Small Victorian ‘Congress’ pocketknife, “SILVER STEEL” blade, c. 1850
Small early Victorian congress pocket knife, with two blades, one a penknife, the other a sheepfoot, set in pearlshell clad handle with silvered metal ends decorated with grooves.
Blades both marked ‘SILVER / STEEL’,
Condition: one pearl side has a crack, steel with some marks but still very sharp.
’Silver Steel’ is a high-carbon steel product known for its very reflective surface. It combines a number of other minerals, such as manganese, silicon, phosphorus, and sulphur, producing a strong carbon steel that can be edged, as in this example, and keeps a shine for a long time. It doesn’t contain any silver.
The name ‘Congress’ refers to the way the blades come together in the centre.
‘Sheepsfoot’ is the larger blade, with straight sharp edge and sloping back edge.