Folding Knife

Folding Knife

Folding knife
Possibly Germany
Steel, ivory, gold
1600–1750 (blade); handle later?
Museum no. M.101-1923

This knife was probably used by a scrivener, or scribe, to trim feathers into writing quills. It is a forerunner of the folding penknife. The figure of a saint is etched on the blade but wear on the cutting edge has almost obliterated whatever he held in his right hand. Blades are difficult to date as designs were used over a long time. Blades were also hard-wearing and might be refitted with handles during their lifetime.