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Thread: Raoul Sab?

  1. #1
    Senior Member andre s's Avatar
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    Raoul Sab?

    I came across this one in an antique store recently and couldn't help myself...again. I didn't recognize the mark (Raoul, Hyeres) but it felt light, straight and not too dinged up. I figured I'd find something online when i got home but haven't seen any reference to those 2 names in relation to knives. Hyeres is in southern france. that's all i found. right country i guess
    I wonder if any of you have come across this mark. It feels legit but i can't help wonder if there were many sab (nogent) knockoffs...not a big deal since it was fairly inexpensive. And, i guess time will tell how it performs. Just wondering if any of you experts have seen something similar.
    Currently, the only reference I have is in comparison with my 10" NOS nogent Sab from TBT:
    here's the tale of the tape:

    "Raoul" sab:
    247mmx47mm
    171g
    3.62 - 1.25

    TBT sab:
    248mmx57mm
    225g
    geometry at heel;
    4.75 - 1.7

    visual comps:



    who is Raoul? i think that's what it says...


    new find is to the right


    again


    have you seen this before?
    otherwise thought you'd be curious

  2. #2
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    Nogent type with rat tail, as produced by all makers between 1880 and 1960. Ebony handle, nickel silver bolster. Very pronounced distal taper. Your Raoul from Hyères is probably the retailer. With a little cleaning up and sharpening it may become a great knife again. Slightly asymmetric, left face essentially flat, light convexing to the edge, right face more heavily convexed.
    Traditionally have a flat section starting at the heel. Yours in great shape: no recurve belly due to steeling abuse. Great finding!

  3. #3
    Lovely!
    Looks like it's been a good time to find usable old carbon in France these days. You'll probably have a hard time finding the original maker; Raoul Coutellerie doesn't exist, (if it ever did), nor is there a Raoul restaurant. There may have been, given that Raoul Duffy is a native son, and the local hippodrome was started by a Mr. Raoul Paget, (thanks google), so the trail would be there. If your french is good, try Franck Pitelet, coutellerie franck, in Thiers; he's always good for chewing the fat about the good old days and bemoaning the modern production of "planks" as he puts it!

  4. #4
    Senior Member andre s's Avatar
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    Benuser,
    Thanks for the info and suggestion on the sharpening. Good eyes for the belly. Indeed, it's in good shape. The handle seems old as it's split (although it sounds like nogents are notorious for splitting) but the knife seems to have kept much of its original profile. That seemed a bit contradictory. Most vintage knives that I've found have the recurve you mention. So, i'm very eager to clean up and most likely re-handle.
    I've noticed that some nogent blanks have a stubby tail whereas others have a longer, thinner, "more ratty" tail. Mine seems to be of the latter category as i'm seeing it protrude behind the handle butt (see photo above), similar to Gregg's knife in his "lucky me!" thread. I'm assuming there wasn't a tang nut at the end to compression fit the handle. Did they putty the ends or just leave the tang end exposed? Or other?
    Gregg,
    I bought the knife in an antique store right here in upstate NY. That being said, if/when i return to france, i have a feeling i'll be dragging the family through Thiers. M. Franck sounds like a fun "mec" to speak to. Although my first language is french, i assume he (like all my other "old country" friends) would have a hard time understanding my north american twang. But, I suppose we would end up speaking and understanding each other perfectly.
    great idea!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    The original tang ended with a tiny nickel silver bullet.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    Is it an option to save the handle?

  7. #7
    Senior Member andre s's Avatar
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    I suppose it is an option to save the handle. it would need to be fixed. it's split on one side. it feels sturdy enough that a bit of resin/glue might be enough to keep it together as well as not allowing housing for microscopic critters. Also, the (MM) initials carved on the other side could be sanded down. The oxidization at the base of the ferrule leads me to believe that stuff's gotten in there. The plan would have been to carefully remove the existing handle and reuse the ferrule. maybe a different wood. I guess i haven't seen many (any?) nogent style rehandles even though many people seem to find the grip very comfortable. There might be good reason for that. It would be my first attempt.
    I'd love to see other members' nogent rehandles or hear of their experiences rehandling, nogent style...

  8. #8
    All the more reason to take a gander at the old timers down in Thiers! Some​ of them must still know how it's done!l Anyway, let me know if you do make the trip; we could compare notes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rick alen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre s View Post
    I suppose it is an option to save the handle. it would need to be fixed. it's split on one side. it feels sturdy enough that a bit of resin/glue might be enough to keep it together as well as not allowing housing for microscopic critters. Also, the (MM) initials carved on the other side could be sanded down. The oxidization at the base of the ferrule leads me to believe that stuff's gotten in there. The plan would have been to carefully remove the existing handle and reuse the ferrule. maybe a different wood. I guess i haven't seen many (any?) nogent style rehandles even though many people seem to find the grip very comfortable. There might be good reason for that. It would be my first attempt.
    I'd love to see other members' nogent rehandles or hear of their experiences rehandling, nogent style...
    Epoxy is the solution to half the worlds problems. ;-) It is a permanent fix for any wooden handle. You can get high quality laminating epoxies on ebay relatively cheap, store it I the freezer and it will last more than a decade for sure.

    Rick

  10. #10
    Senior Member Geo87's Avatar
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    Nice find , a little jealous ... Don't think ill have much chance in an antique store in Australia
    There's always eBay but its not the same

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