Sheffield cutlery industry glory days celebrated by Ken Hawley's famous collection

Hark back to the days when Sheffield cutlery ruled the world – or at least the tea table.

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th February 2020, 12:07 am

An event taking place in the Ken Hawley Colection Trust’s gallery at Kelham Island Museum on March 4 at 1.30pm gives visitors an opportunity to explore and handle a wide range of specialist pieces of cutlery and flatware.

Event publicity says: “Find out more about the profusion of cutlery and flatware used by the Victorians for afternoon tea and dinner.

“This was a time when Sheffield was one of the main producers of cutlery, flatware and holloware. There will be opportunities to handle a variety of items made in Sheffield.”

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Receiving and examining table knife blades before hafting at R F Mosley's Portland Street Works, Sheffield

The Name on a Knife Blade Project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is approaching its first anniversary in March and runs to September 2021.

The project’s focus is to link the Ken Hawley Collection Trust’s unique collection of more than 1,500 stainless steel knives, made by over 800 different makers, with Sheffield families that bear the surnames marked on them or who worked for city cutlery manufacturers.

The main aim of the project is to create an interactive digital knife archive, allowing direct and online access to photographs of the knives in the collection as well as information on the history of the cutlers that made them.

Project leader Nick Duggan speaking at the Name on a Knife Blade launch at the Hawley Gallery, Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield

Name on a Knife Blade would love to hear from anyone who worked for a cutlery company or who has memorabilia or items from Sheffield companies that they can show to volunteers or that they might wish to donate to the collection.

For more information, go online at or email [email protected]

The March 4 talk by project leader Nick Duggan is the first of a series at the museum to be scheduled during the project. They will cover a range of manufacturers and topics.