Bones and horns since prehistoric times have been taken from the animals killed to feed and have been used to make various handles and tools.
The horns and bones of a prey, (along with his skin), were not consumed but still used if not even seen as valuable in the poor economy of a prehistoric man and used to build indispensable work tools.
The use of these materials, in addition to having an ethical /moral value (of the animal sacrificed for their own livelihood but without throwing away anything), and this ethical approach has somehow come to us precisely to demonstrate their exceptional qualities.
Today there are hundreds of materials to be able to make handles, from wood, to synthetics, etc. because the technology of materials has evolved and have joined the use of horn, bones and skin, but they have not replaced them.
Without the pretense of being exhaustive on the applications of horns and bones in the knife shop but their success has accompanied man from prehistory to the present day for:
- The ease of reperishment: in every place inhabited by man, meat from hunted or bred animals is consumed that makes horns, bones and skins available as waste.
- The low cost: they are easily found and are still wastes of primary workmanies.
- The excellent mechanical and aesthetic properties: certainly surpassed by many products of today’s technology still remain appreciated for good endurance and an incomparable aesthetic appearance.
- Easy workability: ideal materials for backward economies because they require little equipment, little knowledge and a lot of time to be processed; time is precisely the most available resource in backward economies.
Over time, the replacement of ox farm machinery in the work of the fields and the abandonment of extensive farming in favour of intensive farming (animals are slaughtered so young that their horns are practically non-existent) have made it rare for the horn to be europe after the Second World War.
Today horn is often imported from non-European countries, where working conditions in the fields and breeding still made it possible for animals with large horns to be present.
Such a method of sourcing made it necessary to import only selected material at the origin in outlets (wire cone trunks) or full tips, divided by quality and color.
The exotic origin, selection and scarcity of the horn found have resulted in a considerable and continuous increase in its price.
The simultaneous explosion of the use of plastics, synthetics, hybrids, etc. and increasingly easy to find also thanks to the internet and online commerce at competitive prices and with higher mechanical qualities and that also allow processing times over time, it has led to the use of animal bones and horns with a few valuable knives.
As you can imagine at the same bone there are many differences and nuances as well as of course the price.
How is it sold?
The horns and bones for the knife are sold in whole blocks, in parts of horn cut or transformed into plates to be used on fixed knives or on folders this valuable material from my point of view should be left as natural as possible and simply polished.
All the operations that change the surface and the conformation often go to remove the natural veins and ripples that characterize the piece of horn or bone and therefore my advice is to think about a more natural use possible.
There are specific abrasive pastes for polishing horns and bones.
Attention! While working the horn or bones always use the mask and suction!
The price of horns and bones
Prices as you can see from a photo found by an online seller of material varies depending on the size, type and origin because as you can imagine some bones or horns are rarer than others.
The main horns and bones in the knife are:
- Sambar Deer
- Mammouth, Hampshire
- Alternative Deer
- Fossil walrche
It is a personal choice that surely the horns and bones in the knife shop or otherwise used on some knives gives it a valuable aesthetic appearance and in some cases even exotic, in others even macabre.
Somehow it’s a legacy that comes from the past and somehow reminds you how each item was used for a purpose.
A more ethical and intelligent use of the resources available in balance with nature.
Survival is not killing for pleasure, it is not killing to take the horns, it is not killing to take the skins, but it is to support and use this “gift” that made us the animal to allow us to survive but using all its most precious gift because in some way he gave us life.
Are you experience?
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