The LONDON [lɔn.dɔn] is THE pocketknife of the north coast of France, a region with a long history that goes back to the Celts and Gauls. You can tell from the many names it has been given how ... know more
The LONDON [lɔn.dɔn] is THE pocketknife of the north coast of France, a region with a long history that goes back to the Celts and Gauls. You can tell from the many names it has been given how popular it is: ARMOR, TERRE-NUEVAS, GWALARN, GABIER, FINISTERE. Its distribution extends from the western tip of Brittany over the North Sea, where it is called "anchor knife", to the Baltic coasts. On old knives you can find decorations on the handles such as anchors or the motif "Faith-Love-Hope", which fishermen and sailors often attached themselves. Despite the limited free time on board, they had plenty of opportunity, because ships on long turns were sometimes on the move for years. Often women gave their husbands a knife like this as a souvenir when they parted.
Like all seafaring, maritime knives are a world of their own. What men need in this rough job is a "compagnon fidèl", a reliable companion. With its broad blade with its point downwards and its handle, which lies firmly in the hand, with its characteristic curve, the work on board can be carried out effortlessly. It is good for cutting the ropes, for repairs and working on wood. You use it as a cutter, for example to cut sailcloth for a torn sail and of course you take your meals with it. At the end of the handle there is sometimes a hole for a lanyard.
When and how LONDON came to France is not completely clear. One suspects its roots in England, perhaps in the cutlery metropolis of Sheffield. Perhaps it came to France during the conflict between the English, French and Dutch around 1780, perhaps even earlier. In any case, it was already known on the coasts in the 18th century and accompanied sailors such as officers, fishermen, whalers and pirates ... all of them needed to have a "compagnon fidèl". For tall ships it was often part of the basic equipment of the crew, similar to the MONTPELLIER on the Mediterranean. Incidentally, knives with a raised tip were mostly forbidden on official ships because of the risk of injury during scuffles.
When making a purchase decision, because of the aggressive salt water, one should weigh up whether a professional use on a boat is in the foreground or whether it should be a companion in an urban environment. For all purposes, PassionFrance® manufactures models with appropriate blade steels, suitable handle materials and offers advice.
The traditional fittings for a 10cm LONDON nowadays are made of stainless metals and blades are made of 12C27. In addition to the models of befriended coutelliers, you will find knives from our studio in Thiers.
In 2017, the two-time Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman in France) Robert Beillonnet created a LONDON for PassionFrance®, the construction of which was improved and its lines more clearly defined. We manufacture it with blades made of SANDVIK 14C28, XC75, high-performance steel RWL34 and with Damascus blades. The blades have a a precise back bevel "à l'entablure". Their blades don’t any longer touch the spring because they are stopped with a special rivet before and can no longer be pushed in, too. We use classic and modern materials as handle materials. As a rule, we manufacture the LONDON without bolsters. Knives of this type are considerably more difficult and complex to manufacture, but they meet the requirements of a modern, urban society. On request, we can provide the handles with a hole for a lanyard, with Damascus blades and / or mammoth handles. We have recently started producing examples with a central bolster made of hand-forged mosaic Damascus steel, the pattern of which shows the coat of arms of Brittany (see GWALARN).
The LONDON PassionFrance® is half a centimeter larger than the industrial fittings used by other manufacturers. As a sign of their authenticity, they have the PassionFrance® heraldic animal, the Coq, on the blade.
LONDON, based on traditional fittings, made cutlery friends like ARTO and PARAPLUIE for us. As a sign of their authenticity, they present the PassionFrance® logo, the Coq, as well as the logo of the forge making them on the blade next to the name.
- Designs with and without decorations
- different blade steels
- Custom models on request
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