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Pen Knife
Date Made/Found: circa 1900
Manufacturer: Brookes & Crookes Ltd
Material and Medium: Mother-of-pearl steel Tortoiseshell
Dimensions: Overall: 11 x 128mm (7/16 x 5 1/16in.) Overall: 13 x 75mm (1/2 x 2 15/16in.) (closed)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: 1970.400
This folding knife by Brookes & Crookes Ltd features a handle made from tortoiseshell and two blades, one of steel and the other made from mother of pearl. Tortoiseshell was a popular material in elegant cutlery manufacture and it has been used for centuries in jewellery-making and decorative arts. Its use was banned in the 1970s as the animals became endangered. The mother of pearl blade would have been used as a paper cutter or letter opener. Mother of pearl was harvested from abalone pearl shells and was an important auxiliary material in the cutlery industry, often used for handles in ‘high-end’ items.
Display Location: In Store
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