Caserta knife

Casertano or Caserta knife

Casertano means “from Caserta” and it’s here in Caserta, not far from Naples, Campania Region, that we find this typical knife.  It’s a simple but charming model that, from what we could find, was made in the villages of San Cipriano di Aversa and Casal di Principe.

Sheepfoot blade, horn handle with pivot and a second pin to stop the blade while cutting

The structure is simple: a sheepfoot blade with a straight edge,a spine that curves down to meet it forming a moderately pointy tip and a horn handle with no locking system for the blade. The blade itself, in the open position, is just supported by a pin placed near the rotation pivot.

This simple system, often used in Italy and called “A due ribattini” – Two pins, is just used on work knives, because it couldn’t prevent the accidental closure of the blade in more animated circumstances such as during a duel.

While the blade is similiar in almost all knives, with the normal range of variations of a hand forged knife, the end of the handle in Casertano knife can be shaped in different forms: boot shaped (maybe the most common version), or straight, sometimes with some additional decorative forms.

Caserta knife has clearly inspired a model with the same name made in Scarperia, Tuscany. This version still has a sheepfoot blade (even if with a slightly different form) but replaces the two pins system described above, with a slipjoint mechanism, widely used in a lot od Scarperia knives.

In the same province, in Sparanise, we find another type of knives, considered some of the most iconic in Italian cutlery.