This is the knife that a master chef, chief cook, or head cook typically used in the 1950’s and 60’s.
From Chef Charles Knight’s personal collection… Vintage 1950’s French made Sabatier 14-inch forged Chef Knife with 9-inch blade, olive wood handles with three brass rivets and leather sheath.
Sabatier implies a high-quality knife produced by one of a number of manufacturers in the Thiers region of France using a fully forged process. The area of Thiers has been associated with the cutlery industry since the middle ages. Vintage Sabatier knives from the 1950’s and 60’s are highly regarded collector’s items. Known by their hand-forged blades complimented by olive wood handle and brass rivets.
Fully forged means that three of the four knife parts (blade, bolster, tang, and handle) are forged from a single piece of steel. In this process, a single cylinder-shaped steel billet is heated where the bolster will be and squeezed from the ends to create a bulge. The entire piece is heated again and forged to the shape of the blade, bolster, and tang using forging dies in one operation. Afterward, a clipping tool is used to cut the forged piece to the rough shape of the knife. Finally, the handles are riveted on, and the final shaping and sharpening is done by hand. The alternative way to manufacture knives is stamping; forging has traditionally been considered superior, but from the late 20th century some knives of excellent quality have been produced by stamping.
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