 06 Dec, 2010 12:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Incredible! Eek!
What was the fork used for? I can't imagine Romans eating with a fork 1800 years ago!
Could it be used to draw parallel lines onto paper or tablets?
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Dec, 2010 12:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The rotating blade seax Craig refers to is I suspect a 'parchment knife'. I can't remember if I call them this or everybody does, but they have a single double ended blade that rotates around a pivot so that one or other blade is always showing. The two blades are different lengths one at about 1.5" and 1 at 3 to 4" and the small blade is usually broken back seax shaped. From memory they are about 1050-1200 in date and a few were found in 'Parchment Lane' in York or London. All this is from distant memory, so facts may be a little sketchy. My guess is that the short blade was for trimming skins and cutting out of frames and the long blade was for scraping.

I have dug out a picture of some not very good ones I made years ago.


Look at this beauty, positively dated 1546, (so not quite Medieval), and just like a Swiss Army knife, it has lots of odd things on it that you can't quite fathom; again from memory in the Norwich or Ipswich museum. I particularly love the cross cut saw.

Tod



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