In some areas of central and southern Italy, it was common to give knives as an engagement or wedding gift, the knife's role being to seal the bond of love. There was a strong identification between men and knives: the lover who gave his woman such a gift was symbolically offering himself, while such a gift given to a man could be interpreted as a virile exhortation to manliness.
Some examples of this historic knife also provided protection against the evil eye by presenting the distinctive 'nut eyes' on the handle, while the blades were traditionally engraved with decorative and symbolic elements.
Love knives were also indicative of a family's social standing: less well-off married couples, unable to afford very elaborate knives, would seal their love with simpler, less elaborate and less expensive objects, but still identical in value and meaning.
Its main features are:
- 16 cm long open
- A brushed c70 steel blade
- Handle, made of fine light ox horn or deer antler, with beautiful entirely hand-worked inlaid decorations