In 1934 the Company established a ‘record and collection of old knives, &c”. and thereafter benefited from numerous donations and made the occasional purchase. In 1962 the Company acquired 250 items from Liveryman Howard Smith whose collection was judged to be second only to that of the Victoria and Albert Museum, many of these pieces were displayed there at an exhibition entitled Masterpieces of Cutlery and the Art of Eating in 1979. The most recent acquisition of significance was a donation by Graham duHeaume of the Queenhithe Collection (see below).
Display cases were set up in the hall in the 1980’s, expanded in the 1990’s and in 2021 it was decided to photograph the collection and establish an on line database so that the collection was available to everyone to search, this work is ongoing. We are always interested to hear from anyone who can add to our knowledge about any of the items in our collection.
Our catalogues are hosted by CatalogIt. Click any of the links below to browse the whole collection.
The collection includes examples of the work of Cutlers through the ages including Knives, Daggers, Swords, Scissors, Cutlery and Surgical Instruments.Browse Pieces
The Company also possesses a fine collection of City of London, Livery and Guild-related medals and badges from their origins in the 17th. century to the present day. It forms a major resource of information for numismatists, and those interested in the history of livery companies and provincial guilds.Browse Pieces
Graham duHeaume excavated nearly 900 knives from the foreshore of the River Thames between 1970 and 1986. He generously donated the bulk of his collection to the Company in 2020. Further smaller donations have followed his, notably from Brian Pitkin and others. A number of items are included in the database that do not belong to the Company so that as complete a record of the finds from the Thames is maintained.Browse Pieces