... The Couteau à grimaces ...

Here is a piece about which we can say that its name suits it well. A very enigmatic name for a knife which is no less. Probably made for the circle of acquaintances of the King in the second half of the XVIIIth century, by a master cutler who has remained anonymous, this knife called " with grimaces " belongs to the long tradition of knives with secrets whose principle is as simple as its making is complicated; once the knife is opened, it turns out it is impossible to fold it normally, unless you know the Sesame, the key which will release the lock mechanism.
During centuries a lot of master cutlers have tried the art of the knife with secrets and very few really have managed to conceive and make a reliable but most of all perfectly unsuspected mechanism. This knife with grimaces is one of the very rare that we were able to study and which combines these two characteristics to which we have to add a third one, perfectly visible this time, its grace being timeless. The richness of the luxurious ornaments of the gold damascening (a technique of inlaying gold into iron) on the tanned steel of the bolsters and the spring underlines the obvious fluidity of the lines. The design is so purified that it could easily been taken for a beautiful futuristic creation if proposed by a contemporary designer …
To make the first copy we were able to have the original, a unique piece, during a whole year and we did not hesitate to test it by presenting it to numerous knife lovers and collectors, but none of them ever found the secret permitting to fold the blade, and all of them without exception, after many minutes of thinking and many attempts eventually, gave the knife back to us, unwillingly showing a "grimacing" face as they did so… Two and a half centuries after its birth and after having probably passed through thousands of hands, this extraordinary piece still held the part for which it had been created that is to amuse, to divert, to surprise, and consequently to create links, to make people meet by introducing beauty and poetry into the life of those who have had it in their hands. It was the case during its long stay at our workshop and it is the role of the two replicas we have made. We hope that they will accompany the words of Cocteau for a long time and that through their existence they will make "the living tradition appears everywhere".
Lenght open : 27.5 cm, closed : 15 cm