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Aubrac and the history of the Laguiole knife

AUBRAC AND THE HISTORY OF THE LAGUIOLE KNIFE

When tradition leads to success

The Laguiole-en-Aubrac hand-crafted cutlery is one of the players in the restoration of the cutlery tradition -which had died over time- in the Aubrac plateau of the Aveyron department. The revival of local manufacturing while remaining faithful to its traditional practices was the common thread that led the company to create a forge and its workshops in the historic area of Laguiole. By combining know-how and creativity, Laguiole en Aubrac has become a brand that holds high the colours of French cutlery internationally.

The elegance of Laguiole’s original line allows Laguiole-en-Aubrac cutlers multiple variations. The variety and beauty of natural materials remain their main sources of inspiration. It also happens sometimes that the genius of men brings forth creations that revive the collective memory around mythical adventures such as those of the Concorde plane or the France liner. Laguiole en Aubrac guarantees artisanal manufacturing of its products in the historic area of Laguiole and they are attested by the LOG stamp (Laguiole Origine Garantie) engraved on the heel of the blade.

 

Cutlery in Espalion is quite an old activity as there were already two cutlers in the 17th century. At the end of the 17th century, Espalion had become one of the fifth clandestine centers dedicated to the assembling of cheap pocket knives with nail from Saint Etienne, also called “jambettes stephanotises”. In the middle of the 19th century, around 1850, Casimir Moulin, who was the first cutler based in Laguiole 1828, left the Aubrac plateau to settle with his son (cutler himself) in saint-Côme-d’Olt. That’s where they created their own forge and cutlery, which closed in 1911. Around 1874 Antoine Auguste Martin settled in Espalion as a cutler, he will be quickly joined by his brother, Charles. The Salettes family is closely related to the Aubrac cutlery and to the Belmon, Pagès and Calmels families.
Auguste Salettes’ brother married the daughter of the cutler Delrieu from Espalion. Salettes forged his own blades in his big forge where he also worked as a maker of edge- tools. He had made handcrafted pocket knives until the burning of his forge in 1930.
 

Christian Lemasson

Ethnographer