A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
THE WHAT IS? SILVER DICTIONARY

POCKET KNIFE
FOLDING KNIFE
FRUIT KNIFE
PENKNIFE

this is a type of small knife with folding blade. They were made since ancient times and Roman examples of first century A.D. knives are exhibited in British museums.
In medieval and later times such knives were produced in many countries.
Not until the mid seventeenth century were these useful tools fully established, with the invention of the spring-back to hold the blade open or closed.
Sheffield and Birmingham in England were the greatest centers for production of silver folding pocket knives.
The term 'penknife' is a misnomer for what is correctly called a pocket knife.


silver pocket folding knife: Sheffield 1905



Mother-of-pearl was the preferred material used for knives' handles, but examples in ivory, stag horn, tortoise, ebony, beech, rosewood, coco, bone and synthetic materials were widely used.
Pocket knives of the 19th century were manufactured in many patterns to suit different purposes.

They were made with one to eight blades. Other equipage in addition to one or more blades were scissors, gouges of several types, saws, nail-files or manicure tools, corkscrews, tin openers, erasers, prickers, tweezers, button hooks, ear cleaning spoons and many other tools.


silver pocket folding knife: London 1899 silver pocket folding knife: Birmingham 1883


silver pocket folding knife: Sheffield 1835 silver pocket folding knife: Sheffield 1867

silver pocket folding knife: Sheffield 1841
silver pocket folding knife: London 1800

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