Solingen Steel

A M89 Prussian Infantry Officer's Sword

p4A ItemID F7943438
A Model 1840 light artillery sword with scabbard stamped S & K

p4A ItemID F7943201
An Eichorn Solingen German Nazi officer's dagger with scabbard

p4A ItemID F7942891
An Import High Grade U.S. Model 1850 Foot Officer's Sword Attributed to Lt. Monroe

p4A ItemID F7938236

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
German Bull
Hen & Rooster
Robert Klaas

Kitchen Cutlery:

-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

About This Site

Internet Antique Gazette is brought to you by Prices4Antiques.