How to Identify Antique Knives

By Amelia Allonsy

Knives have been around for more than 5,000 years. Many types and variations have developed over time. With so many knives in existence, identifying an antique knife may be challenging. You will need to do a little research, but there are resources available to help you identify the knife in question.

How to Identify Antique Knives

Narrow your possibilities down to a geographical origin. Knives have been made for thousands of years by people of all cultures, each with a style indicative of the culture of origin. Look for symbols or words that might be clues.

Refer to a knife identification website that has pictures. You may find your knife on the website or you may just be able to narrow down the possibilities.

Read books to learn as much as you can. Your local library likely has a book with great pictures waiting for you to check it out.

Check an antiques catalog for a guide to various antique knives, one of which may be your knife.

Antique collectors and museum curators may know something about your knife. Don't be too intimidated to ask for help; this is what they are trained to do. Besides, you'd probably be doing them a service by showing the antique in question. If they are unable to identify your knife, the curator or collector should be able to refer you to a colleague who specializes in antique knives.