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Nogent identification.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Found this super long slicer The only marks are in the second picture. I have seen Some Sabatier Nogents but not this type.


Where does it lie in the Sabatier legacy?






post #2 of 14

I'm not familiar with the I-B marque. 


The knife is stainless, and by definition is not a "Nogent," in the same way the discovered Nogents sold by T-I Sabatier are.  That is, it doesn't have the prewar history.


There is a knife maker called "Nogent," based in Nogent, France.  But it is not a Sabatier, does not make Sabatier styled knives and has a different marque. 


The marking itself looks crude. 


It does have the prewar handle style, though.  I'm guessing that the knife was made OEM for a particular seller and the marque is particular to the seller, or that the maker uses a lot of different marques. 


As a couple of general rules:  There are a lot of Sabatiers, a lot of Sabatier production outside of France, a lot of licensed imitators outside of France, and a lot of unlicensed imitators outside of France.  If the knife doesn't say "Made in France," it probably wasn't.  If the knife isn't marked as Sabatier in any recognizable way it probably isn't. 


A slicer that long is (almost always) particularly intended for for cutting smoked-salmon or ham on a buffet. 


While the style reminds us of those wonderful, pre-war carbons, it isn't one.  Your knife has no obvious history, and as "just a knife," is no better or worse than it feels in your hand and no better or worse than it gets and keeps sharp.  In its current condition, it's worth less than $20 best case, and worth less than $10 without "Made in France" ID.



Edited by boar_d_laze - 12/3/12 at 7:47am
post #3 of 14

That could be "HB", not I-B.  I've seen that marking on scissors but know nothing else about it.

post #4 of 14

Could be an HB.  However, I think the "HB" associated with "Nogent" scissors is part of a series' model number, and not part of the name.  For instance, in "Nogent HB520," the HB goes with 520, not Nogent.  But my inference is based on quick internet research and is not gospel by any means.   


The marque is both unfamiliar to me and doesn't show up on "Les Marques Thiernoises"  Furthermore, I could neither remember nor find anything with either IB or HB, but that isn't dispositive.  It could be a Bardin or something else with a B; or as I already said, a mark for a specific retailer or importer.  It may be truly "Sabatier," but if so, it's almost certainly OEM -- which lessens its value if not its utility. 


Not to put too find a point on it, but the run of the mill [forgive me] French stainless steels used by the Sabatier makers suck.  If "suck" is what the real deal manufacturers use for their name brand knives, the clones don't use any better. 


I can't be really sure about any of this other than the knife in question is almost certainly not in current production, but almost certainly is relatively modern.  It's more certain that the knife is worth exactly as much as it works well, and no more than that. 


If you don't like it, don't expect to make a fortune on ebay. If you like it, keep it as sharp as you can get it, love it, and use it in the best of health! 



Edited by boar_d_laze - 12/3/12 at 10:29am
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks BDL I wasn't sure of what it could be but it had the Nogent look and at worst it is a conversation piece.


I'll see how it turns out and either keep it for large watermelons or make an "overkill" package with the 12" Dexter cimeter I have.


Thanks for the guidance as always.



post #6 of 14


Hi Jim,  I have a Nogent-style 9" stainless steel chefs knife with exactly thesame mark as your slicer and was curious as well. I just did a Google search and happily came across your inquiry. I have been a collector of vintage Sabatier and other vintage French knives for 15 years. I do not think of myself as an expert but I think I can add some more info about your knife. I do not agree with most of the info you were given. This is definitely a fine vintage knife and valuable. The HB logo is probably the merchant, distributers mark. The knife may not have been made under the Sabatier umbrella and probably was not. So what, a great deal of fine vintage French knives were made by other companies, long out of business. That does not mean it is not of high quality. Just because it is not a Sabatier does not mean otherwise. The white brass tube-shaped ferrule at the bolster and the ebony handle is the same as most vintage French knives produced for decades prior to the 1950's. Your blade and mine have all the elements of a fine vintage knife. This is not a recent knock-off by an inferior knife works. It is NOT relatively modern. No modern company is going to make a Nogent-style knife (blade, bolster and rat-tail tang below the blade are all one piece) fitted with an ebony handle, it is simply far too expensive labour wise. Your knife was probably made sometime between pre World War II and 1960. If you did not know, stainless steel is not a modern development. Sheffield knife foundries in England have been making stainless steel knives since 1913. Although, I doubt this knife was made in England. The English blade smiths rarely copied French knives at that time as the French rarely copied English knives. I do own a Taylor Eye Witness French style knife made in the 1920's but it was rare. I have attached some photos, although I have had the old "ebony" handles replaced with exotic rosewoods by a master blades smith here in Canada. Hope this helps and you have kept your lovely knife. Cheers. Gary    

