Are the majority of Sabatier clones made in France prior to 1950 (ish) generally of good quality?
What can I use to determine if a knife is Thiers Sabatier, specifically referring to under the scales drilling pattern.
Do true Thiers Sabatiers ( that rhymes!) have 3 small holes divided up by 2 larger holes?
Unfortunatly it does not rhyme. Thiers (the Village) ist pronounced rather like "Tears", whereas Sabatier ends on something that rhymes with "OK" Dont ask me why....
So... Anything about the knives?
I thought Sabatier was more of a family /marketing name, and going way back their were multiple 'OEM's' and multiple companies all producing legit Sabatiers, so "clones" is kind of an inappropriate label? As to hole pattern, I think I've seen that 5-hole on re-handle photos, but couldn't say if that was common practice
^^ yes, quite a few companies made very legitimate knives under the name Sabatier, I don't think any of the old ones could be considered clones. You could pm Son if you needed a response about a specific knife, or just post the knife here.
A really quick summary:
Many different makers made "Sabatier" knives, in the Thiers region. It was kind of the same idea as knives made in Solingen, Sheffield, and now Seki or Sakai. They pretty much all went belly up, with T-I and K-Sab still making it in today's market. T-I bought A LOT of the old stock knives from the region, and since they were "all" good quality knives, they've since sol them as NOS pieces, among other things, after finishing the knives in house. Sabatier is known as a brand, but in actuality, it's more of a type/styling of regional knife/knives.
apparently, back in the day, there were no trademark (or patent) laws..so everyone just ran with the name.
from what i have read, and questioned, to answer your question; YES, in general all of the vintage Sabatier knives kick butt. i have a Trompette Sabatier. my buddy has an Elephant one. they both kick butt.
You should expect great discrepancies in steel quality, even with the same maker in the same period. Has all to do with the different origins of the steel, that changed with the aleas of war and peace. Between 1870 and the 1945 Victory, France lost and recovered twice the Alsace and Lorraine, and occupied Rhenany for some ten years.