The term ‘art’ can be applied quite liberally to a number of everyday objects that would otherwise be disassociated from the idea completely. There are vehicles that have the classification, walls, canvases, gardens and even knives. The definition requires the crafting or creation to have some sort of a unique and dedicated ethic fueling it in our opinion. Laguiole knives have this distinction, not only in their look, but in their execution.
Fred Perret from Laguiole French Knives is certainly a proprietor of the artful form of handcrafted knives that illicit a notion of art when you look at them. They have an incredible hilt, look, feel, and style that stems from the materials to the traditional process.
From Bees To Bonnet
The definition present on the more authentic examples of a Laguiole Knife is in the engraving and weight of the product itself, the weighted feel of the blade is a sure-fire mark that is present in the top-tier examples and more traditional examples of the product.
The bee symbol that is present on the authentic knives are hard to replicate without craftsmanship and oftentimes you’ll find forgeries with a glued on and falsified knock-off. The symbol is in and of itself a work of art when executed properly. Legend has it that the bee is a Napoleonic imperial symbol bestowed upon citizens of Laguiole which is attributed to their courage and services rendered to the emperor at the time.
This is why the subtle art of authenticity is vital for determining a true Laguiole knife from a detractor, oftentimes this symbol is filed and crafted to the finest detail before being fitted by hand into the knife.
Authenticity In The Process
The artform is not only a stylistic attribute, but a mark of authenticity, we’ve already established to vital importance for ensuring the bee symbol is well established and filed correctly. The engravings themselves are a testament to the authenticity as well as the artistic value of the knife in question. The ‘guillochage’ as it’s known is the pattern and a testament to the craftsmen that crafts it delicately into the spring or spine of the blade. There are many who will be able to determine the authenticity of a blade by these particular, yet beautiful additions.
This process is all-important, as the handcrafted nature of the blade is sewn into the traditional heritage of the blade itself, one cannot separate itself from the other. This is why people like Fred Perret are so important with keeping traditions alive. His company will deal with backorders for the foreseeable, and its highly recommended that they receive the support from true collectors, as they craft by hand, and keep the art handcrafted.