Date Made/Found: 1788-1795
Material and Medium: leather, paper
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: 2004.1275
The front binding of this book has the hand written inscription "Pattn Book April 24 1788". However, the ledger is actually a cutler's account book rather than a pattern book. The ledger records details of orders placed by various clients with the cutler between 24th April 1788 and 26th September 1795. Unfortunately, we do not know the name of the cutler that owned this ledger or where he was based. It is very possible that he was working in Sheffield.
The cutler appears to have specialised in pocket knives. 'Sportsman's knives' are noted on a number of occasions in the ledger. These were multipurpose folding knives similar to today's Swiss army knives. Customers could specify the tools that they wished to be included. One knife ordered by "Messrs Barry & Constables" has a "Dump Hook…picker & tweeze [sic]". Fruit knives, a fashionable item in the late 1700s, are listed on a large number of occasions.
A number of different patterns or designs are referred to in the ledger, for example, "Nowill size", "Mallinson Pike" and "Italyan [sic] Twist". These will certainly refer to blade or scale patterns. The hafting materials listed include shell, pearl, buffalo horn, fruitwood, stained wood and stag, including green and white stained varieties.
Each item is listed with a separate order number, a description of the item and the total cost. There is an indexed list of the cutler's clients listed at the front of the ledger. These appear to include individuals as well as several companies for example, Everton & Co, Lakins & Co, Greaves & Son and Holy & Co. These could be either retailers or merchants.
There is very little detail given about the clients, aside from their name. On a few occasions, the address or city is also listed, for example, "Messrs Barry & Constables Birmingham". Another client is based on Fleet Street in London. The fact that these two cities are named in the account book might suggest that the cutler was working in Sheffield, rather than Birmingham or London. At the top of several orders are the names of different countries including Spain, Germany and Turkey. This suggests that the cutler's products were exported internationally.
This object forms part of the Bill Brown Collection. Supported by The Art Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Friends of Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust.Display Location: