Purdey’s New Blades

Guns and knives have a long history. James Purdey and James Wilkinson were once rival gunmakers in Regency London, and both eventually earned royal warrants: Purdey for his firearms and Wilkinson for his blades. Now James Purdey & Sons is offering bespoke knives to complement the company’s guns.

The new bench-made knives are the brainchild of Stephen Hill, Head of Production in Purdey’s machine room. What makes the perfect knife? For Hill it’s all about balance. “All too often when you hold a knife in your hand,” he said, “it will feel blade-heavy or handle-heavy. Achieving the right balance is essential for blade dexterity and ease of use.”

Wingshooters would likely be most interested in a short-bladed bird & trout knife, so we asked if the company has such a model or could make one. “Purdey’s current collection of knives are directed to stalking, bigger-game butchery, bush craft and gifting knives,” said Georgia Simpson, the company’s public-relations representative. “However, we have introduced a new range of bespoke knives, where I have been advised that it would be possible to create this specific knife type by request.”

This bespoke service means that it is now possible to customize every element of a knife—from the blade and handle to the bolster, liner, rivets and sheath—ensuring the knife will be a unique object to treasure and pass down to following generations, much like a Purdey gun.

According to Hill: “Our vision is that people will commission a bespoke Purdey knife at the same time as their gun, perhaps using the same wood for the handle and engraving the metalwork the same way.”

Whether you call them bench-made or bespoke, a Purdey custom knife would make an ideal collector gift. Prices start at $390.

For more information, visit purdey.com.

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