history of Laguiole knife

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the Laguiole club

History of the Laguiole knife

Cutlery appeared in Lagiuole in late XVIIIth century. It became famous from 1860.
The village got 5 knife-makers.
The following names Pages, Calmels, Mas and Gleize can be found.

The handmade knives made in Laguiole were on the whole very similar to the Yssingeaux model. The knife depicted below may be considered the ancestor of the Laguiole knives we know today.
old Laguiole knife model
                                          Laguiole Knife of collection.
          Handle is constituted by the extremity of a very white ivory defence.
                                             Made towards 1950.

As in the other parts of France, local cutlers couldn't manage to satisfy customers' needs.
So, they asked help from the Thiers factories who could fabricate for them, with their mark.
For nearly 50 years the fabrication stopped entirely in Laguiole.
But the Thiers cutlers went on producing them.

In 1985, the people of Aveyron re-settled a factory in Laguiole.
The French designer Philippe Starck drew the knife again and gave it a sharp blade of the Yatagan style.
Success was immediate. The french knife itself gets its legend.
The cross which adorns the handle is supposed to help the lonely shepherds in their “burons” to pray.

The town of Laguiole claimed the exclusive making of this knife on the place.
Thiers didn’t accept, arguing that  the cutlery capital had contributed to save and develop the french knife
for about one hundred years.
The quarrel is now extincted. The cutlers of both towns make different models of Laguiole in good partnership.
Laguiole is not a mark. Legally speaking, the name of a town can’t be protected.

Dealers use the name of Laguiole to sell copies of Laguiole knives.
The imported knives are cheap and of bad quality.
French cutlers do not manufacture derived products. They exclusively  craft cutlery.  Laguiole cutlery is sold with a guarantee.