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Adam Simmonds




Location: Henley
Joined: 10 Jun 2006

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Mon 20 Jul, 2020 4:07 am    Post subject: Knives and Daggers of the 19th Century         Reply with quote

Hello All,

I thought I'd create a thread to share information on 19th Century knives.

Below are a couple of examples made by Joseph Rodgers and Sons of Sheffield, England.

The first is an elegant little double-edged dagger with an ivory handle and nickel silver mounts.

The blade measures 5 inches long, the steel is 3.5mm thick at the base and it weighs all of 69 grams.

Overall length is 9 and 1/2 inches.

The second is a much chunkier, single-edge and spear-pointed blade with horn grips on a full tang construction.

The blade measures 6 and 7/8 inches, is 5mm thick at the base (and for much of its length) and it weighs in at 203 grams.

Overall length is just shy of 11 inches.

Regards,

Adam



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Adam Simmonds




Location: Henley
Joined: 10 Jun 2006

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Mon 20 Jul, 2020 4:24 am    Post subject: Remington Arms Co clipped point 'Bowie' knife         Reply with quote

This is a Remington Arms Co knife with a stout, 6 and 3/8 inches clipped-point blade.

The handle is chiselled horn terminating in a silver butt cap.

Overall length is 11 and 3/4 inches.

The blade is 5.3mm thick at the base and swells to 5.8mm just before the beginning of the unsharpened false edge.

It weighs 200 grams.



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Last edited by Adam Simmonds on Mon 20 Jul, 2020 10:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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Adam Simmonds




Location: Henley
Joined: 10 Jun 2006

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Mon 20 Jul, 2020 4:52 am    Post subject: William Rodgers petite dagger         Reply with quote

A little featherweight dagger by William Rodgers of Sheffield.

It has nickel silver mounts and a turned hard-wood handle. The cross guard has a lateral 's' bend.

It has a 4 and 1/4 inch blade which is 2.8mm thick at the base.

The overall length is 7 and 3/4 inches and it weighs 41 grams.



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Adam Simmonds




Location: Henley
Joined: 10 Jun 2006

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2020 1:27 pm    Post subject: Germanic dagger         Reply with quote

Germanic dagger from late 19th to early 20th C. No visible maker's mark.

The spear pointed blade is 8 3/8 inches long. It's thick, narrow and singe-edged until the last three inches.

It has a beautifully fashioned, octagonal ivory handle. The overall length is 12 6/8 inches.

It is 5mm thick at the base and weighs 167 grams.



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David M Suitor




Location: S. New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 21 Jul 2020

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 22 Jul, 2020 6:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Adam,
I have a question about the bevels on 19th century knives produced in Sheffield and other commercial centers. Are the bevels ground flat or are they a shallow hollow grind?? My understanding is that the makers used very large diameter grinding stones which makes me think the blades may have had a shallow hollow grind. What are your thoughts on this??

regards,
Dave Suitor
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Adam Simmonds




Location: Henley
Joined: 10 Jun 2006

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Wed 22 Jul, 2020 8:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Dave,

I can only speak from my experience handling a relatively small number of these items, however I have noticed that some of them do indeed exhibit subtle hollow grinds. For example the first knife I posted, the small, double-edged Joseph Rodgers dagger, has this feature. Whether this is primarily a result of the tools and methods used in their manufacture or is due first and foremost to their intended design, I do not know, although the makers of these objects were certainly highly proficient in their trade. In any case I have noticed subtle hollow grinds particularly on double-edged daggers. As a result these items can often exhibit very fine edge geometry relative to their narrow bevels and thick medial ridges.

In my experience, these features are often very subtle and apparent only on close examination. Another such feature I have noticed on some of these knives is that their edges, while appearing to proceed straight from the guard until declining towards the point, will in fact exhibit gentle curves along the way. For example a double-edged dagger blade which appears in profile to take the form of a straight sided triangle will be slightly waisted ('leaf-shaped') which, while not being immediately apparent to the eye, does lend the blade an elegance of form and proportion which I imagine would be lacking were these almost indistinguishable features not present.

In contrast to such hollow ground daggers however, others, such as the single-edged, spear-pointed Joseph Rodgers knife I attached to the first post and the Remington Arms Co 'bowie' I attached to the second have meatier, almost convex grinds and thick 'apple seed' edge geometry. I assume the intended use of each object as well as the aesthetic preferences of individual buyers played a role in these variations, with makers producing a range of designs to fit a range of tastes and tasks.

I am attaching to this post a picture of another, larger dagger from a Sheffield maker as it displays (although sadly not visible due to my rather poor photography) the above mentioned features. It has a stout medial ridge with a shallow hollow grind into very fine edges as well as a subtly waisted, 'leaf shaped' curvature in profile.



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Last edited by Adam Simmonds on Wed 22 Jul, 2020 9:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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David M Suitor




Location: S. New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 21 Jul 2020

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 22 Jul, 2020 8:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for your interest and insight.

regards,
Dave Suitor
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