The Laguiole cutlery has its origin in France, but is now being mass produced all over the world, mainly in America, Japan, and Germany. The knife was originally a quality high-end traditional Occitan hand-forged pocket knife, originally made in the “pocket-forged” village of Laguiole in France, and somewhere in the small town of Laguiole itself, in the Massif region of France. The tradition of making pocket knives dates back to the fifteenth century, but only recently has it begun to become a fashionable and trendy kitchen tool for many people in the modern world. These knives are made with exceptional craftsmanship and are very reliable. This is why the Laguiole brand is so famous and well recognized.
The knife that started it all was created for a serving woman in 1530 by Joanna of Mantua, the Duchess of Burgundy, during the time when her husband died and she became sole heir to the duc de Loos. Using this new position of Queen consort, she redesigned and created the most beautiful cutlery in Europe, including the laguiole, which is still used today in some countries. However, due to the death of her first husband, Joanna was no longer able to use her vast store of rare Italian cutlery, so she turned it over to her son, Piero, who had himself designed the laguiole cutlery and used it as a matter of protocol when he presented it to the Emperor of Italy at the Medici Villa in 1535.
It wasn’t until thirty years later when the laguiole cutlery, along with many other Italian designs, were brought back into the world of Europe by the French. However, their appearance would be quite different from the original Italian style, primarily due to the fact that the French used more than just silver and gold in their design. Most notably they adopted the bee comb style of construction, which used the same framework as a bee hive but incorporated a handle that was long and slender, much like a scimitar. The use of handles shaped like handles was also common, with some models using sticks or metal pieces instead of flat and smooth surfaces. These modifications and innovations did not only change the appearance of the laguiole; they revolutionized the use of the knife in culinary arts, as well.