Long steel knife with ivory handle and silver edging, by Charrière, Paris, 1820-1865

Made:
1820-1865 in Paris
maker:
Charrière

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Long knife, steel blade, ivory handle with silver edging, by Charriere of Paris, from Charriere, Collin and Gentile collection, c. 1840

The purpose of this large knife is uncertain. Most probably it was used to showcase the maker’s skill and workmanship in manipulating both metal and ivory. It may well have formed part of a shop window display. Joseph-Frédéric Benoît Charrière (1803-76) was a Swiss surgical instrument based in Paris at a time when specialist surgical instrument makers were emerging.

He was an innovator who suggested many designs and improvements for instruments. In 1865, Charrière decided to sell his successful company to two of his pupils, including Adolphe Collin who renamed the company Collin & Company. In 1930 the company became Charrière, Collin and Gentile. The company’s collections were sold at auction in 1978, where this object was purchased.

Details

Category:
Surgery
Object Number:
A611762
Materials:
ivory, silver and steel (chromium-plated)
Measurements:
blade: 435 mm
type:
knife
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
credit:
Drouot