Mother Of Pearl Pocket Knife

In a time when it was unthinkable for a man to leave the house without his hat, it was just as unthinkable to leave without a pocket knife. Small, lightweight and high quality pocket knives were also called gentlemen’s knives and fit perfectly in the pocket of a suit, trousers or even a dress shirt.

Antique mother of pearl knife, closed

Mother of pearl pocket knife by Landers, Frary & Clark, New Britain, Connecticut.

A gentlemen’s knife wasn’t for the right tool for a farmer or someone working in the outdoors. It wasn’t much help to skin a buffalo or even a jack rabbit. But for the urban dweller they were a perfect little multifunctional utensil. In a time when most household items were still mechanical, a small knife was often all you needed to get them working again.

Antique mother of pearl knife, opened

Mother of pearl pocket knife, opened, by Landers, Frary & Clark, New Britain, Connecticut.

The handle is made of mother of pearl, the inner layer of shell. This rather precious material suggests that this knife was a Sunday, rather than an any day – choice.

Antique mother of pearl knife, hinge detail

Detail of hinge, mother of pearl pocket knife by Landers, Frary & Clark, New Britain, Connecticut.

This knife is made by Landers, Frary & Clark, New Britain, Connecticut, a company founded in 1853. In its beginnings, Landers, Frary & Clark produced cutlery, scissors and other hardware. In 1908, the company started producing kitchen appliances and over the next 50 years became one of this industry’s mayor players. Facing bankruptcy in 1965, Landers, Frary & Clark was purchased by General Electric. The company name was discontinued.

Antique mother of pearl knife, side view.

Mother of pearl pocket knife, view of the side, by Landers, Frary & Clark, New Britain, Connecticut.

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