Piedmontese knives

Piedmontese knives

Piemonte, know in English as Piedmont is a big Italian region located in the northwest of the contry. Its territory includes a large portion of the Alps and a part of the Po Valley plain.

As the other Italian regions even Piedmont has its own blade traditions. Let’s discover it!

There are two main groups of traditional folding knives in Piedmont:

A knife type more linked to urban areas (Turin, Cuneo, Biella…) with linear shape, a metal scructure, (often brass), horn scales and a massive and protruding metal bolster, faceted in a typical way.

This model exists in different versions: from smaller knives, in which the blade is often accompanied by a corkscrew, to big duel knives. The smallest ones always have a slipjoint mechanism, while the biggest knives can have both a slipjoint mechanism or a typical lockback mechanism to keep the blade in the open position.

In this knives you can sometimes recognize elements in common with French models. France is a neighboring country and the two productions have influenced each other. These common elements consist in the lines of the handle’s lower portion or in the terminal part of the handle itself that can be boot shaped in a typical form, called in French Jambette.

The second group of knives from Piemonte are work blades coming from the Alps mountain areas. These knives usually have a wooden handle without a spring or a block mechanism for the opening blade. These knives are usually less appreciated by collectionists, who often just look for big duel blades, but they are instead masterpieces of efficiency and elegant simplicity.

Traditional Piedmont knives

The main features of Piedmontese knives

Big faceted Brass (or other metal) bolsters.

A corkscrew can be found in smaller knives.

In bigger knives you can find both a slipjoint mechanism or a lockback system, in smaller knives there is usually only the first one.

In bigger knives you can often find elaborate fileworks on the back of the blade and of the spring.

In some wooden handle models the blade has a particular shape: it presents on its back, from the handle side, a short arm with at the end a small button (locally called Broca). When the knife is in the open position, the button fits inside a special cavity in the handle,  this to split out the metal pressure on the handle over a larger surface so preventing the horn from breaking.

Piedmont knives – list of models

  • Piedmontese metal structure knife
  • Vernantin
  • Frabosan

Here you can find pictures of Piedmont knives

Do you want to read about other regions knives?