The Wharncliffe blade, which should not be confused with the sheepsfoot blade, is like a standard blade shape turned upside down. The Warncliffe has a flat cutting edge, with the spine droping to to form a point. The history of this design is unclear, with some giving credit to the design to one of the British Lord Warncliffes, but the name for the blade does not seem to show up before 1822 which is much later than the Lords in question.
These blades have finer more delicate points with more tip control. The flat edges work well for general tasks and give the user greater control when bearing down, because the edge will cut more predictably than a blade with more of a belly. Often a blade with a belly can allow the knife to slide and slip when placed under pressure while cutting.
© 2017 — Jeff Soule.