post #7 of 14
I fully understand BDL's scepticism. A stainless rat tail is an anachronism. Rat tails have been abandoned by French makers after WW2, stainless blades only introduced much later, in the 60's.
post #8 of 14

Yet here they are. Yes the Nogent style was all but completely abandoned after WWII in favor of today's designs, which were far easier to mass produce. However stainless steel chefs knives in France and England were around before 1960's. I agree these knives are rare and most likely a transitional knife in the history of Thiers-Issard and other French Knife makers because it employs this older construction Nogent style with a stainless steel blade. Here is another example, this one is a Sabatier Stainless steel slicer with a rat tail Nogent handle. They may have been made specifically for export to the US and Canada as well, there was probably a larger market for stainless here than in Europe. 



post #9 of 14
Point taken! Like that TI, just sad it's a stainless...
post #10 of 14

I am the proud current owner of that taylor eye witness and it is truly a beauty. I love knives of this style. The all-wood exterior handles are so warm and comfortable and the low weight is a dream.


I also bought some old french knife blanks on eBay and found this forum while searching for some info on how to insert nogent (rat tail) knives into wood handles and how to apply the ferrule. Seems like an awfully complicated endeavor (which is why i only bought two in this style; the others have a full tang and should be simpler) but I do have access to some other with knowledge and tools (and some books) for some elements of knifesmithing. Is there somewhere I should look for instruction on how to create knives like this.

post #11 of 14

Full tang Western handles are simpler yes, but also when they fail are more work to replace.  I've been getting into handle making myself if you have any questions. 


What I actually wanted to comment on is that knife blanks on ebay for the most part have not been heat treated.  I'd try to sharpen it and see if you can make it hold an edge before wasting time handling it, because you'll just have to remove the handle and send it out for heat treatment anyway.

post #12 of 14

Those blanks need lots of work.  Here is Devin Thomas talking about them in a WIP thread.


"About these knives, the blanks I got were rough forged and trimmed. They had to be fully annealed, straightened, rough ground, hardended and tempered, straightened, finish ground, polished. The tangs needed a lot work also. These blades are heavy when they come and need a lot of grinding and straightening. It is easier to make a new knife from scratch."


Here is a link to the WIP it's a great read with lots of pictures.

post #13 of 14

Yep! A lot more than slapping on a handle

post #14 of 14

I've read that as well. I have a particularly heavy blade which is short and has a really steep angle on the blade side going up to meet the spine (which is basically straight). I planned to forge this one out to a thinner profile which would probably bring the spine down to make a more typical french profile. I was wondering if perhaps these particular blanks (because i know the guy selling them had quite a few of this particular shape) were actually still one forging step away from being finished (i.e. finish forging, annealing, straightening, rough grinding, etc etc).


The only french knife that i've that has a bolster like this (which looks to me like a german style, like henckels) is veritable. The blank looks so much to me like a partially forged blank for a knife just like this 11" Veritable I picked up on ebay.


Anyway, I was looking at these as a learning experience. Sure it is easier to cut a knife out of flat stock or something but can you get modern blanks with the single piece forged bolsters that these have (serious question)? I don't have a forge but there is one at a private k-12 school i have been working at, and they have had evening courses for adults which I have been participating in. So far just decorative stuff with mild steel, but i thought drawing out the stubby blank (then annealing, grinding, hardening, tempering, finishing with handle) would be a good first introduction to knifesmithing. The blacksmithing instructor has sufficient knowledge of heat treating to deal with this (told it was likely 1080) blank and he makes and finishes knives as a hobby so that will help. 


But i doubt he has ever done a nogent style knife (like two of the other blanks i got) and i doubt his books cover it.







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