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Kauhava’s knife is the name for the traditional model lacquered knives with birch bark handles. The Vallesmanni is a longer-bladed version of the Kauhava knife with the blade size of 15cm (appr.6 in). The name Vallesmanni is local dialect word meaning a chief police.
Kauhava’s knife is the name for the traditional model lacquered knives with birch bark handles. The Vallesmanni is a longer-bladed version of the Kauhava knife with the stainless steel blade size of 15cm (appr.6 in). The name Vallesmanni is local dialect word meaning a chief police.
The upper ferrule of a horse headed knife is, as its name implies, a horse head cast from brass. Such horse-headed knives can be found in the early 1880s under two names, Iisakki Järvenpää and his cousin Juho Kustaa Lammi. These two men were the inventors of the whole Kauhava knife concept. They together invented, tested and manufactured these type of knives at the beginning of their careers.
There are many stories about where Horse Head knife originated. Of these, the most credible is that J.K. Lammi, while performing his military service in the Rakuuna regiment in Vaasa, saw a cavalry whip with a casted horse head at the end. He got the idea to apply the same implementation to the knife head. Together with Iisakki Järvenpää, they refined this idea and either together or separately, manufactured the horse-headed knives to their customers. According to tradition, there even may have been some larger order with similar knives in the name of those two different manufacturers.
On a larger scale, Iisakki Järvenpää horse head knives has always been made of different handle materials: from birch bark, birch, galalite, ebonite and bone. Nowadays the horse’s head is still the same model and the handle is made of birch bark with the lacquer finish. The decorations on the lower fitting of the knife and also on the upper and lower fitting of the sheath, are made by hand engraving. The sheath of a horse head knife is made of light colored or black leather with a decorative brass tip fitting and a traditional pattern in the leather.
The villagers and boys were amazed and in awe when a huge oddity rolled down the road in September, 1922. Alfred Kosola’s horses had to tax their strength when drawing a sleigh with an indenting hammer of 5.000 kilograms, along the snowless road to the Järvenpää’s factory. The cubs’ imagination really took over, when they began to hear a constant pounding from the factory. It was like an iron giant’s sledgehammer banging.