I don't normally go into antique shops, because they normally sell a lot of old tat... But I did today and was very happy to find those, which I promptly bought, quite cheap too...
That "chopper" for want of a better name, has a 10" blade, 16" overall. it's really nice to hold, 1/4" thick tapering to about 1mm at the tip, round Oak handle with a through tang. Very nice. I am going to sharpen it and make a nice leather sheath for it!
Does anyone know that name? Was it a good maker? It certainly looks and feel very nice.
And this nice sheep shears, made by Rob Sorby. Sorby is still going, they make carving tools (unless it's another sorby) 6"blades and the thing is still quite sharp and easily cut paper, and that's before I sharpen the blades! This is going to become a couple of knives...I think... I rather like it as it is at the moment!
I don't think they are particularly old, but I am very pleased with them!
And, they had a couple of nice little hatchets in that shop... I'll be going back there veryyyy soon...
Does that chopper say Smithfield on it?Butchers knife prehaps(smithfield market in London..)I have a butchers saw by the same maker.Loads of google hits for that name.Those shears are nice.Out of the hundreds ive ever seen those are the only ones with a spring like that.most unusual.The blades would have been made from shear steel.
Shears are almost certainly sheep shears. My Dad has a pair and I've seen them being used on TV a few times. The spring is a bit different to the usual simple circular bend as they appear to have an inner element. They make good cutters for grass if a little tiring for small hands. Remember being made to edge my parents lawn once with a pair. That included cutting bits the mower never reached and also cutting those tough grass seed stalks that the mower often failed to cut if they grow to high between mowings. Anyway they were sharp, cut well but some can take some pressure to use them which as a kid left me with a knackered hand / wrist. I reckon I earnt that punishment or perhaps I earnt the rewared. Can't remember why I had to do it just what it was like.
Anyhow, they make good shears and would be a shame to bastardise a good pair and especially a pair with an interesting variation on the more common design. Not that I'm trying to influence you.
I would have thought the Smithfield explanation is the one as it looks like a proper old fashioned butchers knife. I remember seeing some really old school butchers using such knives. Big, bone cutting knives. I'm sure the balance you described is important to butchering. there is / was a proper butchers near high/low Newton IIRC in a building a little up from the old road before the byepass. They bought rare breed animals from farmers in the area and took them to a nearby farmer's field to fatten up (for example with cattle) then they travel a very few miles to the back door of the building and butchered there and then. You went into the shop and could get any cut you wanted. They would do it out back on a fresh carcass if they haven't got it already prepared. Not for the squeamish as the door from the back of the shop lead to a corridor and on to another door to a room with drainage channels cut in the concrete floor. I only went there a few times but I saw through both sets of doors both times as people came through them and seen on both occasions a butcher in whites washing down the floor with a hose. Bloody mess is was. I'm sure I saw one carrying a knife that sort of size and shape. Don't know why I remembered that. Good looking knife, utilitarian
Hi Nigel. How are you, mate? It does indeed. Part of the name is missing, but there is enough so you can make it out. So it's a knife rather than the woodworking tool is was sold as! I liked the look of the thing and thought it looked a bit unusual. Do you think the handle would be an original shape? I am pretty sure it's not an original handle, it looks too new for that, but it also looks more like a woodworking tool handle to me.
As to the shears, Paul, now I found out a bit more about it, I don't think I am going to do anything to it! It's still sharp although a bit ragged, so I am going to sharpen it a bit and keep it as it is, but not keep them as drawer queens, I like to use my tools.
I can see it would be tiring to use for long periods, probably caused you some sort of repetitive strain injuries. Thanks for the memories.
Jojo - I was about 8 or 9 at the time. I'd like to think I could use it for longer now but it certainly isn't a strimmer or hedge trimmer it will take effort. Of course don't keep tools a drawer queens. It is an offence to the manufacturer and the worker who made it IMHO. Use it but please don't get caught by the farmer, they might not appreciate you chasing their sheep to give them a shear. Although in some parts of Cumbria the farmers have stopped shearing because it costs more to get them sheared than the wool will make so if you are any good with them perhaps you could help them out. Of course it might be easier to use them on a bit of hedge topiary. I wonder if anyone has ever cut their hedge into the shape of a good knife or Gransfor axe or some other favourite tool. I've seen squirrels, chickens even elephants but nothing bushy related. There's a challenge Jojo.