Saturday, May 31, 2008
The PA German butcher knife, obviously a trade or presentation piece, ca. 1790-1800 and recently found under a stair riser in an old house in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Possibly made by Peter Angstadt of Rockland? Much of the symbolism found hereupon remains, as yet, inexplicable. Blade is 11" in length and is quite unique as it is forged of 19th century iron which was experimentally converted to steel. A least, it seems like a success! Blade is very springy and tough and through the years of age there is a distinctive 'streaky' appearance to the steel which is fascinating. Full tang, 3/16" thick at butt and full-length taper out to approx. 1/16" at point. Brass bolster and pins, plain rock maple haft with regionally characteristic ink striping and residual red varnish.
This is Kettenburg's latest effort in creating works that could have been or should have been. The histories of the pieces that he creates are every bit as interesting as the creations themselves.
Photos by Eric Kettenburg.