The first deer were introduced to Australia in 1803. We take our name from that date, because in a way that is when our story began. My family has been farming red deer on rolling pastures near Orange, central NSW for 38 years.

Tim Hansen is my brother. He is a deer farmer, venison processor and meat trader. He works hard to farm his deer sustainably and ethically, caring for both beast and land. Tim established Mandagery Creek Venison in 2000, and his premium Australian venison is now served in many of the great restaurants in Australia as well as being exported around the world.

1803 was established in 2012 with a commitment to sustainable farming and a spirit of collaboration as we work with talented Australian artisans to utilise the antlers that are the natural, renewable bi-products of deer farming. Stags grow a set of antler every year. Antler is bone, not horn, and it grows rapidly over four months in preparation for the ‘rut’ or breeding season. When the hard work is done, the stags relax and they shed their antler. It is an amazing process and a beautiful natural material.

Our artisans are bladesmiths and blacksmiths who have developed rare and traditional skills over many years. The attention to detail, care and time required to hand-forge our blades and kitchen tools, means that we craft our premium products in small runs. In everything we make there is a transparency and integrity that we are really proud of.

The 1803 hand-forged blade collection is honest, practical and a pleasure to use. Its understated elegance and rare local provenance reflects an authentic Australian luxury that is increasingly difficult to find. In our fast world of mass production and global brands, knowing who made your knife and how it was made is a gift that we celebrate and are proud to share.

The 1803 Studio is located in Paddington NSW and is open by appointment.

1803 celebrates local provenance and old world skills

1803 knives have a distinctly rugged, Australian aesthetic that celebrates the character of natural antler and the traditional forging process.

We choose to forge our blades with carbon steel as it has superior hardness and strength which keeps every blade sharper for longer. The texture of antler feels good in the hand while also providing additional grip when wet – this is why antler handled knives are preferred by many of the world’s great chefs. The combination of these elements delivers knives that are desirable, durable and beautifully balanced.

Tim Hansen
Deer farmer & venison processor

Tim is my brother. He’s a deer farmer, venison processor and meat trader. Tim works hard to farm his deer sustainably and ethically, caring for both beast and land.

Tim established Mandagery Creek Venison in 2000 and his premium Australian venison is now served in many of the best Good Food Guide hatted restaurants in Australia and exported around the world.

Tharwa Valley Forge

Our antler-handled blade collection is hand forged by a small group of talented bladesmiths in the pretty and historic Tharwa Valley, just south of Canberra.

Karim Haddad, established Tharwa Valley Forge in 2003, through which he runs The Australian Bladesmithing School.

Karim trained in the early 1990's under Australia's first Master Bladesmith, Thomas Gerner, and has combined his experience as a professional educator and passion for the traditional art of knifemaking, as he shares his knifemaking expertise through the largest bladesmithing school in Australia.

During busy 1803 production runs, we are lucky enough to sometimes have the finishing room buzzing with up to six bladesmiths as they set, finish, polish and sharpen our lovely blades. It is exciting to collaborate with such a passionate and capable team and know that together, we are doing our best to keep the old skills alive.

Penny Hanan
Owner & founder of 1803

Hello, my name is Penny and I am very proud of 1803 as we strive to make our family deer farm even more sustainable by minimising waste and using the whole beast. I am lucky as 1803 allows me to work closely with my brother Tim, stay connected to my country heritage (despite being a long-term city dweller) and collaborate with some truly talented people.

Our artisans apply traditional skills, their creative eye and an appreciation of the natural beauty of all things deer to handcraft premium products that are ruggedly handsome and authentically Australian.

It is a privilege to share their expertise with you. Thank you for your support.