THE LOVERíS KNIFE
The loverís knife take easily a token value linked to the social and cultural
enviroment where it is made and used It was present in
in the past century in different southern and central italian regions.
They were a gift which lovers made each other.
This knife established a liaison between the two lovers. We can find
proof of this also in the popular litterature, many stanzas confirm that
the lover always brought with him the knife given by its lover
since it represented the loved woman. It wasnít considered just a gift,
Its fuction had a minor importance while we can realise its token value
thanks to the decorative elements engraved on the knife (chained
hearts, doves, branches of flowers, the initial of the names of the
two lovers, the two lovers holding hands) sometimes we can find
also phrases engraved on the knife ďnon ti fidar di me se il cuor ti
manca, lo mio amore l'ha nome battista me lo ripiego e me lo metto
in tasca pe facci l'amor e un esse vistaď (do not trust me if your lover
is missing, my loverís name is battista, I close it and put on my
pocket to make love with him without being seen)..
In certain cases the knife protected the woman against
other women jalousy which was kept away by the ivory insert put
on the knife handle. The insert represented the lover eye keeping watch
It existed different kind of knife, it depended if it was given to
Women or to men. In case it was a gift for the women the knife was full of
decoration and token and were without block of blade. If it was a gift
made by the woman to the man not only it had a viril and love token
engraved on its blade but it was also an instrument of defenece in
case the lover would have found in danger of life.
The loverís knife for men were basically longer till to cm.40 and had
a blade block.
Ancient loverís knife are kept on public collections They are full decorated
with ivory silver and brass enlay, their handles are made of the full part
of buffalo and ox horn
Nowadays we can find around fifty ancient loverís knifes. Seven of them are
preserved in the museum of Antropologia Criminale in Turin, one is situated
the national museum of Arti e Tradizioni Popolari in Rome, other 7 loverís knifes
are kept in the museum of Ferri Taglienti in Scarperia.