Italian knives

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Federico C.
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Italian knives

Postby Federico C. » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:41 pm

As I wrote in my short introduction I'm a great lover of Italian traditional knives.

I'm 43 years old and I'm always been interested in knives since I was a small child. Growing up my attention was directed almost exclusively to Italian folding knives and their beautiful shapes. I have a small collection, I'm in contact with a lot of people with my own illness for knives and I'm active on several facebook groups. From time to time I like to visit a museum or try to convince some serious collectors to show me their original specimens.
I can't consider myself a great expert or a great collector, but I like to seek with modesty and determination the information I care about.

Italy has a great tradition in knives, with a great variety of local models that have been handed down through the centuries with a sort of natural evolution process and with the influences of other nations shapes. In this post I would like to share with you a synthesis of my personal journey in this tradition, sharing with you information about specific knives, their manufactoring areas and other facts.

I hope you will appreciate what I write in the next days!

sammy the blade
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Re: Italian knives

Postby sammy the blade » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:52 pm

I'm sure we all will be glad to read what you write.
AKA Sammy da blade

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natcherly
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Re: Italian knives

Postby natcherly » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:49 pm

Sounds very interesting, Federico. Looking forward to the first installment!

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JulesVane
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Re: Italian knives

Postby JulesVane » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:21 am

...I'm all ears (eyes)!
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"Start every day off with a smile and get it over with"...W.C. Fields

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Federico C.
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Re: Italian knives

Postby Federico C. » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:06 pm

Here we are with the first traditional Italian knife I choose for the beginning of this trip.
I will try to post regularly one update every week.

Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian language) is an Italian island.

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The people of Sardinia maintain a strong identity and autonomy, even in their language and peculiar traditions.
To tell the truth in every part of Italy there is a certain sense of indipendence and sometimes competition with other neighboring areas.
This is for sure a weak point, but it's also the source of an extreme diversification of traditions, arts and products.

Anyway...let's talk about our blades!

Sardinia is a land of knives. Many people still work as breeders and the knife has always been a companion for every shepherd in his working days and sometimes to solve personal issues (obviously this last element refers to past times).

Various types of knives are manufactured in Sardinia. In today's post I want to tell you about the so-called "old-fashion shape knife" . in Italian "Coltello a Foggia Antica"

That's a knife traditionally built using a mutton horn handle in a single piece, banded at the two ends with metal stripes (often brass or nickel silver). Like most Sardinian knives there is no blade block. The open blade simply leans on the metal collar. It is a simple knife, with the blade dedicated mainly to skinning animals.

In last years the monolithic handle is sometimes replaced by a handle with horn covers and metal elements, according to a building scheme typical of other Sardinian models (we will see that in another post)

These are working knives realized with elegant and harmonious lines. they are simple, strong and sincere as the people of Sardinia.

Among the different forms (Sardinian knife makers are prolific in new and personal forms), two are the main ones:

1) Gonnesa knife (from the village of Gonnosfanadiga) with a simple leaf shaped blade

2) Arburesa knife (from the village of Arbus) with a more complex blade


Here you have some pictures


Gonnesa Knife
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The same knife closed
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another Gonnesa knife
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A modern Arburesa knife with composite handle (horn scales and a metal part called Anima or Archetto)

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john
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Re: Italian knives

Postby john » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:40 am

Ciao Federico,
I enjoyed reading your brief and interesting story about Sardegna. Your vintage knife looks awesome! What size is it? The like blade design. The modern version is outstanding and I really like the new blade style.
I'm looking forward to you next post.
Welcome to the forum.
Con amicizia,
John
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ILikeStilettos
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Re: Italian knives

Postby ILikeStilettos » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:48 am

Great and informative post. Keep them coming!
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Federico C.
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Re: Italian knives

Postby Federico C. » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:45 am

Thank you guys, I'm glad you appreciate!

@ John: they are all between 20 and 22 cm.

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DonC
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Re: Italian knives

Postby DonC » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:48 pm

A Molise style 35cm by Lelle Floris of Sardinia. A couple of folks here on the forum have examples of his work.
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Federico C.
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Re: Italian knives

Postby Federico C. » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:02 pm

Wonderful knife, Don. Lelle Floris is a true master!

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john
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Re: Italian knives

Postby john » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:09 am

Federico C. wrote:Thank you guys, I'm glad you appreciate!

@ John: they are all between 20 and 22 cm.


Small enough for your pocket and big enough to get the job done.
Your friend on the web's most friendly community on knives and blades,
John

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tequiza
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Re: Italian knives

Postby tequiza » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:46 pm

Very informative post. looking forward to the next installment :D
Polish a knife, cook a pig, drink several beers

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john
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Re: Italian knives

Postby john » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:08 pm

DonC wrote:A Molise style 35cm by Lelle Floris of Sardinia. A couple of folks here on the forum have examples of his work.



Hi Don,
Is that your knife? It's beautiful. I've admired that style knife for years.
John
Your friend on the web's most friendly community on knives and blades,
John

Massachusetts Where Everything is Illegal or Taxed

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ILikeStilettos
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Re: Italian knives

Postby ILikeStilettos » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:20 am

I refer to those knives as Molise Priolettas; Molise from that area in Sardinia, and Prioletta from the name of an early maker. PLP and Lucio also called the style prioletta. I'd love to hear from you, Frederico, as to any specific name for that type of knife, which is the inspiration for DoubleD's Il Pinto and the soon to be released Puntette.

Second question, do you have any direct contact with Rafaelle Floris? Antonio Lentini doesn't even respond to questions.
Dave Sause
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"And you're telling me this because, somehow, I look like I give a shit?"

"Let a smile be your umbrella and you're gonna get your dumb ass wet."

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Federico C.
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Re: Italian knives

Postby Federico C. » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:01 am

Hi Dave

Prioletta was a famous family of knife makers from Molise, but Molise is not Sardinia, it's another region in Central-Shouthern Italy.
Lelle Floris produces not only Sardian knives, but even models from other areas.

That model is usually called "Molletta" that is an antique term (molletta means "small spring") used more in Shouthern regions, while in the northern part of Italy similiar models are generically called "Coltello a scatto" that means switch blade.
In Italy they are considered weapons with many (maybe too many) legal implications.

I'm sorry, I'm not in contact with those artisans


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