Material and Medium: steel, brass, wood
Dimensions: Overall: 6 x 25 x 87mm (1/4 x 1 x 3 7/16in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: Virtual2007.34-35
This beautiful folding knife was made by Trevor Ablett. It was manufactured entirely by hand using traditional craft techniques. This type of knife is called a peach pruner.
The knife has a curved folding blade that is balanced by the curving haft. The rosewood scales are secured with brass pins. Pocket knife scales are also sometimes called coverings. The blade has a notch next to the bolster, known in Sheffield as a 'kick'. A crescent shaped indent on the back of the blade, called a 'nail nick', is used to open the blade.
Revealing the object's Hidden History…
As part of the DCF funded Living Metal project, we visited Trevor Ablett to find out more about the peach pruner.
Hidden History: what does Trevor Ablett make?
Trevor has made peach pruners since the mid 1990s. He makes three 'common' lines of knife: lambfoot, spear point and pruners. They vary in length from 3 ¼ inches to 4 inches. No two knives are the same as they are entirely hand made.
Hidden History: how long did take to make the knife?
Each of Trevor's folding knives takes around two hours to make with all the materials and parts to hand. Trevor makes around 100 knives each week. During 2005-2006 he produced 5000 knives.
Trevor works seven days a week and describes it as an "old way of life. I always worked in a small firm. It's my life".
Find out more…
Discover more about the history and techniques of cutlery manufacture in Sheffield:
Himsworth, J.B. 1953 The Story of Cutlery. From Flint to Stainless Steel. London: Ernest Benn Ltd.
Symonds. J. (ed.) 2002 The Historical Archaeology of the Sheffield Cutlery and Tableware Industry 1750-1900. ARCUS Studies in Historical Archaeology 1. England: Basingstoke Press.
Tweedale, G. 1996 The Sheffield Knife Book. A History and Collectors' Guide. Sheffield: The Hallamshire Press.