Antique 19th century Native American Crooked Knife With Trade Blade By Frederick Reynolds Sheffield
Antique second half of the 19th century Native American Crooked Knife.
The trade steel blade of typical curve shape is stamped by the maker “Frederick Reynolds Sheffield” is sleeved within the antler handle secured to the tang of the blade by two iron rivets.
Frederick Reynolds (1814-1877) was born at Derby, but had moved to Sheffield by 1841, when he was enumerated in the Census as a razor maker working at Sims Croft. This was a backstreet near the parish church (now the Cathedral). A later advertisement dated Reynolds’ firm from 1830. By 1851, he was well-established as a razor manufacturer at School Croft and employed eight men and three boys. In about 1860, he moved to Gell Street and had a workforce of fifteen men. In the 1870s, the address was Monmouth Lane, with Reynolds and his family living in Monmouth Street. He died on 22 October 1877,
Crooked knife blades were some of the earliest trade goods brought to North America from Europe by the Hudson’s Bay Company. They were used by both labourers and Indigenous peoples throughout the fur trade era, continuing while the HBC transitioned into retail.
Blades were easy to ship in large quantities from England due to their small size. After receiving their blades, users would make handles in various styles out of wood, bone, or whatever other materials were readily available to them.
Named for the slight angle of the blade to the handle, crooked knives are one-handed drawknives used to carve various objects out of wood, including canoes and paddles, and to hollow out wooden bowls and ladles. The carver draws the blade toward the body and, by doing so, shaves off pieces of wood. Crooked knives could also be used to skin and to cut up deer and other game.
Overall length: 20.5 cm (8.7 inches)
Length of the blade: 9.5 cm (3.74 inches)
CONDITION: In untouched original condition with natural aged patina.