This is the preeminent reference on antique English knives, written by one of Great Britain's most respected 20th century authorities on weaponry. The text contains much previously unknown historical information about cutlers and their art. Chapters and over 300 color photographs and hand-drawn illustrations cover the earliest history of Sheffield, England, a directory of 19th century cutlers' names, and many groups and types of knives, from the most humble penknife to magnificent exhibition pieces. The history of the famous American designed Bowie knife, manufactured extensively in Sheffield, is explained and amply illustrated. Discussions present multi-bladed sportsmen's pocket knives, farrier's, smoker's, quill knives, curiosities, and actual knives presented to King George IV in 1821. These appear along with a veritable kaliedoscope of craftsmanship. Quoting from the author's Acknowledgements, "Sheffield's legacy is not just in the tangible dust-covered records or faded photographs rescued from destruction, but in the living art form of their craft that endures and remains the symbol of what was the centre of the cutlery world for well over a hundred years."
David Hayden-Wright had service with the elite 16/5th Queen's Royal Lancers Cavalry Regiment and became a professional registered weapons dealer, passionate collector, and consultant. He cataloged the historical armories of several museums and advised many other collectors and investors in this specialized field. After retiring in 1979, he enthusiastically advanced his interest in aviation at the upper levels. He died in 2005.