Zuava of Frosolone

Zuava or Zuavo knife of Frosolone

Zuavo or Zuava of Frosolone is one of the knives coming from the village of Frosolone, in Molise region.

Among traditional Italian knives this is one of the most recognizable, as well as one of the most beautiful.

The place of origin of this model is presumbibly Scarperia, in Tuscany. Zuava has in fact the same shape of the local ancient model called Fiorentino (Florentine). Fiorentino knife  however has a monolithic handle while the Zuava has a modern handle made by two metal liners, covereb by horn scales and completed by two betal bolts. It’s a structure more suitable for a partial mechanization of production, as the plates could be obtained by serial cutting.

At the beginning of 1900, Zuava knife was produced in Scarperia, Maniago and Frosolone, with a relative low market competition. Frosolone was the production center that served the southern towns, Scarperia was active mainly in the center of the country, while Maniago supplied knives to the north of Italy. There were rather frequent collaborations in subproductions of parts or complete knives, carried out in particular in Frosolone in favor of the other two production centers.

Anyway the knife, in the three villages of Scarperia, Maniago and Frosolone, slightly developed in different versions with their own peculiarities.

Zuava or Zuavo of Frosolone features

Slipjoint mechanism

 – The general lines of the knife are rather straight, not sinuous

The handle scales are often yellow with dark spots, due to the treatment of the horn with acid and lime. This had the purpose to make the horn similar to turtle shell, so that the knives with this type of handle (Zuava but even other models) were called with “turtle handle”

The bolsters are faceted in the typical Frosolone’s style

There is a sort of false edge on the back of the blade, but this was just mad on the left side of the blade

On the end of the handle is sometimes present a ring

The Zuava of Frosolone is rather thin and elegant. If you are a serious collectionist or if you want in your pocket a real piece of Italian tradition you can’t miss to buy one!

Zuavo of Frosolone