10 MUST-HAVE-X-MAS-PRESENTS | #05 | THE MINER’S KNIFE: LE MINEUR FROM PassionFrance®

this knife is something really special. something with an exciting but sentimental history. the MINEUR was used as the name tells by miners from the middle of the 19th century on. and it is really difficult to describe the environment of this so hard working men and their families in the east of france in these old days. underground mining was the hell: brutal heat, high humidity, dusty. the miners were called by the folks “GUEULES NOIRES” what meant “black muzzles”. it was extremely dangerous in the mines and the families were so poor, because of lowest payment for that hard work. the wives had often worked in a second job and they tried to get a small garden just to get some vegetables, salad and other things to survive. the MINEUR knife was the daily companion of the miners and the people living in that mining regions. the miners wore it open in their bootlegs underground to kill all the hungry rats. when working was done the knife was used in garden or in the kitchen. often the MINEUR was the only knife in a household – unbelievable nowadays. WOLFGANG from PassionFrance told me the history of this simple knife and i was absolutely impressed. everytime i hold this knife i must think for the “GUEULES NOIRES”. 2005 the last mine was closed but the knife still is part of the culture und tradition in the typical mining areas like ARDENNES, ALSAC and LORRAINE. the bar end is so black as the miners faces were. the size and the form enables a perfect grip – i love the edging. it is made of ebony, the blade is 10 cm long and the ressort is needle etched by hand. a wonderful present with a great history. available at VOLLMAR&SÖHNE: www.passionfrance-shop.de . pics | LTG


THE CORSE VENDETTA KNIFE | PassionFrance®

this is the first knife i bought from WOLFGANG c/o PassionFrance® some time ago: a CORSE VENDETTA. with this knife my passion for french knives started. this one is special because of its limited design: the three crosses are showing a triangle. it was the last of this series. the „normal“ version of this VENDETTA with an elegant handle of bones has the crosses set in a straight line. it is told that the roots of this knife lie in the genoa daggers, but not for sure. but for sure is, that this knife wasn’t use for working in the garden but for fighting. i don’t know if the name comes from the origin meaning of VENDETTA which stands for blood venegance – i have to ask WOLFGANG. i love the really nice so called TAILE DE GUÊPE, the wasp waist. isn’t that a beautiful knife? pics | LTG


THE BASQUE-YATAGAN KNIFE | PassionFrance®

last week i went to WOLFGANG c/o PassionFrance with UWE E. MAIER and OLLI THE BARBER to eat one of the best meals i was served this year: a COC AU RIESLING. damn perfect – the chicken were so good. we have had a wonderful evening with a lot of talking, best food and vine. before visiting WOLFGANG i knew that i want to take a BASQUE-YATAGAN KNIFE with me home. so i did: a wonderful one with a cow horn and really nice textures. i love this extraordinary knife style so much. this BASQUE-YATAGAN KNIVE comes from the basque country, spain, and the french provinces which are near the pyrenees. the blade has its origin in the orient because the crusaders brought it to spain and the south of france when thy came back and settled down. today the knives are used by farmer and shepherds. especially tobacco grower around the BERGERAC region where tobacco is cultivated for generations like to use this BASQUE-YATAGAN KNIVE. if tobacco is reaped a jellylike juice is getting out of the plants which makes it difficult to hold the knife. so the rivets and rosettes help to get the perfect grip and developed over the years to a decorative element. the knife i bought has a 12 cm blade, the holder is made of cow horn, blade and back of the holder are needle etched. pics | LTG