Unused, 10" 'Plat du Semelle' hand-forged in the 1950's. Easy to sharpen, thin, and tough . A long-gone style of knife!
Unused from the 1950's, these were the working-class knives of their day. The old Sabatier wood-handled plat du semelle knives were hand-forged in the 1950's in Thiers, France on water-powered martinet trip hammers and ground on water-powered stone wheels. They are not, however, forged with a bolster like earlier knives that also bear the name 'plat du semelle'.
This style of forging is very old and the origins of the bolster can be seen in the bulge at the beginning of the tang/end of heel. As the blade is forged, it is flipped around to forge the tang which leaves a thicker area. This would often be forged down and ground off, but at one point it became a indicator of quality work by forging it thicker and then grinding it into a graceful shape. These hand-forged plat du semeles were the high quality line of slightly less expensive work knives.
Thiers, France at the Aine & Perrier Sabatier works. Aine & Perrier Sabatier (aka K Sabatier) has remained a family run business since its inception in the 1830's. The registered K trademark was recorded in 1834, making them arguably the oldest of the many Sabatier companies.