Sharp Pointy Objects!

We went to an awesome outdoor antiques show yesterday, and as I was perusing all the goodies I mentioned to Chris that I needed to find something to use in place of my X-Acto knife when doing historic demonstrations. For years, I’ve used an excellent pair of Gingher reproduction scissors that I purchased at Williamsburg, but when doing the fine work that requires a knife, I’ve snuck out that shiny metal X-Acto and my box of blades and hoped nobody would see me being so farbish. So, thus began our several hour search through the jewelry cases they keep such things in at antique shows! Not having done recent research about the types of knives they would have used for such work, we first thought of finding a ladies’ pen knife, and went searching for something sturdy and with the right sort of blade. We talked to several dealors, and learned that we needed to make sure we looked for a steel blade instead of a silver one, since silver wouldn’t hold an edge. We found a beautiful tiny pen knife that fit the bill as far as the blades went, but screamed “late Victorian” in design. One dealor showed us surgical lancets from the 18th century, but they were very tiny, and nothing held the blades in a fixed position. However, the “surgical” idea took hold, so we went searching in that direction… and we found the sharp pointy object shown here below my scissors…

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We thought it was a surgical scalpel of some sort, definitely 1800’s, but it looked like I might even be able to stretch it to early American uses if need be. However, upon returning home and pulling out my favorite resource for reenacting as an artist…

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(Living History: Drawing on the Past, by Cathy Johnson)

I found this exciting news…

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It’s the exact same thing, right down to the little do-thingy engraved below the blade! It’s a quill cutter, probably from the late 1800’s (if I go by when Rodgers & Son built their factory in Sheffield), but not too fancy so it won’t attract a lot of “out of period” attention. At least not as much as a shiny knife from the craft store!

Now to see if we can sharpen this little thing to a very impressive point!

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