Hovey’s Knives of China

One of man’s first purposefully made tools were cutting blades over a million-years ago, and knives have been produced ever since made from wood, bone, stone, native metals, bronze, iron and steel. Modern cooking knives are mostly derived from European and Japanese designs, but hundreds of other practical designs were made in ages past. At Hovey’s Knives of China™, we have taken designs that were developed over millenia, modified them to modern needs and remade them of modern steels to give cooks and chefs the opportunity to use some extremely useful knives that have not been seen for thousands of years.

Chef Joe, at the Marriott Hotel in Zhengzhow, uses one of my slicing designs to carve a roast, wooden patterns of some prototype designs, a replica of a city of the period and a pottery model of a place recovered from a toom, now on exhibit at the State Museum. 

The first production patterns are derived from Chinese bronze knives produced during the Waring States Period and recovered from archeological digs in Central China. These types of knives with their distinctive inclined handles and open round knobs are also noteworthy in that they were the basis for the “knife money” of the period. In a society where bronze was a material of value and few had pockets to carry such large objects, these were carried strung together. Examples of such money are seen in museums throughout the world with noteworthy exhibits being at the state museum in Zhengzhou, China. This coinage was an example of one of the many styles of knives used to prepare elaborate meals in palace kitchens on a scale only rivaled in Imperial Rome.

Knife money and cash coin Waring States Period Henan State Museum

Chinese knife money, left, was replaced by the later, more convenient, cash coins. We derive the English name “cash” from this ancient Chinese coin. 

The money knives were choppers used to process vegetables and meat. There were also slicers and cleavers in addition to smaller utility knives made in bronze. Military bronze axes, knives, swords,  spears, arrows and crossbows were also found in these excavations. However, at Hovey’s Knives we are principally interested in adapting the cooking style of knives to modern kitchens. The first designs to be introduced are the choppers, in various sizes, with two blade grinds and are available as custom knives. These Signature Knives are all made in Central Georgia  under the direction of myself and the company’s Knifemaker, Paul Hjort.

A new marketing method, Open Source Design, will be used to make and sell these knives. Any company or individual maker may produce knives of, or based on, the patterns that I described. I do not intend to patent them. However if you use my name and licensed trademark  I will receive 5% of retail. You may price them as inexpensively, or as expensively, as your market and the workmanship allows. In return, if you send me test knives, I will test and rate them on this blog and exhibit them at the Annual International Blade Show in Atlanta, and eventually at other shows. This year I will be a booth 16U at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta from June 3-5.

At this year’s show I will have examples of the prototype knives and blade blanks cut from T-410 Stainless Steel for sale. I will also be taking orders for the blade blanks from individuals and companies. Payment may be by cash, check or Company P.O. Bulk orders from this or other steels may be arranged and drop shipped directly from my fabricator in Atlanta, Georgia,

A continuing feature of this blog will be postings as I work on and perfect new knife shapes and try them out in the field and in the kitchen. Many of these postings will incorporate videos which will also be posted as  Hovey’s Knives of China on Pinterest,  Facebook, YouTube and other locations.  Several postings are already available. For orders, questions or requests for information contact me at hovey@hoveysknivesofchina.com

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