X-Acto knives and fishermen

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I’ve long had an inordinate fondness for X-Acto knives. Partly that’s because I love the design of the cheapo one I’ve owned since high school, whose serrated blade tucks into a green plastic case and can be nipped off whenever it’s dull:

Partly it’s because of how well-suited the X-Acto is to its tasks. I don’t do anything particularly fancy with mine, but it’s still satisfying to own an instrument that can cut through heavy paper with such ease. I recently bought a more expensive one to cut a mat for a vintage lithograph I picked up in Austria and wanted to give to a friend.

The print, in case you’re interested, is a 19th-century reproduction of a 16th-century poem (whose first two lines seem to date back to the middle ages) called “Der Fischer,” or the fisherman. (Click through to see a larger version.)

After I matted and framed it, I had a lot of fun trying to track down the names of all of the fishes. I grew up in a land-locked state, and I’ll admit that “Gudgeon” is as foreign a word to me in English as “Grundel” is in German, but I did enjoy learning about the Huchen, or Danube salmon…

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