:bliss:Just got a hold of this : http://s1361.photobucket.com/user/gregg31/slideshow/ .
Weight : 134 grams
Length : 235 mm(blade)
Height : 43 mm
Width : 3 mm, 1 mm at 115 mm!
It's a Fontenille from Thiers, probably from twixt 1920 and 1950, but can't pin it down just yet. Nogent style handle, (rosewod?) with rat tail tang, hammered/riveted at end, and a brass(?) bolster. Super agile, beautifully convexed, which makes for thin, thin thin). Cuts like a champ, and is way stiffer than I would expect. Nice on the stones, quick to sharpen, and has a nice DING sound to it.
Ok, Ok; what's the catch?, you say. Well, it does have some minor pitting in three places; otherwise she's a little champ for small dinner prep.
Sorry about the crappy photo quality, never did manage to get the poinçon with my cell!
A beauty! In these days nickel silver was common for the bolster, and ebony for the handle. I believe yours is no exception.
I would remove the pitting at 1cm from the edge. Light horizontal hand sanding following the geometry. Avoid overheating and overgrinding. Again, have a light touch. Start with some P120 sandpaper, and finish with anything in the P240-800 range.
You may soak the handle in mineral oil.
You always have good comments. Nickel siver! (Slaps his head) I really have no excuse for the "brass" call, except that it did
seem a little yellow at the time, and I was in a bit of a hurry to post before going to work...
Still not sure about the ebony, though, even if it was common at the time; seems a bit light weight, even if the grain looks about right. Either way, oiled up twice already!
Haven't worked up the courage to sand it down yet; too hot to sand down a blade at the moment, and I'm out of rough grain paper. I'll try to get in a (decent) photo when I get around to it. In the meantime, I'm really enjoying it for light meal prep!
OK, I can finally see it, looks interesting to say the least.
About ebony handles in the Nogent with the rat tail construction: don't get fooled by the low weight. They happen to be quite thin.
Bernard Levine wrote about them:
"The original ebony handles
tend to split, because they
are bored down the center
with a large diameter hole,
leaving just a thin web of
wood on the sides. They
look solid, but they're not."
That being said, they are the most comfortable handles I know.
I promise that I'll borrow a decent camera next time!! I was just so jazzed about the find that I didn't have the patience, so I used my cell phone "camera"! (Plus, I'm lousy at photography, even with a good one!)
I want a knife with a nice DING sound. Most of mine have a muted ...thud.
Originally Posted by gregg