K Sabatier 'New Vintage' 8.75" slicer. 'Plat Semelle' style carbon steel blade with hand peened riveted wood handle. No dishwasher, keep dry after use.
The Plat Semelle 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 are not, however, forged with a bolster, and they were the working-class knives of their day.
These knives were made in Theirs, France in the 1950‘s. They are thin and light with good edge life and excellent sharpenability. Hand forged on a 19th century water powered mechanical hammer, these knives were forgotten in storage until recently. They are lighter and springier than their modern contemporaries, and with a harder temper, they hold their edge longer without being more difficult to sharpen. Being handmade there are slight differences between knives and they may have slight imperfections that would be consistent with handmade knives of their day such as a slight wavyness in edge and small bends, and it should be noted as well that the wood is a bit dry from all the years in storage and the root based dye on the beech wood handles can come off on hands for the first several uses. If you can deal with these small issues you are rewarded with a knife that has a great cutting feel and is truly a piece of history!
Since 1834, K Sabatier has been the dedicated brand of Sabatier Aine & Perrier, a family cutlery business started by Philippe Sabatier in the early 1800’s. The business has been passed down 8 generations, and has remained located in the hills of Thiers, France in the village of Bellevue. They continue to run their company with pride and precision, keeping all aspects of the manufacturing process within the area of Thiers.