Object Title

Knife set

Knife set



Object Number



Purchased at Sotheby's, Olympia, Lot No 73, 10 July 2002

Physical Description

Blade: having a large single edged spear point blade with a false edge and retaining traces of its original crocus polished finish.

Hilt: The composite hilt comprises a German silver/nickel silver cross guard of basically oval form with lobate finials. The scales are of pressed horn with chequered surface and fitted with thick brass liners, the nickel securing pins also forming the hinge pins for various implements: a tin-opener in the form of a pointed leaf shape blade with a side peg; a cork screw. The scales are cut away in parts to form cavities between the scales and liners into which are fitted: a pair of scissors on one side and on the other side; a pair of tweezers and a picker. Between the hilt and the cross guard, a 'buff piece' is fitted.

The hilt is secured to the tang of the blade by two large screws with slotted nuts. This allows the main blade to be interchanged with two others contained in the leather sheath.

Spare blades: one is a saw blade; the second is a shorter clip-point blade, also retaining some of its original crocus polished finish. Each has a short tang with two holes for securing to the hilt.

The sharpening steel is circular in section with longitudinal teeth. The tip has been formed into a stubby screwdriver blade. At the opposite end, the steel is waisted slightly to create a bolster at its junction with the handle which is of tapered circular section polished black horn having a domed pommel and fitted with a German silver/nickel silver ferrule at its junction with the bolster. The handle is secured by a single transverse pin.

Sheath: a substantial brown leather sheath with a belt loop on the rear face. On the front face is a pocket with two cavities to fit the two spare implements which are kept in place by a flap secured by a buckle. On the front edge of the sheath is a pocket into which is fitted the sharpening steel.


Dimensions: Hilt: length: 135 mm (5.28 in), width (at pommel): 371 mm (1.46 in), thickness: 254 mm (1 in), , Large blade: length: 252 mm (9.93 in), width: 33 mm (1.31 in), , Small blade: length: 153 mm (6.03 in) , width (at shoulder): 297 mm (1.17 in) , , Saw blade: length: 233 mm (9.125 in) , width (at shoulder) 24 mm (0.93 in), , Steel, overall length: 237 mm (9.375 in), length of blade: 160 mm (6.375 in), length of handle: 78 mm (3.06 in)

Inscriptions and Marks

Blades: both knife blades are stamped at the shoulder with 'JAMES DIXON / & SONS / SHEFFIELD'The saw blade is unnamed. The two spare blades are also marked on one edge of the tang with an assembly mark in the form of 'III' Sharpening Steel:stamped 'CAST STEEL' close to the bolster


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