Pocket knife with 314 blades, manufactured in 1991 by Hans Meister, St Gallen, for the Guinness Book of Records 1992.
Knife with blade in Damascus steel. It is produced by complicated procedures of fusing different materials (iron/steel) in several layers so that they combine the positive attributes of each - hardness and flexibility.
The "Swiss dagger" is a short dagger with a double-edged blade and a crossguard. It was part of the equipment of Swiss mercenaries from the 15th century onwards. After 1550 it became a decorative weapon and a status symbol.
Flint-striker knife with handles of animal bone. This tool combines two of the oldest human activities: cutting and striking fire.
Drude's knife with crosses, moons, sun and stars, Germany. This knife was stuck into the ceiling of a living room or into the door frame of the stable, or placed in a crib or bed to prevent drudes from entering. Drudes (also called Toggeli in Switzerland) are malicious elf-like beings that appear in various forms, sit on the chests of human beings and cause nightmares or shortness of breath.
Dagger with buckhorn handle, Henry Hodson, Britain.
Late Gothic pocket knife.
Sardinian knife, with handles made of a boar's tooth, 1950.
Drude's knife with inscription: "A farmer is the first man who can satisfy our hunger". Germany, 1867.
The Friedberg cutlery set is a traveller's cutlery set with a folding knife, which originated in the former imperial city of Friedberg in Hesse, Germany.
Farmer's knife with awl for stitching up potato sacks.
Coltello d'amore (knife of love). This was a gift Italian couples gave each other when they were engaged. Its aim was to give the future husband courage and confidence and to remind him to be faithful. The handle, which was usually made of black buffalo horn with light "eyes", was supposed to guard and protect the owner. After the wedding the knife was hung over the marital bed.
Swiss soldier knife, first type 1891, black wooden handles, Elsener.
French revolver knife, 1890.
Victorinox: Swiss Champ, classical pocket knife with 33 functions.
Knives that have proved they are a cut above the rest.
This content was published on July 13, 2009 - 07:43
The Forum of Swiss History in the central city of Schwyz has put on a fascinating exhibition devoted to pocket knives. As part of celebrations marking the 125th anniversary of Victorinox - makers of the Swiss Army Knife - it shows knives in many variations and explains how they were used. (Pictures: Swiss National Museum)
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