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Forge de Laguiole

SOM B BRI

http://www.forge-de-laguiole.com/en/


Appreciated by connoisseurs, this Laguiole Sommelier was created in collaboration with professional sommeliers. Its ergonomics, its elegance and its efficiency earned this sommelier the ‘Prix Design Plus (the Design Plus award)’ in Frankfurt, Germany.



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$340.00

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CorkscrewsSommeliers

http://www.forge-de-laguiole.com/en/

THE WINE AND LAGUIOLE

Appreciated by connoisseurs, this Laguiole Sommelier was created in collaboration with professional sommeliers. Its ergonomics, its elegance and its efficiency earned this sommelier the ‘Prix Design Plus (the Design Plus award)’ in Frankfurt, Germany.

  • The corkscrew turns of 5 threaded allows optimal penetration into the cap.
  • The support piece, made in foundry, whose operating principle is patented, is very strong and supports heavy use.
  • The blade can be traditional (and also adapt for the left) or be finished micro gear and a bottle opener.
  • The bee, symbolic seal of Laguiole is deliberately unclettered to preserve the line.

Hand made from horn, bone, cork, aluminum and a wide variety of woods. Each model is customized. Leather case included.

The origin of the Laguiole knife

L'origine du couteau de Laguiole

The ancestor of the Laguiole : 
a small blade with a simple wooden handle


The early blacksmiths of Laguiole called the original knife the "capuchadou", a multitool knife used by peasants of the Aubrac plateau. The blade of the knife was pointed and the handle made from oak or boxwood. 

1829: the first Laguiole folding knives

Casimir-Antoine Moulin is the first cutler-blacksmith to set up shop in Laguiole.

 

 

Monsieur Glaize sets up his cutlery and forge in rue du Valat, in Laguiole.

The first folding knife produced in Laguiole in the 1820's was the Laguiole Droit, the straight Laguiole, a knife without a decorated bee and with a forced notch. The handle was made from bone or ivory, and finished in the shape of a bird's beak. The blade had a "bourbonnaise" shape with a centred point. The model was made in Laguiole until 1900.

 

 

1840: an awl was added to the basic Laguiole

As time goes by, Pierre-Jean Calmels perfects his technique and soon introduces the folding knife, adding in 1840 an awl in response to the needs of shepherds and livestock farmers.

Between 1850 and 1860 the current shape of the Laguiole appears and becomes gradually refined. The blade curves up slightly in the Yatagan style and the handle has an elegant shape. 

 

Since the 1820's

All the knife-makers of Laguiole forged the blades and the springs of their knives by hand. The steel came from the Pyrenees and the Tarn region.

"In the past, the forge was located in the back shop. The blades were sharpened on a small grindstone pulled by a dog. The blades were tempered in the volcanic cold waters of «La Violette» (a local spring) to harden them. The knives were assembled in the light of day at the front of the workshop. Each workshop employed at that time between 5 and 7 workers in extremely cramped premises. The knives made in Laguiole during that period were full handle models made from Aubrac cow horn or bone, plentiful materials in the area, or from ivory for more precious knives."

Christian Lemasson, The History of the Laguiole Knife

 

1880: the Laguiole becomes a sommelier

In 1880, the Laguiole knife has a third piece added: the corkscrew. This was due to the sale of wine in bottles in urban society, but also in response to the request by the people of Aveyron who had left to find work in the cafés of Paris. Café owners and waiters were to remain loyal to their traditions, and were proud to use their 3-piece knife for customers in the capital. 

 

1900: the Laguiole is gentrified

The springs are decorated for the first time. The bee is sculpted with a flower motif, and the back of the spring is decorated with alternating triangular patterns. The Laguiole knives are shaped and decorated entirely by hand, using a file.

In 1900, Laguiole knife-manufacturing is at its highest level and 30 people are employed in the forges of Laguiole.

The same year, at the Universal Exhibition in Paris the knifemakers Pagès and Calmels are awarded a Médaille d’Or (gold medal). In the space of 10 years, the Laguiole knifemakers were to be honored with around 20 medals in recognition of the quality of their knives.

 

 

 

In 1909 the first bee appears instead of the floral motif. The ivory handles are carved and sculpted in various forms, including horse's hooves, rattlesnake tails, butterflies, ram's heads and clovers. New knives appeared during the Edwardian and Art Nouveau periods, their handles made from ivory and carved in the shape of the heads of people such as Napoleon, Joan of Arc and Venus. Certain models had a pattern of engraved flowers which required extremely fine carving.

