Solingen Steel

The Civil War era Model 1840 sword of Major S.V. Holliday by Peter D. Luneschloss together with his walking stick

p4A ItemID E8878782
A German or Austrian swept hilt rapier sword

p4A ItemID F7993289
A Confederate Presentation Model 1840 US Cavalry Officer's Sword and Scabbard

p4A ItemID F7976782
A Henry Boker US Model 1860 Cavalry Saber inscribed Solingen

p4A ItemID F7972972

Solingen Steel

For centuries, this small town in Germany has been turning out the highest quality knives and cutlery. Some time in the 16th century, artisans in this small German town began creating high quality blades. Four hundred years later, he name Solingen stamped on a blade is still the mark of a quality product.


Solingen- A Short History of a Small Town

Solingen was first chartered in 1374, but has been an entity much longer than that when the Romans founded the city of Cologne 20 miles up the Rhine River from Solingen. The town had the natural resources and geographical features required to make it a center of blade manufacturing; lush forests provided an unlimited supply of wood for charcoal, local creeks and streams rich in deposits of iron ore, and proximity to the mighty Rhine River, which eventually made it possible to ship to customers all over the world. In the early years, the proximity of the wealthy and thriving city of Cologne provided a ready marketplace for Solingen Steel blades.


Cologne Swords

In the beginning, the finished blades were shipped to Cologne where skilled artisans added beautifully crafted handles and sheaths. The finished product was sold locally, in fact, area rulers deemed that Solingen blades could be sold only in Cologne, and though even the earliest blades were usually stamped with the Solingen name, the finished products were known as “Cologne Swords.” The Thiry Years War (1618-1648) took its toll on the knife industry in Solingen. Some of her most talented craftsmen emigrated to France, Russia, America, and especially to England, where, by the mid-eighteenth century, knife makers in Sheffield had taken over as industry leader.


Peter Daniel Peres

The Solingen blade makers were organized into guilds that had restricted membership, and the industry was tightly controlled by the local aristocracy. In 1805, a cutlery trader named Peter Daniel Peres applied to Duke Maximillian for permission to manufacture fine pen knives, which were not being produced, and therefore not subject to strict guild rules barring competition.


Solingen Pen Knives and Kitchen Cutlery

Sill sought after today, high quality Solingen pen knives and kitchen cutlery are sold by a variety of manufacturers including:

Pen & Sheath Knives
Boker
Eickorn
German Bull
Hen & Rooster
Huburtus
Mercator
Puma
Robert Klaas

Kitchen Cutlery:
Henckels
Forschner
Messemeister
Wusthof

-By p4A Contributing Editor Susan Cramer.

Reference: Levine’s Guide to Knives & Their Values The Complete Book of Knife Collecting Fifth Edition by Bernard Levine, Krause Publications, 2001


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