... The Couteau d’amis ...

The folding knives of the XVIIIth century were totally symbolic of the intellectual, cultural and artistic seething which reigned in France throughout this century. The Friend’s knife is one of the most beautiful jewels of that period. At first because it required from the master cutlers a lot of dexterity and know-how in order to be perfectly made. Then because it is the perfect symbol of the fraternity between people, one of three concepts, with those of freedom and equality, which presided over the early days of the French Revolution. Fashionable under Louis XV, this luxury knife followed the aristocrats and the nobility people in their trips. Combining two knives in one thanks to a shrewd system of tenons and slides, the Friend’s knife allowed his owner to offer one half to one chosen person for the time of a meal. The knife thus shared is transformed at the same moment into one invite to conversation; thanks to it, we can discover the others without really noticing it. The knife, often the symbol of mistrust and aggressiveness, then becomes a cement between the people, the occasion to meet, the one thanks to which we speak to each other to know each other better.
It seems to us that at the beginning of this millennium these simple, but essential values, because they were founders of our society, seem really abandoned; their deep meaning has somehow gone a little bit astray. Quite as in the XVIIIth century, these notions are fundamental for a society which would like to build a future where man in his variety will have his place. The Friend’s knife is a message of love, a lesson of fraternity which comes from the past to help us better live the present. In this respect, it is striking to notice with which constancy the story repeats itself. The Friend’s knife which we make today is the exact replica of the original. The persons who buy it appreciate to take it to the restaurant to put it in real conditions. They take it out of their pocket, conspicuously, share it in two and begin to have dinner. Almost immediately questions from the nearest tables start to burst forth, and the owners tell again the story of the Friend’s knife. Centuries away, the same object produces the same effects. Its simple presence, by arousing curiosity, breaks the indifference and invites people to speak to each other, to know each other. We are often told this and we were able to experiment it ourselves on some occasions. We then think of the master cutlers of the XVIIIth who invented this magnificent object. They would be doubtless surprised to notice with which elegance and obstinacy their knife, the real embodiment of the humanist inspiration of its century, knows still today as yesterday, how to propagate their message of fraternity.
Lenght open : 21 cm, closed : 11 cm