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The Mazelier family: A keen sense of tradition

From Thiers, a knife maker born and bred.

Over the centuries, the people of Thiers have built a reputation for never doing things halfway. Knife making seems to be in their blood, a natural proclivity that takes root from a very young age. At one point, the number of master cutlers (25,000) in the area even exceeded the town's population (17,500) -- a certified demographic phenomenon.

mazelier

From cradle to tomb, making knives is their way of life.

Sometimes a carefully honed legend helps to drive home the point. In a preciously preserved family register dating from 1928, it is officially recorded, in ink and the finest penmanship, that one Mazelier, Christian name Gilbert (1878-1924), exercised, as of 1904, the profession of cutler.

Likewise his son, Mazelier Henri Joseph Alexis. To be more precise, Henri worked as a mechanic in a cutlery workshop. Year of birth 1906, year of death 1982, he married Mlle. Jos├ęphine Chaize, herself descended from a long lineage of Thiers knife makers and no stranger to the workshops, where she cut a fine figure. In many a Thiers knife making family, the subsequent generation sought their fortunes elsewhere, hoping to sharpen their prospects for the future. But the next Mazelier scion also became a seasoned cutler, in the service of sundry high-end houses and brands. The Forges de Laguiole, to name just one.

Know-how, intuition, ambition... The Mazeliers are knife makers, father to son. Even though their careers sometimes follow other forks in the road. A case in point: Mazelier Richard. He was the first of the breed to break with tradition to become a restaurateur in Paris. Another profession typical of his native Auvergne region. A few brasseries and a few hundred knife-cut steak tartares later, this black sheep came back to the family fold.

Today Richard Mazelier has put away his first apron in order to pay homage to his grandfather by founding, with great faith in a daring, top-end contemporary project, the house of Henri Mazelier.

A new and trenchant presence in the world of premium French cutlery.