 

The First World War (1914-1918) leads to the disappearance of the cutleries in Laguiole. From the end of the war, a proportion of the Laguiole knives are produced in Thiers.

From the 1960's Laguiole's customers - largely agricultural workers  are in decline, the production of handmade knives is minimal and, by the beginning of the 1980's, knife-manufacture in Laguiole has almost ceased to exist.

1987: the return of Laguiole knives to Aubrac

In 1985, a group of Laguiole enthusiasts from the Aubrac plateau create the conditions for the return of Laguiole knife manufacture to its birthplace. The renaissance of the Forge de Laguiole becomes a reality in 1987.

Traditions and legends

L'origine de l'abeille du couteau Laguiole

To bee or not to bee?

If you happen to go through the Aubrac region of France, go up to one of the herds of Aubrac cows. Look them straight in the eye and you’ll almost certainly see a few Aubrac flies – pretty, all things considered, and fairly gentle too.  Is it a bee or a fly on the Laguiole knife? The story makes for interesting reading.

L'abeille de Laguiole

The Laguiole knife has traditionally been given as a gift, preciously held on to or handed down. From generation to generation, and from friend to friend - in exchange for a coin so as not to break the friendship. In the process a whole series of memories are passed from pocket to pocket, and from imagination to imagination.

 

Where the fly came from


The Laguiole knife used to have a so-called “mouche”, which translates as “fly” but is known as the bee. The bee was the small piece of triangular or oval-shaped metal, sometimes with a ring, which you needed to push up to allow the blade to close.

Today, on the forced notch of the Laguiole, the bee no longer has a functional role. But it is still there as a decoration, as a testament to the technical feature of its origins.

Whether it represents a fly or bee remains a mystery.

 

 

One thing’s for sure though: not all the bees on knives were in the shape of bees. Some were in the form of a human face, or a four-leaf clover, a scallop (carried by pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela which goes through the Aubrac region), or a simple bee without any design. On some knives there was no bee at all.  

 

   

 

 

The origins of the bee

Legend has it that Napoleon I allowed the inhabitants of Laguiole to have a bee on the village’s coat of arms to reward them for their bravery. There is, however, no written record to confirm the legend. And it’s rather unlikely, as at the time of the French Empire the people of the Aveyron were known for their opposition to military service.

 

 

 

According to another legend Napoleon III was said to have granted use of the bee, although this can also be refuted.

 

Another explanation comes from an adaptation of the local language, Langue d’Oc.

But one thing is certain: the first bee only appeared on a Laguiole knife at the beginning of 1909.

 

 

The shepherd's cross

 

Legend also has it that shepherds used to plant the blade of their knife in their bread. As the knife stood up vertically it made the shape of a cross with the bread, which provided them with a focus for their prayer.  

 

When can a Laguiole knife be given as a gift?

 

According to custom, any object used for cutting cannot be given as a gift as it will cut the friendship – or the love – between giver and receiver.  

To ward off such bad luck, or simply to follow tradition, the person who receives a Laguiole knife must offer a gift of a coin in exchange. Not any coin will do: it has to be the lowest value coin they have on them, to show that the money is not important.

 

A role in day-to-day family life

Traditionally, when the grandfather of the family unfolded his knife the meal could commence. Children were to be quiet, and the grandmother served the meal. When the knife was closed, the meal was over. The people round the table returned to work, the children could speak and play again and the grandmother could clear the table.

The inspiration behind the «boot» model

 

A Laguiole knife-maker was said to have lifted his wife’s skirts and found inspiration for this knife, whose handle is modeled on his wife’s leg…

When could you give a knife to a child?

 

A child was given a knife when he was old enough to look after the most precious thing on the farm – the herd of cows. The knife was used widely in daily life on the Aubrac plateau.

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Sommelier Horn

Sommelier Horn

http://www.forge-de-laguiole.com/en/


Appreciated by connoisseurs, this Laguiole Sommelier was created in collaboration with professional sommeliers. Its ergonomics, its elegance and its efficiency earned this sommelier the ‘Prix Design Plus (the Design Plus award)’ in Frankfurt, Germany.



Write a review

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