The Nontron knife shares the name of the French village of its birth located in the Dordogne department. This knife's history is filled with so many legends that it is difficult to date its exact origin; however, most experts agree that the Nontron knife is the oldest French folding knife dating back to the 13th century. Today, the cutlery that bears its name since 1928 produces handmade knives using ancestral methods. The procedures used to conceive today's Nontron pocket knives are nearly the same since the fifteenth century.
The Legend: The wood-burned patterns, whose origin and meanings are still not fully understood, are made from “flies,” a kind of reversed V surrounded by 3 points and rows of small dots. Religious symbols? Perhaps a reference to the Freemasons' compass or the Compagnons du Devoir? No one really knows.
Of course, many are convinced that they know the meaning of this mystical symbol. We, at Laguiole Imports, are no different; we are certain that the symbol is one of a compass (V) and the three dots (∴) representing the first three craft degrees of initiation in the Masonic Honor Points. These fascinating symbols first appeared with the clog handle design. Today, they decorate all boxwood models of pockets and table knives. Fact: The Nontron shop is the oldest continuously operating cutlery in France.