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The Folding Knife and the Art of the Table

The history of the folding knife

The folding knife was invented by the Romans more than two thousand years ago, but it did not really come into mass use until the 17th century. Until then, knives mostly had fixed blades and were carried in a sheath on the belt. But in the 17th century, pockets were invented, so naturally the folding knife found its place there, and its different regional designs took up the already existing handle shapes of fixed blade knives. These folding knives also had accessories added on according to the specific needs of its user. Firstly a tool of the peasant and agricultural workers, the knife appeared as a corkscrew, an awl, a dagger, or a second blade.
In the 19th century, the industrial revolution caused a migration from the countryside to the cities, as well as the industrialization of metals*. With this development, the folding knife became an object of art and territorial expression. The folding knife, then the pocket corkscrew, shifted from the simple function of a tool to that of an object, made from rare, precious, or authentic materials from their regional origins.
The appearance of the fixed blade table knife (i.e. the steak knife) would only become a common household object from the 20th century—before this time, the tradition was for men to use their pocket knives at the table during the meal. This custom would continue in restaurants and banquets. In addition to being a utilitarian object, the knife would also become a way of marking its regional identity and social status through its shape and the materials used for the handle. This tradition persists today, and the pocketknife and the corkscrew have become objects of prestige and social desire.

Everyone has their own knife and corkscrew

With the return of ancient traditions, today it is very fashionable to open your table knife in brasseries or in Michelin-starred restaurants, and even during meals with friends at home. This is the reason why you find on the market fixed blade knives using the design of traditional folding knives. These run the spectrum of very high artisanal quality, such as Laguiole or Thiers, with the inevitable poor-quality industrial copies. But if you want to absolutely conform to the etiquette of the French “Art of the Table”, your steak knives during your reception meals must be folding or fixed, but absolutely of very high quality, such as the 9.47 from Perceval, or Le Français from the house of Fontenille Pataud, for example. The same goes for corkscrews.

Our Knives

At Bonde Fine Wine, we specialize in the refinement of objects for art and utility. By putting our expertise at your service, we can advise you on the most appropriate models for your needs and your budget. We have in store (and online) the following lines: Château Laguiole, Fontenille Pataud, Atelier Perceval, and Ligne W.  
*Molten steel in 1788, synthetic materials such as Parkesine in 1840, celluloid in 1870 or Galalith in 1899. Then, in the 20th century, stainless steel, synthetic resins, and carbon fiber.

A Lucky Promotion for Friday the 13th

In honor of Friday the 13th falling in the spookiest month, we're running a promotion on our knives. Starting today through Sunday, all knives will be 13% off!