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Nontron Boxwood Ball End Ferrule Box Wood Lock Knife - NON25BO
Nontron Boxwood Oyster Shucking Knife - NONOYSTER
Nontron Custom Ebony Ball End Ferrule Lock Knife - NON25BOEBC
Nontron Custom Ebony Ball End Ferrule Lock Knife - NON25BOROC
Nontron Ebony Ball End Ferrule Lock Knife - NON25BOEB
Nontron Ebony Double Ferrule Lock Knife - NON25DVEB
Nontron Large Violin Folding Pocket Knife - NONPP
Nontron Medium Violin Pocket Knife - NONP3V
Nontron Navette No.38 Three Part Pocket Knife - NONNA38
Nontron Navette No.68 Six Part Pocket Knife - NONNA68
Nontron Small Clog Folding Pocket Knife - NON12
Nontron Tiny Clog Pocket Knife - NON10
Nontron Tiny Miniature Boxwood Knife - NONCNX
Nontron Turning Ferrule Carp Tail Knife - NON25QC
Nontron Turning Ferrule Clog Pocket Knife - NON25
Nontron Walnut Shell Case for NONCNX Mini knife - NONNX
Nontron knives have a unique look and style that set them apart from any other French knife.
They are recognized as one of the oldest and most traditional French knives.
Nontron is the name of a town in the France's Perigord (Dordogne) region. This namesake town is where the knives developed and have been produced for 500 years!
The way the Nontron knife is crafted today is nearly identical to the way it was made in the Fifteenth Century - individual craftsmen using their own hand tools to create a work of art.
The Nontron factory is a tiny building housing a small number of craftsmen and antique tools. It is the oldest continuously operating cutlery forge in France.
Each Nontron knife is a work of art created by one of only six artisan knife-makers. The blade is forged and not stamped, then carefully tempered in the iron rich water of the Perigord.
The boxwood used for the handles of Nontron knives is cut only in the immediate region and allowed to air dry for at least five years before being cut, shaped and finished as a handle.
Each Nontron knife is hand decorated with a circle of pyrograved figures of ancient and unknown significance.
This from the Nontron Company:
In the Perigord region of Southwestern France, Coutellerie Nontronnoise manufactures Frances oldest knife, NONTRON.
Born on the banks of the mineral-rich Bandiat river and from ancient steel works surrounding the tiny village of Nontron, these knives have been hand-made for more than 600 years.
Far beyond the Christian Era, Perigord was known throughout Western Europe for its superb steel. The ancient Gauls developed the first forges here, in the hills of Azat-en Nontronnais. Tradition relates that the sword of Charles VII was forged and finished in the village of Nontron.
During the middle ages, Parisian cutlery makers visited Nontron to improve their art. Members of the trade guild of knifemakers came from all over France to study technique in Nontron.
On October 13th 1653, Guillaume le Grand, Saint-Eustache cutlery master of Paris, was married in Nontron and made the village his home. Following this example, many master cutlers from other regions of France settled in this small Perigord town.
By 1788, thirty-nine artisan knife-makers populated the Perigord region. Five of the best worked in Nontron. In addition to their conventional knife fabrication, these five cutlers were known for fashioning mini-knives, which were presented in walnut or hazelnut shells. Early on the Twentieth Century, following their example, a woman knife maker from Nontron fashioned 154 minuscule folding knives which fit in a hollow cherry pit.
Always appreciated in the Perigord region, the reputation of the Nontron knives began to spread throughout France. In Normandy, the novelist La Varende wrote of knives from Nontron and luxury models were made for Aristocrats and middle-class people.
In 1905, there were only two artisan knife-makers in Nontron: Mr. Bernard and Mr. Petit.
In 1928, Mr Jean Petit and Mr. Louis Barry created S.a.r.l. Coutellerie Nontronnaise.
In 1931, Mr. Alphonse Chaperon bought Coutellerie Nontronnaise, then left it to his son.
In 1986, Coutellerie Nontonnaise became S.a.r.l. Francois Devige-Bernard Faye.
And finally, in 1992, FORGE DE LAGUIOLE bought Coutellerie Nontronnaise.
Today at Nontron...
In 2001, Coutellerie Nontronnaise moved into a contemporary factory designed by Luc Arsene-Henry, a friend of Philippe STARCK. The new building has an earth sheltered roof, mixed wood and stainless steel facades (the materials of the handle and the blade of Nontron Knives) and a superb view of the Bandiat Valley.
As always, methods and techniques in use today remain virtually identical to those employed since the Fifteenth Century. The blade of each knife is forged. Each handle is hand-shaped from 40 to 50 year old boxwood which has been air dried for at least 4 years. And each handle is hand decorated with ancient wood-burned figures. Over time, a boxwood handle develops a pleasing amber patina distinguishing it from all other knives.
As an enduring bridge spanning more than six centuries of craftmanship, Nontron knives are a living example of man's original tool. The Oldest knife. NONTRON.
Please take a look at our growing selection of Nontron knives.